Friday, December 21, 2007

So i was writing an email to a friend who's had a similar year to me ~ homeschooling mama who lost a much anticipated baby & is now anticipating again ~ tho they're adopting & we're pregnant... Anyway, i've been wanting to blog about this for so long, but i don't even know what i'm feeling on it. i thought maybe i could post some of what i wrote to her in the hopes that i can mull it all over some more & gain more understanding for myself...

"It's funny how the anxiety is so hard to get around... Even here at 33 weeks. Some days are great & other days... not. It's a strange place to be. i find myself pulling away from God... not because i'm not willing to submit to Him, but because the thought of what i could lose is so daunting, i have a hard time dwelling on it. Does that make any sense? i'm finding it easier to keep my relationship surface because i feel like i could just sink into a pit otherwise. i know it's not right... half of me yearns for that connection i felt with God when i lost Hope ~ but the other half is afraid to revisit the pain. i need to rediscover the Joy in my relationship with Him. Sometimes i just don't know how to do that because it seems i've focused so much energy on the sombreness of our relationship instead of the Joy."

i was thinking about this in church the other day ~ how i feel myself resisting Him. Not because i'm afraid he'll take the baby ~ but because i don't want to think about it. i don't want to think about what storm He'll next require me to walk through. There's not one fibre of me that is angry at God... or that thinks i know better ~ & yet, why am i pulling away? Why am i so afraid to press in? Where is the Joy? Why am i so focussed on what i could lose, instead of what's to gain by resting in Him?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

33 weeks tomorrow. It's a funny crazy thing to be pregnant... This baby is *strong* & as Cai says, "Our baby has the biggest ears in the world"... Gam gave her a weird look when she said that, but she means, every time someone talks to my belly, they get rewarded with a big "thump". I'm feeling a little tired... i've been doing a ton of reading. A new one i hadn't read before called, "adventures in natural childbirth" i thought was cool ~ mostly birth stories, but i find it helpful to read that type of thing & remember what it's like & how i felt & how i may feel again & what i might want to try. i don't know why natural childbirth is such a big deal to me. It amazes me every time i go through it that my body was made to work this way. There's no other pain in the world that is so productive as labour pain. i always feel like i'm on a team with the little one labouring to be born. Every time, during birth, there has come a time where i call out to God & ask for help. It's such a intimate joy, when a baby is born... My last 2 full term births were so silent ~ i think Neil half wondered if i was really in labour. i want that peace during birth again. i want the dim lights & to be the calm mama i was then. i remember when i had Sloanie saying, "is she alive?" after she was born... It had only been 10 and a half months since i had delivered Caleb's little body & it seemed so surreal that i could give birth to a living breathing baby ~ that i could go through the pain without the grief ~.
Truly, i look forward to that joy again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What happened over the past 12 years? i had one of those strange moments, i'm sure we've all had where a friend from waaaaay back found me on facebook & i was telling Neil about her & all these memories of myself & what i was like & what i thought & believed about life, myself & God flooded back to me. Sometimes i'm so ashamed of the girl that i've been in the past (or, frankly, the one i am right now). i want to have "arrived" i wanna have the answers & stop making mistakes ~ & yet i have this sense that *this* awkwardness is my opportunity for growth... i'm like that gawky teenager with acne & braces... (even tho i'm more of a middle aged housewife) ~ but i'm growing, i'm changing & God's not finished the work He started in me.
Maybe it's sort of like that passage in Philippians, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
i was talking to Neil last night about a conversation i had with God ~ & as i was falling asleep, i thought, i haven't felt Him here like that since i delivered Hope. i wonder why? ... i think maybe He chose to carry me very close to Him in those days and weeks between when we found out Hope died & the delivery. It was a period of my life that i won't ever forget, but it's like now, He put me back down... i need to keep pressing on...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hey, it's "Reformation Day" here.
i love that my littles are trying to remember the 5 Solas of the Reformation. i had to look them up when Cai reminded me!! The one i never forget is "Soli Deo Gloria", which means 'for the Glory of God alone'.
Here are all 5 ~
1. Sola Scriptura: The scripture alone is the standard.
2. Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God alone.
3. Solo Christo: By Christ's work alone are we saved.
4. Sola Gratia: Salvation by grace alone.
5. Sola Fide: Justification by faith alone.

It's amazing the things that were *not* widely accepted way back when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door. It's almost daunting to me to look at church history & wonder where in the world God would actually have the church be? To quote my sister ~ (i saw it on your facebook page, Steevie) ~"i love Jesus, but church is so hard". i know many Christians feel this way about church... i know i do. i'm not just talking about logistics either, of taking 5 little ones to church & *being there* ~ but it's more finding that sometimes, there's so little 'common ground' among a body of believers...

i'm so grateful for other Christians who push me to a deeper level with God ~ who encourage me to rethink "religion" in favour of "relationship". i'm so grateful that God loves me & wants to have relationship with me & hasn't just left me to figure things out on my own.

My mom always has these great "truth" quotes on her emails... This last one was:
"It is better to be divided by truth than united in error...."
My prayer is that Neil & i can find a little community where we can be united by truth & that God will give us eyes to see & ears to hear...

Friday, October 26, 2007

The National Post is running a series on "Fixing Canada" & today's writer, Michael Coren, chose abortion & Canada's lack of *any* abortion law as his topic. Bah, i just tried to find a link to his article & i can't. It was so good that i'd love any of you who are interested to read it for yourselves. When i mention to people that there are no abortion laws in Canada, a lot of people are a little surprised. With 3D image ultrasounds & preemies with as little as 21 weeks in the womb surviving, we all know what's growing in there ~ & to have no protection from Canada's laws whatsoever, at *any* point in pregnancy seems, to most Canadians, a little crazy.
In his article, Michael Coren touched on this topic, among many others, such as the "pre-birth genocide" happening in our country, (and countries around the world) with babies diagnosed in utero with Downs Syndrome. He also talked about the distinctiveness of each little life from the moment of conception (babe has it's own distinct DNA ~ babe *is* it's own unique little person) & how level of dependence shouldn't be a factor in whether or not a baby has a right to life (he compared babies in the womb to a newborn baby ~ still dependent ~ or to the seriously ill and the aged ~ who in my opinion are also under attack in this country).
He wrote a beautiful, compelling argument that is worth the read. He had one sentence in there that i think is worth sharing, "We have allowed the cult of the self to blind our vision of what is good and bad, right and wrong." i was reading Lisa's blog the other day & she was talking about making decisions & knowing what God was expecting of us... This sentence exposes exactly what our problem is. We're relying on our own understanding to make laws to govern ourselves, instead of relying on our Heavenly Father for His understanding. There's something to be said for spending time with Him, making His priorities our own & allowing ourselves to be used for His purposes.
Father, make me yours. Keep me in the palm of your hand & help me to choose what is good & right. Break down the parts of me that are blind to truth ~ & give me vision & wisdom.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

i felt discouraged today.
So lame ~ just a series of little teeny snippets in life (i won't bore you with recounting them... )kinda made me lonesome for a kindred spirit. ~ (All these mama's lamenting their task of mothering) ~ made me wish someone would say, "jeepers, aren't we lucky?"
& then Charter came home. hehe.
He had made 3 pictures "of art" in school. i was in all three. He said, "see, mom? That's you 'cause you have a big fat tummy. i told all my friends that my mom's having a new baby & they all said, 'really? That's AWEsome.' " (you have to know Charter to imagine how he says that word. It's priceless).
& i thought it's funny ~ sometimes children see the plainest truths that adults are blind to. It *is* AWEsome. i'm so excited, i'm giddy. i'm blessed immeasurably by this little life ~ (& the other little lives God entrusted to our home). When Charter gets home from his 3 hour stint at kindergarten, i inhale that boy. i can't wait 'till he's enrolled in our little home school in grade 1 (tho, i don't regret giving him the choice to go to K. i love watching my little prince enjoying his year as king of his all boy bus stop.)
What we do as stay at home & home school moms is *hard*. There's no other way around that. We're busy & emotional & often times with our growing broods, we're hormonal & exhausted, but what we're doing has *value* & i'm convinced that my little offering will be taken and multiplied by my Father who sees my efforts to tend to those He's entrusted to my care.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Strange... if you look at my post from Oct. 5th.
i had a really busy day today & just opened up the paper tonight... & there was a big headline on pg A10 of the National Post, "Woman killed for refusing to have abortion".
Yes, it's a different woman than the one i wrote about on Oct 5th... i'll say it again... having abortion as an alternative is not good for women... i have my doubts as to how many women are choosing abortions while chanting, "My body, My choice" & how many are dragged there kicking and screaming by abusive husbands, boyfriends or fathers... hmmmmm...
We need to change our mindset about abortions. It's not an easy solution to a messy problem. It's a horrible, outrageous, hideous solution to what might feel to some as a dead end ~ but it's not.
i know i've not been in the same situation as many of these women, but i have been an unmarried, pregnant teen. My little girl has been the biggest blessing in my life. God used my pregnancy to bring sin to light, to bring *truth* into my life, and to bless me and her papa beyond what we've ever deserved.
God gives life, God takes life. Let's let Him be the only one.

25 weeks today!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i'll be 25 weeks tomorrow.
i really really feel some days like i truly *can't* wait.
i remember my first pregnancy with little Cai & how oblivious i was ~ how i felt sort of invincible & i wish so much that i could go back there. The bonus for being here though is *gratitude* & i am feeling great ~ & i do really love being 'with child' ~ but that feeling of invincibility is gone. i feel powerless ~ & daily i have to put this little one's life in the Father's hands... & sometimes i feel so vulnerable. This baby is so sweet ~ but some days, all the little kicks & jabs that go on for hours on end will cease completely & babe will siesta for 48 hours & drive mama nuts.
i do feel "placed" here. & like i need these days to grow this baby ~ to grow my faith ~ to surrender my desire to be in control of life & death ~ to be broken ~ to anticipate life.
Neil has this funny thing about inductions. He thinks they're horrible & that babies should come when they're ready. i think he's funny to have a preference when he's the daddy & he's not carrying little one ~ but there's a part of me that thinks he's right... That each one of these days spent waiting & being faithful to the task at hand ~ was ordained by the Father's hand & He sees what He's creating & each day has purpose & holds lessons to be learned...
Father, help me be faithful as my body holds this little life. Give me what i need to grow this little one & to become the woman you want me to be.
Blessed be Your name ~ in the land that is plentiful ~

Thursday, October 11, 2007

i bought some fabric & me & my sisters made some moby wraps :) A moby wrap is a loooong piece of fabric that you use to carry baby ~ mine is a sweet light blue with a cute little butterfly applique on it to mark the middle of the fabric when you're wrapping it...)
When i got home, i put my little plastic bag with my wrap in it, in my closet...
i've made a little birth plan & thought out what's important to me...
Most of my preparation thus far has been mental. i don't have a lot for the baby ~ nor do i think i *need* a lot... but,

Every little action preparing me for this baby's birth seems to me a huge act of faith.

