Friday, May 1, 2015

Her little eyes are resting!

E sleeping has become one of my favorite times to watch her; mainly because I am exhausted the rest of the day from trying to "watch" her. Lately, the trend of putting her to bed means she is near me, laying in her bed or mine - we talk and she slowly drifts to sleep! The other night I was putting her to bed, she sweetly says "Mommy, I love you" I remind her I love her - she gently closes her eyes and in that moment, as weird as this sounds I saw her 25 year old self. Somehow she looked so grown to me, tears filled my eye, even writing this now I have tears. All of the sudden I wanted to cling to that moment, she is 3, she will be 3 forever, 25 wont come, but it will. I felt it. I wanted time to literally stop. My darling is growing, she is changing, she is little, but not for long enough to satisfy my heart, at least not in that moment. Night after night I look at her, since that moment passed... Some nights she looks like a little girl, clinging to her momma for the attention she needs, as being a big sissy means giving up some of "our" time. Some nights, she is independent and lays in her bed alone, waving bye to me, as if me walking 10 feet requires a good-bye. Some nights, like now, she is laying on my legs as I type - she fell asleep in my presence, just for nearness sake and because she didn't want to be alone in her room. Her little eyes are resting now - and I am watching her. Not in "I'll be watching you" by The Police way, but in a "I am your momma, I love you, I cherish you, I treasure you little, I anticipate you growing, I am holding onto you, I am here, My daughter, My darling, Stay close." and she does, for now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MotherDaughter

Fact 1: When my armpits stink, they smell exactly like my mothers. Interesting right? More interesting is why I know the smell of my mom armpits, but in fact, tonight I smelled "her" when in fact I was the one stinking.... So this is life of Mothers and Daughters, you absolutely best and worst rolled into one another. Tonight as we were making our way home from E's game, baby is screaming because he hates the car and wants to nurse, E is screaming because well, because she is 3 and that seems to be her norm lately.. Best way to not freak out in a moment like that.. Listen to worship music and say nothing! I win this one, it didn't feel like a win, but I won. I kept my cool, more on that later!

Lately, life has been absolutely, positively, completely... indescribable, and not because it is so good. It's because I cant even begin to explain what is going on. Today my chest was heavy all morning, tears as I was driving around, running errands, seeking the solace of my moms company for lunch. The idea that at any moment, I am going to break, helpless to make a positive change because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I am a confused mother, frustrated!
How do you help your daughter who is just like you, her mother? She IS just like me, should that not make life easy as pie, I mean who knows ME better than ME? (Answer: God). All her fun sassiness, her humor, her extreme energy, she is the me wish I was all the time when it comes her to positive characteristics. E is loving, compassionate, perfectly feisty, friendly, and loves others. I know that God gifted her those things, as He did to me (wow, I sound so vain right now). BUT, she is also the worst of me... I don't want to flaunt our flaws but they begin with a strong will that won't let go. Her likeness to me makes me think I should understand her more, and be more aware and able to handle her behaviors. I tell myself, how would I want someone to deal with me in this situation? What would have worked to help me do better? I come up blank... Or when I come up with some great logic, it is lost on her - because she is 3. I absolutely don't think it's an excuse - she gets plenty of consequences, but they are often ineffective or the effect is extremely short term. Today I was at the end of my ability to deal.. and then the kids are screaming in the car. Losing at this mom thing was on the horizon for me. I have felt so done, I knew I could not give up on my kids, but I was somehow accepting that I could not win! And if I could not win then our future was bleak at best. "Just give me a vacation!!!" was the cry of my head, "I need an out for now, time to regroup!" I am about to lose it - I decide to worship, and like I said I somehow won. Here is why...

Awesome timing on songs always gets me in those moments of utter chaotic insanity. Mandisa's "Overcomer" came on and I remember, vividly, driving to work singing that song in the midst of my heartache over the loss of our children in these past years. Crying tears of sadness, feeling like I would never overcome those trying times, fearing another lost baby. Yet, tonight as I am stressing out, listening to two children literally screaming, suddenly I hear "God is holding you right now" and a feeling of thankfulness swept over me. Thinking that the baby screaming is the baby I longed for while wailing that song out all that time ago, and then the reason my 3 years old is having emotional, transitional issues is because of that very little baby, I have everything I longed for. Never did I picture it like this, it is a much poetic and lovely looking picture in my mind, but none the less I got it all - I didn't give up or give in to the lies and loss then, I won - I overcame, it was really a beautiful perspective. It didn't make the car quieter, but my heart became happier to deal with the situation (aka the shreks of children)! I am not sure that I will feel