Neil & i went & looked at car seats & strollers (our 2 "needs" for this baby) & as i started getting back into the vehicle, i burst out laughing. It seemed so rediculous to be looking at baby things. Like an extravagant luxurious vacation that you don't deserve...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Some crazy guy stabbed his pregnant girlfriend ~ killing her and her little baby ~ because he said the 'fetus told him it didn't want to be born'.
In Canada, now this guy is only charged with the murder of his girlfriend ~ even though by his own admission, his target was someone much smaller & more vulnerable. Canada's laws are this way *solely* because it would mess up a woman's right to an abortion if it were a crime to kill a little one still in it's mother's womb. What a messed up country we live in where we hold more dear to us our right to kill than a little one's right to life.
So, in the paper, were letters arguing back & forth over what's more important, the pro-choice side arguing that it will be sufficient that he's charged with the death of his girlfriend & the pro-life side saying, 'that's not the point'.
i'm left wondering, what would have happened if his girlfriend were left only injured, but the baby dead, would it have been sufficient that he was charged with assault? i guess if he was smart, he could have just forced her to make an appointment at an abortion clinic... then nobody would have to pay... i wonder how many women who are pregnant & in dangerous relationships will start to think this way too? Easier to kill than to be killed?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

This weekend is Thanksgiving.
Father, we thank you for each blessing in *every circumstance* of life we have received...
even in the rain...
Neil & i were listening to this song the other night & the lyrics kinda grabbed me.
i sent it to my sisters & said, "sounds almost cocky ~ if God wasn't who He is.... but He is..."

Bring The Rain
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than my pain
you who made a way for me suffering your destiny
so tell me whats a little rain

[1st Chorus]
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
I'm forever singing
[2nd Chorus 2x]
everybody singing
Holy holy holy
you are holy you are holy
[2nd Chorus 2x]

Friday, September 28, 2007

i spent way too much time on the computer today. i got a link to this blog & honestly, i couldn't stop reading... A friend of mine went through a similar loss a couple of years ago & this mama's writing struck a chord for me.
i've been spending some time on a 'baby center' birth board. i've never done anything like that before & it's strange to be reading about women with whom you have nothing in common other than a due date. It's given me so many chances to share my thoughts & wonderings about motherhood ~ & i think it's been good.
These days, this little person is becoming so real to me ~ as i feel the little pokes & jabs & know that bones & muscles are getting stronger. Sometimes i just stop what i'm doing & call out, "Baby, i love you!" & all the littles stop what they're doing & say, "peek-a-boo, we love you too!" (Did i tell you they call baby peek-a-boo because when we went for the ultrasound, the little baby had hands cupped around eyes as if peeking through a window... so sweet... Peyton took one look & said, "mommy, can that baby see us too??")
Neil's been gone the last couple of days (gets back in the wee hours tonight...) & man, i miss that guy. Seems, i feel so much more peace when he's here. i don't know... is it peace? maybe completeness? i feel like lately, God has been using Neil to give me precious gifts... & it's in the quiet moments ~ when he doesn't say much, but he's there ~ or when he challenges my lazy logic ~ or when i just need a few sweet words of comfort. i'm so grateful for my husband. i overheard Neil talking with my dad when he was here & my dad said, "Neil, tell me something good that's going on." & Neil replied, "i'm really looking forward to this baby." Feels good to be looking forward together ~ & anticipating this little life that will so deeply impact our lives.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cai's 11... *eleven*... a young lady...
i remember when her legs were about as big around as a loonie. & her teeny feet were the same size as Neil's big toes. i remember her teeny head covered with downy fuzz & her sweet fingers reaching up to me.
Now, she's funny, smart & capable. Her legs are still skinny, but they're strong. Her hair is all grown out from the buzz cut she got last summer... but she still reaches out to me.
Neil got up at 4 'cause he had to catch a flight to Kansas today. & when i started rolling around, the baby in me woke up too & started doing gymnastics & i realized that 11 years ago at that moment, i was birthing my first daughter. What a neat moment. i can't wait to meet this little one growing & stretching in me.
Happy birthday little Cai.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My sister Steph & i have talked about this quite a bit... i found this link on one of my favourite blogs (lily of the valley ~ her blog is so sweet & so many good ideas). The story tho, left me wondering, why won't anybody talk about this??

Birth-control pills poison everyone?
Environmentalists silent on threat from water tainted with estrogen
Posted: July 12, 20071:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007
While environmentalists are usually vocal about perceived threats ranging from pesticides to global warming, there is a silence when it comes to one threat already harming the water supply: hormones from birth-control pills. (to keep reading click here).

Seriously, i think everyone should go read this... It makes me sick to my stomach. & it makes sense when you hear of so many people having trouble conceiving... so sad...

Friday, September 21, 2007

am i afraid of God?

i don't think i've ever doubted God's existance ~ or that He is Good ~ or that He will do what is right... But i don't know how to completely surrender... i'm afraid that He'll take something (someone) from me & i feel *fear*.

i want to press in & *know* God ~ & be completely surrendered to His will & yet, i must be holding back... because i'm scared. How do you let go of fear? i honestly want to...
i do understand that He does all things well & that there is eternal purpose in all that He does (& i readily acknowledge that His purposes are often hidden from me). But His purposes included Job losing all his children... & His purposes included me losing 2 of mine... & while i know that those 2 little ones are safe at Home, & one day, i'll go there too...
i'm still afraid.
God, help me...
"for God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline"...
Is it a discipline issue?
My friend said to me today, 'y'know, there is something to be said for time... It really does heal'... & maybe it's a timing thing...
i just know that i feel frustrated by my fear & what seems to me as a lack of faith.
i want to cast my burdens & take on his light yoke, but for some reason, i find i'm unable (or unwilling??)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Woman is brain damaged after routine surgery, court told"
Woah, now that's a headline to catch your eye. i was reading the National Post this morning & read about Lisa Baert who is now wheelchair bound with prosthetic hands and legs, who now lives in a longterm care home as a result of a..... tubal ligation.
i guess her bowel was punctured during the surgery & the toxins released into her body before she got back to the hospital caused all this horrible damage.
It's truly amazing to me, the lengths we've gone to as a society to avoid children. i'm so sorry for Lisa & her husband & her two little boys who won't remember the healthy mama who brought them into the world. But i'm also sorry for the hundreds of thousands who have been sterilized without the obvious consequences. They've sacrificed something precious & i honestly feel they've stolen something valuable from their spouse & marriage. i don't expect a lot of people to understand that sentiment, i guess, since sterilization is so widespread & accepted nowadays, but, wow i wish i could encourage christian couples to dig a little deeper & ask themselves why God would be calling them to sterility? A God who constantly blessed with increase & whose first command was to be fruitful & multiply.
Hmmm... This post is sounding a little preachy... i didn't mean for it to...
i guess what i meant is... if it ain't broke...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Andrea Mrozek is my new hero. She's constantly writing into the National Post sticking up for family. Mostly i've enjoyed her letters to the editor (or corrections of others' misleading letters to the editor :) (She's the manager of Research and Communications at the institute of Marriage and Family Canada). Today, there was an article written by her titled, "Abortion and mental health: The link we cannot ignore." It sort of reminded me of the Femenists for Life slogan, "Abortion, women deserve better."
i thought Andrea Mrozek did a great job of doing something i find i'm incapable of, & that is separating the murder of teeny innocents from the act of abortion. She started the article with the news that could, i guess, surprise some: that abortion is one of the most common surgeries performed on women in Canada... that fact alone brings tears to my eyes... But she goes on, not to argue about the sanctity of life, but about the negative effects that abortion has on the women who have them... Not just physical effects (though, i'm sure we've all heard the horror stories of hysterectomy or death following a botched abortion) ~ but the mental effects on women who have made the choice to end that little life that is growing in them. It seems so demeaning to assume that a woman would come away from such a surgery not understanding or knowing what had been sacrificed. The heightened mental health risks included drug use, sleeping problems and increased anxiety. These poor little mamas ~ being lied to ~ conned by a society that no longer recognizes what is really valuable. Deep down, honest women will admit that lives ~ lives that they should have been willing to lay down and die to defend ~ were sacrificed. Then, they're told that life will go on, side effects will be minimal, there is nothing to mourn, choice is to be celebrated, effectively crushing the little mama heart that God created in them way back when they were being formed in the secret place... God is so great & merciful, He'll see, He'll hear, He'll rescue, but i have to agree with Andrea Mrozek's closing statement : "We owe it to women to learn exactly what risk they face when they have an abortion."

Monday, September 10, 2007

First picture shows the reason my back hurts :)
& second picture, my daughter painted this series of faces & i think they're amazing. She'll be 11 at the end of the month. (She sewed on the glasses & bows & button & painted in acryllics).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This week is the anniversary of Caleb's birth & it's also Hope's due date.

i remember them both so clearly...
Wee Hope, so barely formed ~ & yet still 'bone of my bone' & Caleb, so fearfully & wonderfully made. ~ These 2 who shaped me in motherhood as surely as all my living children ~ who shaped the lives of their siblings & who invite me with their presence to heaven.
i still miss them.
Neil had promised to take me to Casaloma to hike the little trail there & to remember with me ~ since we were going to be in Kelowna. The day before we were going to leave ended up being taken up with unexpected activities & i kept looking at the clock wondering when we were going to go... The whole day passed & we were leaving in the morning. i set the little alarm by the bed for 6am, sure that i'd just go by myself. The thought of it was just too sad tho & i couldn't help but cry. Neil woke up & asked me what was wrong & i said 'i really want you to come with me tomorrow' ~ Suddenly he remembered *why* it mattered to me so much & he just held me & said he didn't care what time we got home, we'd make the time to go... So, the next day, we took Cai & Sloanie & went. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Along the way, i picked 2 little blue wildflowers & i dropped them in the lake & remembered those 2 little babies. We didn't need to say anything. He told me i'm a good mom ~ sometimes i wonder if somehow i could have been a better mom, i could have saved those babies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i had my second doctors appointment today (a little early 'cause Neil & i will be out of town next week for a bit). The littles all came with me 'cause Neil was in Red Deer today & they all wanted to hear the heartbeat. The waiting room was so crowded & it was a big wait & this older lady came up behind me & said, "those are some of the best behaved children i've ever seen. You are to be commended because you are obviously doing a very good job." i felt like crying! It was so nice to be encouraged like that. What a sweet lady.
So, the littles did get to hear that beautiful beating heart. It was around 143-151 ~ so not low, but not as high as some of my girls :) (here i am wondering about old wives tales... will we have a little boy or a little girl come February?? Ever heard of a more win win situation???) i think the only person who really has a distinct opinion on the baby's gender is Charter. He's dying for a brother. Peyton's hoping for a boy, for Charter's sake, but i *know know know* as soon as that little sibling is in their arms, pink or blue won't matter one speck & we'll all be in love.
Gotta go. 's bed time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh my!! i am the most proudest mommy in the whole world today! My 3 big girls competed in a triathlon on Saturday (kids of steel). It was amazing to watch them "train" over the past few months & then compete. My 7yo came in first place out of 24? girls in her age category! Sloanie & Cai both did amazingly well too, & came in 4th & 7th in their age categories. They didn't seem too bagged after (even considering they were up at 5:45 to get there in time for the registration & body marking etc....) i was on the verge of tears all day watching them swim, bike & run with amazing attitudes. There was not one word of complaint & after it was over they each *thanked* me profusely for putting them in the event. Sloanie said it was the "most fun thing she'd ever done". The most challenging thing *for sure* was that they hadn't trained in a lake ~ they had trained in a pool & open water is just so different. Especially for Cai as her distance was longer.
My friend Melissa did a "count your blessings" post on her blog... i thought, what a good idea, so here goes (her blog is musings of the heart)... i don't have much time, so i'm gonna have to make my blessings brief ~
1.) a loving Father in heaven who i know will do what is Good & right.
2.) my husband ~ who loves me and my quirks.
3.) children who grow me, and push me closer to #'s 1&2 on this list ~ & who sometimes make me so proud:)
4.) that heaven is a real place ~ & i get to go there & be with the ones i love when this life is over.
5.) that this little baby growing in me has given me so much joy ~ starting to feel little thumps and kicks ~ so amazing God's handiwork.
6.) this house that holds us & shelters us.
7.) a vehicle to drive.
8.) food to eat & an enjoyment of cooking & feeding a family.
9.) that Neil is home so much more with this job.
10.) the opportunity to homeschool & be with my children & teach them. (How fun is it that they're getting to an age where we can play music together? This week, we had a little trio with Cai on mandolin, Sloanie on fiddle & me on piano :) It's getting to be so fun!
Neil's begging me to get off the computer. He's hosting a wrestling match between Molls & Charter & all i can hear is him laughing & laughing at how feisty Molls is. i think she managed to impress her dad.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

16 weeks.
i'm 16 weeks pregnant today.
i wonder what at 16 weeks made Caleb die?

i'm realizing lately that i have a skewed view of God & i'm wondering how i can get it right...
a few years ago, i had a dream that God spoke to me & said "Paige, do you know me?" & then even before i could answer, "Do you want to know me?"
i know i wrote on here before that i feel like God may or may not hit me with a baseball bat, but He's saying, "Don't flinch". There's something in seeing God like that that seems unkind, or lacking in compassion ~ both of those things i know are not true of Him.
i feel like i can either dig in where it hurts & try to know Him more ~ or i can give a pat answer & gloss over the things that don't make sense to me. My sister says maybe we're trying to humanize God too much ~ that we're trying to make *human* sense out of Someone who is so much more than human.
i feel like where i'm at now, is a continuation of that dream of a conversation with God. There's so much i don't know & don't understand about Him, but yes, yes, yes... i want to know Him.
My mom has always said, "Without truth, there can be no relationship" ~ How can i avoid seeking truth, if my goal is to have relationship?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's Neil's 30th birthday today... i feel so bad 'cause he's away on a business trip & i haven't been able to get ahold of him to even say, 'happy birthday'.
Neil's such a good man. i've often felt that because *he* 'gets' me, it doesn't hurt so bad when other people don't. He always gives good advice & challenges me to think harder. He has such a soft heart for the handicapped and the elderly. He has a way about him, that makes him comfortable to be around. He acknowledges when he makes a bad choice & doesn't make excuses for himeself ~ instead, he's hard on himself & his honesty is refreshing & comforting. He's always had an amazing work ethic & has worked so hard to support a family since we were married when he was only 18. Helping me out around the house has never been 'beneath' him. He's always been willing to carry more than his share of the weight. (Except in golf season ~ Ha!!) Neil makes things fun for me & the littles ~ he always plans little adventures for us & keeps the time between our visits to family short.
i feel so lucky to be married to this man.
He seems to know intuitively when one of our little ones needs more of him ~ & in the past year & a half has made every effort to carve out more & more time for his growing brood :) i love the way he fathers his children.
i think Neil's changed a lot in the past several years. i love seeing teeny greys come & go just at his temples & knowing that when he's all grey, he'll still be mine:) i can't wait to see what these next years will bring.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

i'm starting a new book, it's called _Hold On to Your Kids_ by Gordon Neufeld & Gabor Mate. i've heard so many people say positive things about it & certainly i agree with what i've read so far. They talk about how children tend to be more attached to their peers than their parents nowadays & the negative effect that's having on them... On the back cover of the book, one sentence struck me, "Children end up becoming overly conformist, desensitized, and alienated, and being "cool" matters more to them than anything else."
That's exactly the arguments that i've heard from most christian parents who are against homeschooling: That our children will end up being "weird" (non conformist, uncool etc..). i never have the courage to challenge these challengers by asking them what the (eternal) benefit is for your child to be "normal" or "cool" or to "fit in". Rather, i want my children to be willing to ask the tough questions, to "not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is ~ His good, pleasing and perfect will." (rom. 12:2) i want my children to be non-conformist, sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and connected to me as their momma & if necessary, completely un-cool. haha!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

So i haven't posted in a while. We were gone for a month to Sask & then to Victoria & now we're home & i am so glad to be home...
i guess i've been a little quiet 'cause i've been holding my breath... we're expecting another little baby. i was talking to Neil tonight about how much i hate it when the littles say "i can't help it" (like if i say "stop whining") & sometimes i wonder if God feels like that with me... He's told me not to worry, but i keep whining, 'i can't help it'. i feel like He's saying "I may or may not hit you with this baseball bat, but don't flinch..." i know, He's not like that, but i guess i'm still on a pretty steep learning curve. When i found out about babe, i felt a lot like i did with Sloanie (first baby after losing Caleb) ~ i felt like, i know there's a baby growing in there, but i'm not gonna fall in love ~ but from the first knowledge of that little one, there is love, & there is an attachment & there is a longing & a desire to protect.
I went to the doctor for the first time on Monday & i already had tears in my eyes as she took out the doppler. Neil hadn't been to the doctor with me in years, but he came to be supportive. i had visions of her searching for the heartbeat & not finding one, but the instant she turned on the machine, that little heartbeat sang out like the sweetest music. She said, "that was easy" & smiled at me. i just barely held it together till i got out of there & Neil just held me wondering why i was crying now... Oh the relief & the comfort from that little sound...
baby due january 31st or so...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Today is my little man's 5th birthday.

It was cute, as we were preparing some of his favourite foods (potato casserole & turkey with stuffing...) my 6yodd looked at me sadly & said, "momma, when i'm a mom, my husband will have to do all the cooking." i looked at her & said, "Why? Don't you want to do it?" & she said, "Yeah. But i don't know how."

We laughed & i told her that she'll learn by the time she leaves my house how to cook & bake & she will be a great wife and mother:)

Cai made muffins yesterday all by herself. She forgot the sugar, so they were super healthy too! Hee hee. Oatmeal berry. The other littles gobbled all 3 dozen of them with jam, so they can't have suffered too much.

The "3 bigs" (as my 3 oldest girls call themselves) made breakfast in bed for Charter. Mollen got breakfast in bed too because Charter needed someone to keep him company as he was banned from coming downstairs as the "3 bigs" decorated. My main floor is prettily decorated with balloons & streamers in anticipation of our birthday dinner tonight. i invited my cousin whose son Charter greatly admires, so that's a little surprise for him 'cause he doesn't know they're coming.

The years are flying & i find myself staring at their little faces trying to memorize expressions, mannerisms, childish wording... & time is just going too fast & they're getting so big.


i love this job.

Monday, June 4, 2007

i 've been mulling the purpose of prayer...
i think i'm coming to some conclusions. stephanie (big sister) says all the time, 'fruitfulness from intimacy' & i'm starting to think that this fruitfulness plays a bigger part in God desiring us to pray, than answered prayer requests...
i had a neat talk with another mama at the beach last week about prayer: why bother, if God's going to do as He pleases anyway. i know i've felt that way ~ or if not quite that way, then: *how* to pray if He's going to do Right regardless of my pitiful attempts to pray for what i would think was right. Do i just pray "do it your way, God" and leave it at that?
i'm starting to see value in prayer because of the relationship it grows between the Creator and the created. i see value in prayer because i think there is a release of burden when we 'cast all our cares' ~ God sees, He hears and He will deliver us.
My mom has a quote too, 'loneliness is God's invitation'. So many times i've found myself feeling alone & knowing that He'll meet me where i am...
The bible talks about how God knows our needs before we bring them to Him.
God doesn't need me to tell Him what i want or need ~ He wants the intimacy of our conversation & the reward is relationship.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Ane lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

i have this memory. Cai was really little like maybe 3 or 4? i had the three little girls & we lived in Sexsmith. There were a lot of parks there & we usually went to the 2 that were closer to our house. Sometimes, when we felt like a little hike, we'd go to the one that was a little farther from our house. i remember that's the park we went to that day.
Right when we got there, Cai found a little dolly. Her fabric body was torn & her plastic limbs chewed through. She was completely covered in mud ~ & looked like she had been left there in the rain. She had no clothes on & looked a mess. i remember seeing Cai's face when she saw her. She caught her breath & said, "mommy!" i remember thinking, "Oh, Cai, don't touch that. It's so dirty & gross." But, i also remember a check in my spirit & i just watched what she did.
Cai was so gentle with that little plastic baby replica.
She gently rubbed her plastic face with wet grass to get the dirt off. She picked grass and made a little mound for the babe to lie on and covered her body with grass and leaves.
i don't remember her crooning and talking to the baby... Maybe she understood that it was too late.
In my little daughter, i saw the mothers heart that society seems bent on obliterating.
Maybe i was extra sensitive to this little scene played out before me because it seemed so familiar. i remember when i delivered my son, only 16 weeks into my pregnancy, that Neil didn't want to hold him. i remember holding his little broken body & counting fingers and toes. i remember trying to be gentle with the body of the little one who God had formed in the secret place... & i remember when the nurse wanted to take him away, not being able to let go of his dear little frame.
What is it about our world that has allowed mothers to see their little ones as disposable? Or worse, their little bodies as commodities? (i know it's hard to fathom, but my sister sent me this link that is pretty clear...)
i was thinking about this today & realizing that our abortion laws can't & won't change until our hearts do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

i like to read my newspaper & drink a cup of coffee in the morning:) It's my little vice. i try the crossword puzzle & never finish it... & i read all the letters to the editor & i throw away the "financial post" section. It's my little routine.
Sometimes i clip articles that speak to me & i have my little file folder of articles stashed away that makes my husband laugh at me.
Anyway, last week, i clipped two. They haven't made it to the file folder yet ~ they're still on the fridge. One was a decent article by Barbara Kay titled "Goodness: It comes from God" (pretty self explanatory i think) ~ Her main idea was summed up by her last paragraph that said, "I know many atheists who are passionate advocates for social justice. In every case they grew up in homes drenched in the morality and ideals of Judaism or Christianity."
She presented a pretty thoughtful article ~ so i saved it.
The other one was even better.
The second piece was written by George Jonas, and was titled, "Children cramp our style". With comments like, "Style is important to us. We're all set to march to our extinction in style." It's a harsh little bit of writing at times that hits on some important truths. Here's one that i wish we all would come to see as a truth, "We invent euphemisms, such as "choice" for killing, and sophomoric dilemmas, such as pretending not to know when life begins, to ensure that nothing hinders Virginia's quest for Santa Claus".
He drew on the story of Solomon in the bible & said of Solomon, " He had the fixed idea that an authentic mother would rather give up her child than kill it, in which the good king might have been a trifle too optimistic." ~ He ends the article coming back to that same story & saying, "Ms. Choice on appeal from King Solomon's judgement. Rather than let some other woman have her baby, she pleads to have it cut in half. The ball is in our honourable court."
Kinda rare to have that kind of brutal truth spoken isn't it?
My sister said something to me the other day, that i've been thinking about a bit. She said that Christians don't need to be afraid of logic and truth. God is both of those things... She (my sister) has a bit of a reputation for following through arguments and debates to their logical conclusion.
i love that God will be faithful in 'making our paths straight'.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i read "Getting Near to Baby" again today. It's one of my favourite books. It captures grief in a way that i've never read in other books. i see myself in each character ~ adult, or child... strength or weakness... mostly weakness i guess.
my sister lost her little babe this week. That precious knowledge that baby's 9 months journey had begun was only a week or two old ~ & before they got through savouring that delicous flavour, babe had gone. My own fresh sorrow came back to me in the face of her grief.

Friday, May 4, 2007

i got an email the other day recommending this site with an article written by Janet Smith. i had recently ordered a free copy of her dvd from One More Soul (a catholic group online with whom i agree on so many issues). i haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, & i'm kind of hoping my husband & i can sit down and watch it together... i'm interested to hear what she has to say (putting aside the theological differences between catholics & protestants ~ which i think we can for a debate on contraception).
i was reminded the other night too of how nice it is to have 'give away' resources on hand. i had been talking to another couple about Randy Alcorn & his book 'Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions" came up. They had never heard of it before (or that there was a possibility of the pill causing abortions) ~ so i gave them a copy. They're cheap & so good to have all the info on hand when someone asks. i know you can print them off for free from his website, but sometimes the book is handier & nicer to give to someone (& it's easier on the printer too:)
i bought an extra copy of "Be Fruitful & Multiply" too (it's a Nancy Campbell book ~ Above Rubies). i haven't had the opportunity to lend it out, but if i do & it never gets returned, i'll still have mine. My sister lent me her copy of "Birthing God's Mighty Warriors" (Rachel Scott) & then bought a new copy:) it's a nice way to get books hee hee.
Anyway ~ all 'resources' aside... it's really a heart issue. & you can't force that. Reading a million books won't change somebody's heart. i love that my responsibility is so clear. God wants me to speak truth. He's in charge of hearts... including mine. i pray that He will keep my heart soft & malleable so that He can keep my heart beating in tune with His. i want to be open to correction & teachable. Being a mom is such a great place to practice those qualities He's trying to grow in me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

When Job's seven sons and three daughters perished in one day, Scripture tells us of Job's response. "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:20-22).

i cut this bit of scripture out of a piece that i read by Terri Maxwell called The Valley of the Shadow of Death. She recently lost her little 3 day old grand daughter, and this piece dealt with that loss...
God, help me to be this stubborn in my faith and my love for You.

i love the look of concentration on her face.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My friend Jamie gave me the "thinking blogger award". So, i get to give it to 5 people & they're supposed to put the pic on their blog & give it to 5 more people.

So, i give the Thinking Blogger Award to...

1. Melissa ~ who i know has a heart for Jesus & loves to grapple with the tough issues.

2. jen ~ who makes me wish i had her maturity when i was her age...

3. my mom ~ who thinks things through to their logical conclusion.

4. my sister steph ~ who takes after my mom. haha! & who has encouraged me in motherhood more than she knows.

5. my sister jess ~ who has been an inspiration to me. She doesn't update her blog much, but it's her story of learning about her son's epilepsy. She's such an amazing mom.

Monday, April 30, 2007

my little niece got badly burned this weekend from some powerful *wart* medecine. She has huge blisters all over her face & arms. poor little mouse. She had chewed through the package. As if that wasn't bad enough, it appears she's ingested some of it & has been peeing blood. i've been just aching for her (& my poor sister) ~ but when i saw the pictures last night, my stomach was just sick. i hate when the little lovelies get hurt. i wish i could take the pain for her. it seems crazy, but sometimes i wish there were no consequences for our sin, well, no consequences for little ones who didn't listen to mama & got into what they should not.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

but i trust in Your unfailing love. My heart rejoices in Your salvation. i will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me ~

My body's not acting right. Seems so strange, 'cause i'm a healthy girl, i eat healthy & exercise... i'm not anciently old & usually i feel really good.
i'm begging God for healing now...
i miss that little baby ~ growing normally inside me.
Now my sweet one is gone & in place of the joy we were to have, i have a body that refuses to co-operate...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

um, we're ready for summer.
This pic is old ~ but Molls was looking through my pics & wanted the pic with the bathing suit.
Can't wait to swim at the lake this year.
We go to the public pool every weekend since my dad bought us 40 passes for Christmas... but looking forward to sand & sun...
p.s. how the heck do her little knees join like that? it's like magic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ever feel like you're coming out of a dark room & you look about you & realize how much you love the person you walk beside? As your eyes adjust to the light & you see that they were there ~ with you... in the dark. The more i love Jesus, the more i realize what a beautiful picture our marriages are supposed to be. & the more i love the man i walk beside.
There is intimacy that comes from our sorrows.
You make a choice to be drawn to your husband in your sorrow ~ rather than allow wedges to drive you apart.
There is intimacy in allowing your flawed self to be laid bare for the man you love.
There is intimacy in the stillness that comes when you've said all there is to say & you can almost read his mind.
From that intimacy, comes fruitfulness. What a beautiful picture of the Father's love for us. That He wants to be intimate with me is enough to cause me to lay myself bare. To throw myself at Him, holding nothing back ~ to tell Him i'm broken. To let Him carry me. To know the Father's will because i've looked for Him and found Him & to feel *peace* ~ knowing He's the one drawing me.
i remember that story about the little girl who was too scared to go to sleep & her parents said "but God is with you" & she replied "i want someone with skin on". :)
i think sometimes when Neil has held me, that i've felt like he is God's gift: to give me love when i needed someone with skin on too.
i sent neil this little Dixie Chicks love song:)
i'm so grateful for neil...


They didn't have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there'll be so much to do
So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

Monday, April 23, 2007

i started a couple of posts this weekend, but nothing flowed.
i love the weekends. We usually go swimming as a family on Saturday & go to church on Sunday. This Sunday i went on a big walk with my bigger girls. They're so cute. Neil got tickets (through work) to the Calgary game & so he was there last night~(they lost & they're out of playoffs now, but he had fun anyway).
Gotta go do spelling with my girl.

Friday, April 20, 2007

These are my sweet acryllic paintings my lovelies made for me:) The blank one is for our two that went home early... i'm thinking of getting the littles to put fingerprints all over it. Haven't decided yet.

Here's one of my 8yo bookworm:) She just finished Little Women this week & started on Black Beauty
need i say more?
Neil's out of town.
BUT :) On my "merry sunshine" side of life, we are having a *great* time homeschooling these days. i love love love the homeschooling lifestyle. (The parts i don't like about it are when i have character issues... yeah, you read that right... it's usually *my* impatience, my loss of temper, my laziness etc...) BUT, even that's overshadowed by the opportunity to grow my character, being with my little people, helping them learn & just being a family.
i'm trying something new. We're trying to get math & language arts done in the AM (LA includes typing, spelling, writing, memorization, a few workbooks we're finishing off.. math includes drills, lessons etc...)
Then, we have a tidy up, eat lunch, and then in the afternoon, i read to them (today it was Bible & Anne of Windy Poplars) & then we're working on a "heart" lapbook. (So, i guess that's technically 'science' but it's got all sorts in it in terms of vocabulary & even math ~ calculating your pulse & then how many beats in a day etc...) i want to include phys ed & music in the afternoons too. Oh, and art. Sloanie's making the most beautiful acryllic painting of my "mums" Neil bought me. (They can do art while i read too ~)
i feel like we're not just dragging on all day from one book to another to another & just not getting to a lot of the fun stuff.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

~had a blue day:(
We had company & it's raining & i got out of my rhythm, & comfort zone.
Neil is just like a warm blanket on a cold day.
i love that guy.
What is it about somebody whose very presence sooths & comforts.
Man, i've whined enough about his lack of compassion, but regardless, i think i'm addicted. Right now, he's bathing our *stinky* little ones:) & i just finished cleaning up the kitchen. He came downstairs & said, "it's fun playing house." & i said, "Who's playing house?" & he said, "us". hehe.
In 3 or so weeks, it'll be our 11 year anniversary. wow. We were married at 18 & 19, & i'll tell you, it sure has felt like playing house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

i couldn't get through reading the paper this morning... i was sobbing & my little, soft 4 year old son came & wrapped his manly little arms around me and said, "Is there too much sadness in the paper this morning, mom?"
yes, there was.
The story that stuck out for me from the Virginia Tech shootings is the one of the prof who held the door shut, while telling his students to jump out the window to escape. It has become so rare to hear stories of one laying down their life for another, that it just grabbed my heart. Why did that one prof ~ a 76 year old Holocaust survivor ~ have the instinct to lay down his life? (i say instinct because who can act on much else when you have moments, maybe seconds, to decide your course of action.
i've always wondered if i would have that instinct. i've always wondered if what i'm made of would shame me in a moment of crisis.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So, i'm home from AHEA (homeschool conference in Red Deer). It was really refreshing ~ to use a clichee word :)
The best part was easily that i went with my 2 big sisters *and* my mom. i felt so incredibly spoiled to have this much support with this life choice. All the dad's took all the littles swimming and to the park and out for lunches. They had a blast. Three dads with 16 children between them ~ i guess they created quite a stir wherever they went.
One big shift i want to make with my homeschooling is that i want to have more school that appeals or applies to more children. It's getting too hard having separate lessons for all the children. As the little ones are getting bigger, i've been feeling that it's probably in my best interest to switch to a more "unit study" approach. i did some experimenting with that today & everyone loved it. i'm excited to see where this type of homeschooling leads us. i'm thinking maybe a bit more prep work, but waaaayyy less running for me back and forth between children during the day. And, way less wasted time for them because they'll all be working on the same thing at the same time and so they won't be waiting for mom to finish math with one to help with spelling for another... (hopefully ~ i'll post the reality when i've had more time to see how this works).
At AHEA, every year, Alberta ProLife has a booth. When i stopped by their booth, my heart just stopped. They had on display teeny pictures with babies at the exact stage of life as my sweet baby when we said goodbye. Those pictures looked exactly like my little Hope looked when i held him in my hand. It was almost like i couldn't hear all the convention noises around me... or feel the others jostling me in that tiny prolife booth.
The lady who was running the booth was the president of APL, & as i stood there, a little transfixed, my sister told her about the website that i work on . She took down the address & we moved on...
She emailed me when i got home & asked me if i'd like to be more involved with APL. i *do* feel like i'd like to be more involved, but up till now, the website has been the easiest way for me to be active in prolife. With 5 little ones, and Neil's unpredictable work schedule, it's just been easier for me to be prolife from home;) Now, i'm feeling a little challenged. Would it be possible for me to give a little more? Is God trying to stretch me & give me more opportunities to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves?
~ as a sidenote, as i typed that last sentence, i was reminded of an article i read recently in the National Post (February 26, 2007). i'll post a little snippet here where British Professor (obstetrician) Stuart Campbell is quoted as saying; "Even at 12 weeks, these fetuses indicate very complex behaviour," he said. "They yawn, they hold their toes. At 20 weeks, one can see facial expressions, and at 22 to 23 weeks, their eyelids begin to open. You can actually see the fetus developing into a human being.
"They are, themselves, their own best advocates. Once, only the supporters of a woman's right to choose really had a voice. Now the fetus itself can speak through these pictures. They are saying: 'I am here. See, this is what I can do.' Which of us should ignore that?"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Planning on going to a homeschool conference this weekend. i'm feeling really overwhelmed (and yet still very much at peace with our choice to homeschool;)
This fall, i will have a grade 6, grade 4, grade 2, kindergarten, *and* a crazy little mollen running around. *smile*
i'm not a great teacher, but i really love having my littles at home. i love that they're different than most littles. i love that we read great books together. i love that they're friends with each other. i love the flexibility, and the creativity that comes with homeschooling. i do love being a momma & i guess a big part of homeschooling for me is that homeschooling is a natural extention of motherhood.
i've got math for all of them figured out ~ but not a ton else. i usually make an order from sonlight... My first couple of years (with *one* homeschooling) i was so organized & made sure every t was crossed & every i dotted. Now, i feel like i need to get organized like that again, but i have no idea how to do it with 5 children. Maybe i should go rummage through my papers & find my vision statement & goals i made for my littles way back when Cai started. i'll post them later if i can find them:) Gotta go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My mom's coming to see us again. She said we can just sit & cry together if i want. :) There's a mom for you, eh?
i finished my George MacDonald book. He's one of those authors who's story line is secondary to the *ideas* he's trying to convey. His biggest idea is changing the way we see God. Here's a few little quotes from the book that don't touch too much on his picture of God, but that stuck out to me:)

"But he is there for those that seek him, not for those who do not look for him. Until they do, all he can do is to make them feel the want of him."

"But I would always rather read an old book than a new one. And then books get so changed by printers and editors. You can never tell how faithful they have been to the author's original intent. It takes an editor who really knows and loves his subject to do a book justice."

(about the 'pastor') "To work thus, he had to lay bare his own feelings; where it was brotherly to show feeling, he counted it unchristian to hide it."

"A fellow was not bound, he said, to insist on his rights."

Yeah, i know, it would be better in context. :) Anyway, it's getting late in the morning & i need to be doing more schooling, less typing.

Monday, April 9, 2007

So, what it truly comes down to is this: Is God Good?
There's really only 3 options. There's a God ~ He's not Good. There's no God ~ either good or evil. There is a God ~ and God is Good.
If i choose to believe (as i do) that there is a perfect God who loves me (and whom i love) ~ how can i doubt that all that He does is right? How can i question His sovereignty?
We look at all the evil and corruption and hurt and pain in the world and i think sometimes we doubt where we should not. (This lie is really not original to our generation, right? i mean, the original lie to Adam and Eve was to doubt God's goodness, wasn't it?). Could He not have a greater purpose than i can fathom? i'm reading a book by George MacDonald right now & he says (something like): Could not God have something greater for His people than their own happiness?
Sometimes feeling this way has made it hard for me to pray. How do i pray and ask for things from a Father who is perfect? Do i just pray, "do it Your way, Father." i've come to the conclusion that God isn't offended by my asking Him to spare me pain. When Jesus was praying in the garden, he asked three times that if God were willing, to have the cup of suffering taken from him.
Yet, not my will, Father, but yours be done.

Friday, April 6, 2007

~bit of a whirlwind...
My doctor phoned me last night at 5pm & said she was going to try to get me in asap, (didn't want me to wait the weekend ~ honestly, i didn't either, i've been feeling really poorly). She said maybe they could get me in tomorrow morning & i thought we can make that work (it's Good Friday, so Neil would be home). She phones me back at 6pm & says the gynecologist on call thinks i should come in tonight & she agrees. i told her Neil was out of town till late but i'd try to make arrangements... (i was getting kind of nervous looking after the littles & feeling the way i did. i had given Cai the emergency numbers to call just in case anything happened to me). So, i called some new friends we'd made at the church and they came over & took me to the hospital & left their daughters here to babysit for me. We had to wait once i was admitted because i had eaten. i finally got ahold of Neil before i got taken in for surgery. He said he'd come as fast as he could (he doesn't take his phone in business meetings... *sigh*).
i had good edifying company visiting with the friends who brought me to the hospital, but i just talked and smiled and tried to put on a good front to cover several things... (my embarrassment? my neediness? my sadness? ~ guess it's just really hard to let everything hang out in real life).
Finally at around 10:30? they wheeled me in for surgery... Neil still hadn't arrived & i was sure wishing he had.
So, i was lined up for surgery in my gurney behind an old man who was getting cataract surgery. (Kept claiming he hadn't signed any forms).
He had a thick german accent & the nurse helping him had a thick french accent. So she says "do you have all your own teeth?" & he says "feet??!" "no, your teeth".. "my feet??" "No, sir, your TEETH" (she says pointing to her own teeth... ummm, *editor's note* he has gauze covering his eyes....) "my own FEET???" (this goes on and on) ~ finally, my doctor arrives asks me, "where's your chart?" (how should i know?) He searches around for it & finds in on the german man's gurney. i say, "he probably wouldn't have been impressed" (the doctor howled).
Haha, now you'll say i'm punishing random men (those of you who thought i was punishing Neil in the ultrasound post), but i'm not. That really happened.
The doctor was really kind. Before the surgery when he came to talk to me i said, "i know this is routine to you..." & he goes, "but you're scared & you want me to be careful. i promise i will take care."
Anyway, i had never been 'knocked out' before... when i came to, i remember i was crying and asking to nurse the baby? i must have been confused. Maybe because childbirth has been my only experience with hospitals... maybe because i was aching so much ~ i don't know, but when i realized what i was saying, i cried even more & i was embarrassed... My throat was so sore i could hardly croak, but i wanted Neil... he hadn't arrived yet. i told the nurses i didn't want our friends to come see me. i just wanted to wait for neil. He finally arrived & they let me go around 12:30.
Today i'm home ~ & recovering. By the time i got to the hospital last night, i had a fever, so i know that this was the route i needed to take.
Gotta go.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Waiting for a phone call from someone to tell me when i have to get that nasty surgery. Lots of moms say that i'll feel better... oh, i'm so hoping to. This is maybe too much information, but when my doctor phoned me yesterday, she said the reason the surgical d&c is unavoidable is because it's been almost 6 weeks since babe was delivered & my cervix is closed & she says there is not much chance of me being able to deliver what's in there on my own. She had originally said if there was a problem we could consider the surgical or chemical d&c, but the u/s said there was too much there to consider the chemical d&c ~ i don't know if one would be better than the other anyway.
On top of that i've been feeling terrible physically... (i had a ruptured cyst on my breast, headaches, i'm so tired & maybe only 10 days without bleeding since Feb 23). She thinks all my symptoms are from haywire hormones & bloodloss.
i was telling a friend of mine that it feels like forever since i've felt good & feels like i'll never feel good again.
i'm so glad i've already delivered tiny baby as i can bear making choices that affect my body... & not someone else's.
i'm so beyond disappointed. i want to feel well for my family & i just can't go on feeling like i do... but in so many ways i wish this could be behind me.
i've been emotional & crying & i so wanted to avoid the surgery.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bad news...
Dang. The doctor phoned me this afternoon and it looks like i'm going to have to have the surgical d&c afterall.
i'm so disappointed.
we don't have it scheduled yet.
well, i certainly don't want a doctor to 'humour' me... but if there's something not right, i'd like one to help me get to the bottom of it. Had the u/s in the north east. Neil couldn't make it again. y'know, i would love if God could arrange just a teeny pay back. Like if Neil had to drink several litres of water and then follow a map to a location 30 minutes away in heavy traffic that he's never been to before ~ having to stop and ask directions of several people who don't speak english and finally having to wait in a waiting room while they try to find your referral that hasn't been faxed over. Once at the appointment, Neil could have his full, exploding bladder massaged ruthlessly by man named IGOR who also has difficulty with english (at this point, it would help if Neil were a woman, had his period and 5 small children waiting in the waiting room with several more people who don't speak english). Finally, Neil would be allowed to drain his bladder, and would be told that now they were going to do an internal ultrasound. (i can imagine the look of discomfort on his face). Neil would then be told that he has to undress from the waist down. Then lie on a ramp so his bottom is up in the air (he's lying at about a 60 degree angle with a paper nightgown on) He's at such a steep incline, he'll have difficulty inserting the embarrassing contraption, but he'll manage. After a LONG, embarrassing, examination with a woman "chaperone" (as Igor says)... Neil will be told to put his knees together and HOLD THE CONTRAPTION between his legs while Igor goes to get the radiologist to discuss the results. After several minutes of uncomfortable small talk with the chaperone, Neil might casually inquire (while lying with his bottom in the air with a contraption shoved inside him, in a paper nightgown)... "ummm, when do you think Igor will come back?" the chaperone won't know. so he'll try to avoid eye contact while she quizzes him on his extraordinary family size. Finally, the chaperone (maybe she gets uncomfortable too... Neil's legs are shaking by now) decides to go see where Igor is. They both return several minutes later and Igor says he couldn't find the radiologist, so he will thankfully remove the contraption from between Neil's legs. Several minutes later, Igor leaves the room so Neil could dress and drive home by a different route because there would be an accident on the deerfoot and he would need to phone me for a different way home (i would know how to get home & in the background Neil would be able to hear the clink of cutlery as i'd be eating my lunch). That would be a nice little change of affairs... i wonder if there would be more compassion in the world if men had to endure a fraction of the humiliation we endure.
Honestly, next time my doctor prescribes a medical procedure like this, i'm going to weigh my options. worst case scenario... death? vs. the internal ultrasound? hmmm... it's pretty much a toss up... 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
April already. Certainly doesn't feel like spring. We've been getting a ton of snow.
Physically ~ been having troubles:) i hate to be a whiner 'cause i know my issues are so small compared to what some people live with... but it's hard for wimpy me.
The doctor is sending me for an ultrasound & i got some more bloodwork done. In so many ways, i wish that these physical things i'm going through were behind me. All the little aches and pains of pregnancy are of no consequence when you get a little baby at the end. But to have to go through the pain of losing your wee one~ & then to have physical complications just seems unbearable. & i don't know how much of this post is hormones talking & how much is really me.
Sometimes i feel like i'm stuck reaching back. & i'm going a hundred miles an hour ~ away ~ farther away from my babies. But, Oh, God, by your Goodness alone, i'm working my way towards my little ones & the taste of heaven has sweetened yet again & i rest in the knowledge of your Goodness.
i wonder about You, God. i wonder about the parts & things i don't know or understand. & i want to know You. God, Father, God of Abraham, i want to know You. i don't want to anger You by wondering about untruths, but i don't want to be so stuck to theology that i miss the still small "whisper in the wind".
Gotta go, running out the door to my ultrasound.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

i heard this song today... by Watermark? i'd never heard of them before. My sister sent me a link here and they had this song playing with a beautiful slideshow.

Glory Baby

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…
Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do
Sweet little babies, it’s hard to understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

BRIDGE: I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Some days are just hard.
My dad has a famous saying "P&A, girls!! P&A!"
What's P&A you ask? It's positive & appreciative. It's as ingrained in me as: "perform the first time you're asked... Sloans don't need to be coaxed."
i really do love that about my dad... & i really am positive ~ & so grateful ~ especially to God.
But, like i said, some days are just hard.
More specifically, today is hard.
i don't know why. Maybe 'cause Neil's out of town & i'm lonely. Maybe 'cause it's still too cold to just sit outside. Maybe because my hormones are crazy.
So, today i was thinking about Irena Sendler.
On March 15th, the National Post ran an article titled, "Poland honours woman who saved Jewish children." The story is about a woman, Irena Sendler, who smuggled children out of the Warsaw ghetto during WW2. The article told how she smuggled children out through the sewers, but was eventually caught and tortured. Her arms and legs were broken & yet she still refused to give up any names. (She had buried information about each child she saved to help families reunite after the war). She was sentenced to be executed but friends helped her escape. She was officially listed as dead and she managed to hide for the rest of the war. The article quotes Irena as saying in response to her being honoured for her heroism, "Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory." She said she does not consider herself a heroine. Instead she says, "I still have a bad conscience for having done so little."
i know some people might think that those who lived through the holocaust have more reason to feel guilt for not having done enough. (i still remember that was the feeling expressed at the end of the movie Schindler's List too).
i think our generation is going through the same kind of moral bankruptcy that existed during the second world war & i have a feeling that one day, our generation will echo Irena Sendler's generation, in wishing we hadn't done so little.
So, tonight it's bedtime:) . i spent too much time crying today. Tomorrow, i'm going to keep on with the work He gave me to do. It might not be as dangerous as Irena Sendler's ~ & i might not accomplish it as bravely as she did, but at the very least, when i'm tried, i want to be found faithful. i've got 5 little ones that God has asked me to try to "smuggle out through the sewers". (At least it feels like that to me sometimes~ especially today as i read about the guy who got 6 and a half months in jail for importing child pornography into Canada ~ with images of children as young as tiny one year olds being molested... imo, people like "Enrique Devarona" should be castrated at the very least, not given a slap on the wrist like 6.5 months ).
God, give me the wisdom & perseverance to keep going. When i feel sad, defeated, tired & as dumb as a sack of hammers. Help me see the importance of being a good wife and mother & act accordingly.

Monday, March 26, 2007

waiting for baby Hope

so long between posts, i forgot my info again... had to try about 300 different passwords etc.. to get in here.. Maybe i should write that stuff down instead of trying to rely on my pea brain.

So, haven't posted...
needed to post...
i lost another sweet baby.

i hadn't really been shouting to the world my beautiful news ~ that we were expecting another little one first week of September, & before the word even really got out there, babe had gone.
i really want to post a bit of this journey... but i've been putting it off a bit. i guess waiting to see if it will stop feeling like a gaping wound... waiting to know what to write ~ what to hide... So, here goes... i will start & post some of my emails & thoughts & journalings from the life of this little baby who we named "Hope". i'm including only my emails... just to warn that it might sound confusing at times because my emails are usually responding to something someone said to me... i just didn't think it would be fair to post other people's emails... even tho many of them are just so beautiful & powerful...

Maybe it sounds trite, but i mean it when i say may God be glorified by this little life that has so deeply and profoundly changed mine.

People ask me how i knew... i don't know. Maybe it was God. Mother's intuition. Both. i woke up on February 12th and cried. i knew that this little one's life here on earth was over... & i broke. i called the doctor & she scheduled an ultrasound. Neil was out of town. in that dark little ultrasound room as the minutes ticked by & the ultrasound tech who had promised to tell me if she could see a heartbeat remained silent, i let the tears fall... and fall... & He was there...

February 14th 2007 ~

i know you're not even home to get this...
i can't sleep...
mom, i can't even put into thoughts let alone words how i feel...
i prayed last night for God to give this little life back to me.
i remember i regretted not doing that with Caleb.
i regretted letting them take him from my body too...
& now i don't know if my body will know what to do...
they want to do a d&c. it feels so wrong to both neil & i. he wants me to wait...
mom, i loved this tiny little person... this little one changed the fabric of who i am irreversibly... & now that they're gone... i feel so broken. i can't stop crying.
i spent some time this morning worshipping.
i think God prepared me for today ~ i had dreams. i dreamt i was holding 2 babies and i was standing by a long sad tunnel. it was covered with rocks and grass & i knew the tunnel was grief. i could see a dim light i thought way far off, but the darkness was so daunting, & it looked so long, i didn't want to go in. That was the end of the dream. i wanted the dream to be just my psycho self, but i know it wasn't. & i just knew that something didn't feel right... that's why i went to the doctor. this morning as i was singing & crying ~ the line from the song that kept coming back to me was "we want to see Jesus lifted high, a banner that flies across this land. that all men might see the truth and know that he is the way to heaven"...
when i was in the clinic & i knew she wasn't finding a heartbeat, there was a song on the radio "in the arms of an angel"...
mom, i wonder what heaven is like... what are my little ones doing without me...
i want this baby to have a name. i can't think of a name that is perfect.
i'm so tired... & i ache. my head hurts from crying.
i don't want to be here.
i wish you were home.
i know you can't carry me... but i miss you tonight...
it just hurts so badly...

Feb 15th
i don't know if you all even knew we were expecting a little one the first week of september, but i know some of you do & i know the ones that love me will want to know that our little one has gone on to be perfected in heaven.
something didn't feel quite right to me so i went to the doctor and they scheduled an ultrasound yesterday and it confirmed that our little one had died.
please pray for me... this was a much anticipated life in our home & i am feeling pretty broken. pray that my body will know what to do and i won't need medical intervention (i'm 11 weeks). pray that my heart will heal.
if you can, remember me in september too, when this little one would have been born. it will also be the tenth anniversary of our son we lost.

romans 8:22-27 ~ sloanie asked if we can name this baby 'hope'...
feel free to forward this to anyone i might have missed...

Feb 16

mom, i know you're still not home.
i just don't know how to just keep on.
pretending that everything is normal.
& i know people say i don't have to pretend...
but littles need breakfast & to be taken to swimming
traffic needs to be driven through
littles need mama to be able to get out of bed &
stop crying &
make it through the day
when daddy's at work.
i know i regretted letting them take caleb,
& i keep telling my body that it's ok to let go.
but i'm afraid that my body won't let go.
i feel like i'm going to be stuck in this purgatory forever.
a purgatory between hell and another hell...
neil bought me something to help me sleep last night... & that helped
jessie sent me art, flowers
and stephanie sent me music...
beautiful things...
my littles put up scripture verses all over my doorframe...
i just want to shut myself up in my room
till baby comes
and not look at the world
and not be a part of the world

Feb 17
my appointment for consult is wednesday ~
it will have been one week.
neil and i have talked about it & we want to not use herbal or anything for now.
when i've been praying about it, it seems like God is not giving me the whole picture, just the next step.
the next step is waiting till wednesday.
i thought maybe God would let me have baby today ~ caleb's due date...
God is here...

oh, becky~
here i am... waiting for this little one ~ who is already gone ~ to be born.
i've had no cramping,
no spotting...
i've been praying & i don't have peace about letting them take baby.
i believe God is in control...
i just don't know if i have the strength to wait it out.
& yet, it's what i feel like i'm supposed to do.
i wrote a song...

here i am stuck in this place
oh how i need amazing grace
a soldier battle weary worn
i'm aching for a glimpse of morning
oh Holy Spirit rain down on me
oh Holy Spirit rain down over me,

God is here
God is here
my life is not my own,
this earth is not my home,
God is here

The Hope i carried is not gone,
i'll trust in you till life is done
Through clouded glass i dimly see
reflections of eternity
oh Holy Spirit rain down on me
oh Holy Spirit rain down over me,

God is here
God is here
my life is not my own
this earth is not my home
oh, God is here.

a gift from caleb...
that with this little one, it took me a much shorter time to see the *blessing* through the pain...

i think the reason i want to let them give me the surgery to take the baby is because i want to hurt and bleed too...
i've been praying and i have no peace about getting the d&c.
i'm going to go for the consult & neil's going with me... on wednesday.
but i think we're going to wait & let God take our baby when it's His time.
the more days that separate me from february 14th, the more that i feel this way.
i've been thinking about waiting for a set time before getting the surgery, but i'm starting to feel like who am i to put a time table on this...
& i know so many people say "just do it, you'll end up with one anyway" & maybe that's true, but i just don't have peace...
it's a medical intervention that i know i don't need yet... & just because i might need it, is not reason enough to have it done now.
& i know people say to get it done so you can grieve ~ but i'm learning daily to grieve in the midst of the storm... i don't need to be out of it to grieve... & maybe this is all a part of the process that God has for me.
i wish so bad that you were home...
i know you must be praying for us wherever you are today...

Feb 18

A vigil (from the Latin vigilia, 'wakefulness') is a period of sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching or observance.
i'm home today... neil took everyone to church...
i noticed that the world didn't come to a crashing halt...
but neil and i have decided that it's ok that mine has... understanding i still have to care for my littles & be a mom ~ but i feel that this is a time for a vigil... i am waiting for this little one to come... and pressing in to the Father...
God keeps leading me back again and again to that passage in Romans...
"we know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies, For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit interceded for the saints in accordance with God's will."

i've had no signs of my body letting this little one go.
neil and i have decided to take it one day at a time.
if he has to go out of town, i'll call you to come & be with me... but for now, he'll only be a phone call away...
maybe the nurse at the clinic will be able to guess how long we will be waiting.
harvey and marion will be here for next weekend.
it's hard~
cause nobody can help you *wait*...
nobody can help you *grieve*
nobody can take away the gaping hole in your heart
mom always says that "loneliness is God's invitation"...
this is sort of a lonely... solitary time...
& that's ok... i accept the invitation...

i stayed at home and downloaded music...
i started a little file of things i want to keep.
uncle john wrote me and said he still has his little shoebox with kelsy's things in it that he just moved with his most recent move...
i know i've gone back again and again to my little baby book i kept for caleb.
maybe someday you girls can come and help me get all these memories in a book for baby hope.
the only people we told at church that we were expecting were ben and karen.. so neil told them today... & i guess charter told his sunday school class that his baby died... after church, ben & karen showed up at the house with flowers and supper for us... they're so thoughtful...
i went upstairs and hid.

thank you jess...
these are a lot of the things that i was thinking about that i haven't really put into words... if you have more advice or ideas... please send them.. don't worry about it being too much or hurting me... i think i'm just aching for someone *to* talk to me... about this... & just keep talking... 'cause sometimes it feels like i'm in prison & need some visitors...
i've been praying about it and haven't really talked to neil about it, but am feeling like i am getting direction to let neil be my covering. He is really encouraging me to wait right now, and i feel like i can listen to his calm reasoning and i can trust where he leads in this...
i do know that here in calgary their procedure is to do the general anaesthesia... that's what i would rather have if this is the procedure i have to have. i think also with waiting a month, my uterus would have risen (if there is a living baby, my uterus should have risen this week already... i will be even more sure as each week goes by and there are no physical changes...) i'll ask about the hcg 'cause i hadn't thought about that... just about requesting another u/s... which is hard... 'cause they have to do the internal... & it's just hard & emotional...
i'm also reading that 6 weeks is dangerous... i'm not sure if it is... & i'm trying not to make any decisions based on fear... but i want to take care of my body & my uterus... & like neil said to me, it's like figuring out the safest way to have a car crash...

Feb 19
u/s measurements were pretty right on for dates... they didn't tell me exactly the w & days, (i'm going to ask to see the u/s report) i did ask how big the baby was & he said "how far along are you? yeah, that's about right"
it's hard to think of the right questions to ask when everything's happening so fast... & i was alone... & the littles were alone... & i was crying...
but i think it happened on sunday night or monday morning. sunday night i felt kind of blue... but monday i woke up & felt my tummy & started to cry.... if i'm right, baby hope died at 10w 3days... i found out for sure 2 days later (on wednesday)... the doctor who helped the technician did say that i was farther along than most women who this happens to... i wonder why? i wonder why caleb was so far along too? He said by far most are 6 weeks... i noticed that's what most of the women were saying on that site i sent you... mostly quite early... i wonder if that will make a difference?
as i was driving to the airport, the thought crossed my mind "i'm going to hate february"... & then just as fast, i thought... no i don't... & my littles love valentines day... there's no reason to hate...
i've been thinking about your idea of a birth plan, jess...
neil has to go out to see a friend & then he has a work emergency, so has to go to work today (family day) so maybe i will work on that today...

i feel like everyone sent their 'sorry for your loss' & now... life goes on... & i'm here.... & my life can't / won't ever go on the same... everything changed again & the baby isn't coming... & i'm hurting... & i'm lost.... nobody's trying to hurt me... but please don't forget me... i need someone to "watch and pray" with me... i know it's only been days, but all i see ahead of me is a road that could be unbearably long... and painful and uncertain... what if there's something wrong with my body? what if i can't have babies anymore because i wait to get the surgery? what if i can't have babies anymore because i get the surgery? i think i "get" why that tunnel was so daunting in my dream...

Birth Plan for Hope Beselt
none of this is my plan, God...
my plan begins with a healthy pink babe... born in the wee hours of a september morning... a gleeful momma & a proud daddy...
but if not...
if this is where we're to be,
then God, i would love to have this baby sooner than later... each day waiting is long and painful... while the end result remains the same...
but if not...
if we need to go through this waiting for some purpose that is beyond what i can see or understand...
then God, i would love to have this baby ~ after our waiting vigil is over ~ in an uncomplicated birth at home... surrounded by the love of my husband... & we can grieve in peace...
but if not...
if this birth is complicated, please give us direction & protect my womb... & my body as i deliver this little one who is precious in your sight...
but if not...
if we need medical intervention,
then God, please let me be taken to a place where they will understand that this little one was a longed for child... where life is valued and precious... let them understand that & be compassionate & care for my grieving heart as well as my body that needs care...
but if not...
if i'm taken to a place where they don't understand & where they don't know You...
protect me... & please preserve me from needing a d&c...
but if not...
if i need the d&c...
God, please protect my body... preserve my womb.
but if not,
if my womb is lost...
protect my life so that i can nurture my other little ones...
but if not...
if like in Daniel... i get thrown in the "fiery furnace"...
the God i serve is able to save me from it... and He can rescue me from my enemy's hand... but even if He does not... i want my enemy to know... that i will worship no other...
There is comfort in the fact that ~as mom reminded me when i grieved for caleb's lost body... that the baby we longed for is not there... hope and caleb are both safe at home... nothing that happens here can change that...

i don't know anyone else who has gone this route...
of knowing & waiting...
most of my friends who have had miscarriages started with bleeding...
at this point, i'm thinking that would be easier ~
what do i know...
i would like advice or help, ideas... from other women who have experienced a "delayed miscarriage"... but maybe i am focusing too much on the delay because that's where i am right now... maybe i need to ready myself for the baby's birth too (i hate those words... miscarriage... missed abortion... embryo... ) i wrote to that lady whose information you sent me ~ i'll let you know if she writes me back...
i'm thankful i have time to think a bit... but it's hard, 'cause there's so much emotion, grief, hurt, pain... that i'm not sure if i'm having any rational thoughts anyway...

Feb 20th
i've had a horrible headache yesterday and today... and a stomach ache that i'm sure wasn't just my mind (not cramps... just pain radiating into my back)...
neil is being very conscious about making good decisions for us... i told him last night that he is a good man... that lots of men would just want everything over with & opt for the surgery ~ even if it's not the best choice... he said he lost me for 6 years after we did the induction last time... he didn't... but maybe that's how it felt to him... :(

thank you for that article.. it was really good... i loved that quote from Gary Haugen : "When disaster happens, I've ceased to ask 'Where is God?' and begun to ask 'Where are God's people?'" (& even in my own hurt... i want to be recognized as one of His own... )

i remember really being hit one time by the realization of what we're *not* promised... God keeps his word... He didn't promise nothing would hurt... ever...
i know that song by keith green Pledge My Head To Heaven might sound like bravado... but i think the line "i'm gonna count all things lost"... is where we're at sometimes... sometimes all else is lost... but He remains...

Feb 21
today i had a 9am appointment at the "early loss clinic".
it has been one week since the ultrasound confirmed that our little one has died...
i've had no signs of miscarriage.
the r n that i spoke with was very compassionate and also very encouraging and supportive of our decision to wait and hope that this much longed for child will come on it's own time.
my husband spends at least a week every month on the road (he's in sales) and says he can't be at home waiting for the next 2 or more months for babe to come, & yet we are both certain that this is where God wants us to be right now... i am confident He will give us the next step as we need it...
Every morning is heartbreak again...
& yet, even last night as we were talking about this baby ~ & my longing to hold another wee one in my arms, my husband reminded me (again...) that this baby is a *blessing* and a *gift* and that we are forever changed by these wee ones who have touched our lives and left their tiny fingerprints all over our hearts...
~ i wrote something yesterday that i will send in... maybe it will resonate with someone who has walked a road they wished they didn't have to be on...

God, keep me grateful
show me how to live my life ~ in these days ~ with gratitude...
help me see Your Purpose...
i know you've got me here for a reason...
i know you haven't forgotten me here.
these days, i've been thinking that physical pain would just be so much better...
is it that i'm not willing to let go?
i'm trying to...
every morning i wake up to realize that i'm still here...
every morning my heart breaks again,
as i realize my body isn't nourishing and growing this child...
my body is carrying the little body that you knit together in the secret place...
and sometimes i feel like the load is too heavy...
like i might break under the weight of it...
Oh, but God,
in these walls,
i've felt you here.
i've felt the warmth and peace that your presence brings.
i've felt you drawing me in...
i've felt you holding... carrying... lifting me.
i will praise you when i wake in the morning...
i will praise you for your faithfulness...
i will praise you in the evenings... when sleep won't come... and my mind won't stop...
i will make a choice to praise you...
i praise you through the tears...
i praise you through the pain...
i know you've taken what i've lost...
and saved what i could not...
i praise you in the present
because i know you hold the future...

Feb 23
oh, jamie...
your post just echos my heart... right down to the stomach ache, headache, annoying (sez i) hubby and spotting...
i'm so sad you're here & yet, i'm feel like i'm reaching out in this dark scary place and there's someone else there in the dark with me...
i'm still here too... i can't help but believe God's got His hand in the timing of our wee one's births, jamie... there's something that we're not seeing here... He's not a mean and malicious God... He's Love... and He hasn't forgotten us... i wish i could tell you when why and how... but right now he's asking us to believe without seeing... to trust without knowing... to hope for Glory when pain and hurt seem to overwhelm... He loves you so, jamie...
((( hugs )))
much love,
The bible describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith is as impossible to see with earthly eyes as the tiny fingerprints my babies left all over my heart.

Feb 26th
Hope Delivered
1. To bring or transport to the proper place or recipient
2. To surrender (someone or something) to another; hand over
3. To secure (something promised or desired)
a. To give birth to: She delivered a baby boy this morning.

8. To give forth or produce
9. To set free, as from misery, peril, or evil: deliver a captive from slavery. See Synonyms at save1.
1. To produce or achieve what is desired or expected; make good

the honour to bear you in pain, little one...
baby hope was delivered at 5am Monday February 26th.
perfect tiny hands and feet, with tiny fingers and toes...
not "tissue" ~
but a wee, created in the image of God miracle...
what a blessing to see ~ to hold ~ and to say goodbye...
hope was delivered.
not just from my body...
delivered from a world where we only see through clouded glass
to a heavenly realm where hope can see face to face...
delivered from an imperfect family
to the presence of the perfect Father
delivered from a tiny imperfect broken body
to a body perfected by the author and *finisher*
delivered from a *hope*
to the completion of a *promise*

praise God from whom all blessings flow
praise Him all creatures here below
praise Him above ye heavenly hosts...


Feb 27
before we knew about hope, you asked me when caleb was born & i didn't know the day ~ other than the first week of September. it was september 3... i was looking at his baby book today...
i didn't even want to show hope's body to anyone... not even neil... but he wanted to see...
so i showed him...
so wee.
he couldn't believe how much bigger caleb was... & how much a tiny one can grow in such a short time...
i looked at the baby again after we got home from the hospital...
i was trying to be so gentle the first time, i didn't get to see tiny feet...
the first time i saw tiny wee fingers...
then when i went back and looked, his little legs were not tucked up anymore and i could see a wee tiny foot... so small, i can't even explain how tiny... & the toes were no more than grains of salt.
i thought caleb was so tiny...

steph, ... i know i had way less blood clots with Caleb than with hope. i don't know why... his birth was easier too... maybe because i was induced? i know i was hospitalized with both because of blood loss... i did pass out with caleb too and end up in the hospital, but it was 2 days later... i passed out in a restaurant bathroom and Neil had to come find me and carry me out & to the hospital... i'm still really dizzy today... can't stand much. beg ~~~ to be gentle with her body... spend time holding and loving on her other babies too...
i know God led us to wait & let babe come on his own timing this time... & every step of the way, i've felt his hand guiding...
since babe's birth, He's been silent...
i've been crying out... & there is no answer.
i don't know why...

today we went to the funeral home.
neil said it was sad when he filled out the paperwork and it hit him when he had to fill in 'relationship to the deceased' & he had to write father... he said it hit him that he's the dad... that this was his little baby too... the man was incredibly kind and understanding. i'm so grateful to God for surrounding us with people who are helping us make good choices...
when we left, i finally felt peace.
we talked about scattering babe's ashes...
we were both thinking casaloma ~ but neil said it first...
mom ~ i love the idea of a memorial bench...
neil and i talked about them last summer & thought it was a beautiful idea.
i hate the idea of planting a tree ~ & seeing it die...
or moving away...
neil took everyone to gymnastics and i ache too much to write more...
much love,

dear haven,
i made the little silver angel with the word 'hope' engraved on the back into a little necklace and i've been wearing it every day... when i found out that my little one had gone to heaven, i heard a song on the radio in the doctor's office and it was "in the arms of an angel" do you think little hope is in the arms of an angel tonight? thank you for your gift and for your note.
Wyatt, thank you for your note too. i am so glad to know that you and your family have been praying for us all... we are all very sad. The bible talks about the Holy Spirit being our comforter... we sure need Him here now.
Carrie, thank you for the box of special things you put together with your mom. that was very helpful to cairo too ~ as she is really hurting too. she used some of those things to put on a spa for her gammie because cairo feels better when she is blessing someone else. Your gift was very thoughtful, and i thank you and your family for praying for us too.
auntie loves you all very much ~
auntie paige

“Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak
whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.”

~William Shakespeare~

March 5
February was a *hard* month...
i'm just tired... & sad... it's amazing how hard you're able to push for the sake of your anxious little girls to put a smile on & to dance with them in the kitchen & talk about 'fluff' because you see they need you right now... but i never feel like i'm doing a good enough job... school has been going along... but really spotty...
my mom & dad are doing the most beautiful thing for us...
we lost a son 4 months into my pregnancy almost 10 years ago...
Like Kim in 3hills said ~ you never forget ~ & this little guy had a huge impact on our lives & forever changed me as a wife & mom (& person)...
My mom & dad have offered to buy a 'memorial bench' in memory of our 2 little babies that went 'home' early. We asked them to put it in Kelowna ~ because we'll always go back there & it's where our story started & it's such a beautiful place.
i'm grateful that you all have been praying for us.
God has been faithful & present...
much love,

now to trust Him...
i have a hard time opening up my cupboard in the morning. Since i lost Hope, i don't even want to take my iron... & i look at my bvitamins & my folic acid & i just can't.
Neil is the same as he was after we lost Caleb...
quick, let's get pregnant so you won't hurt anymore... & it's just not like that for me (or probably for most women)...
Sloanie's pregnancy was *emotional* & what a sweet treasure she is... but the *fear* is so hard to get around... & i'm not guaranteed a healthy baby just because after i lost Caleb, i had 4 normal pregnancies...
i told mom that *this* is an easier place to be than 6 months ago before Neil had his reversal... & it's true... both places are painful... but here at least, i feel like the control is back where it's supposed to be....
i have to go read with Peyton. there is so much in my heart right now... uncertainty... hurt... maybe fear too...
i want to be tried & found faithful... but it's easier to accept each gift & blessing from God than it is to allow Him to take those sweet blessings home early... i hear of those women who have lost 12 babies & i don't think i could survive... i'm just barely treading water as it is...
gotta go

March 6
Our little one came on monday feb. 26th... did i already tell you that?
i've been writing a lot ~ it's been very healing for me... & i wrote a little 'birth announcement. did i already send it to you? i'll send it to you & if i already sent it, you can delete.
physically i'm doing ok... i ended up in the hospital as i passed out at the end ~ had nothing left i guess. i saw that you called & i know i'm a horrible friend ~ but having trouble answering the phone... hiding behind my computer is so much easier for me.
God has been very *present* and faithful... & i am so grateful for your prayers.
The littles have been so sad (especially Cai who was so excited about this baby) ~
Neil has been good ~ but it's been hard on him & then the added stress that he hates his job has been just too much for him.
This sounds like a really depressing email ~ but it's not... it's like that poem about the tapestry where we only see the underside, but God is doing something amazing...

March 13

we had our little baby on Feb 26th... it was *hard*... physically, emotionally... i ended up in the hospital as i passed out (from blood loss?) at the end, but i had already had the baby & what a blessing to get to see & hold my little one. so tiny... unbelievable God's creation. God is good & He's been so present & faithful... the pain, sorrow & grief are very real... but i want to be able to let God work through all that to finish what He's started.
My empty arms sure do ache... & thinking ~ "i should be this far along now"...
My mom & dad have offered to do the most beautiful thing for us...
They are buying a "memorial bench" in Kelowna (it's one of our favourite places & it's where we met & married) for our two little ones who "went home early". Our son, (who we lost almost 10 years ago) we named Caleb, & this little baby, Sloanie named "Hope" for Hopeful in Little Pilgrim's Progress. We ended up getting baby cremated & have decided to scatter babe's ashes there...

i'm amazed at the amount of silence surrounding miscarriage...
it leads young girls to make choices that go against all our little mother hearts...
God, help us see life ~ your gift ~ as precious. Help erase the hurts that abortion has wrought. Give us the courage to speak about our precious babies... Even when others might mock our pain ~ or rub salt in our wounds ~ intentionally or otherwise. God, i see the ugly fruit of abortion in the lack of compassion for mothers who lose their precious longed for children in the womb. i see the ugly fruit in the terminology "tissue", "products of conception". Even "embryo" and "fetus" seem to take away from the tiny person who was and forever will be a part of our family. i see the ugly fruit in the *silence* that most women suffer their grief and pain in. i see ugly fruit in the shame that women feel in wanting something better than a d&c for their tiny lost babies. I see ugly fruit in the myth that "there's nothing to see... nothing to bury... nothing to grieve"...
Oh, God, let Your healing begin. Give me courage to bear my broken heart. Help me be willing to speak Your Truth. Help me see through my own pain to Your Heart. If it's your will for my wounds to remain open, and bleeding... help me be willing. if it's your will for me to allow other to see my private personal pain... help me be willing. Let Your Will be done in my life and my family.

mom & i talked about the bench & i thought you all might like to know that the inscription we decided on is this:

each fragile life, a gift
caleb 09/97 + hope 02/07
nothing shall separate us

i hope you all get the chance to see it one day... depending on where it gets placed, it might not be up till next september (2008)... but till then, i can think about it & know that this marker will stand in memory of my little ones... such a blessing.
Thank you so much, mom & dad...


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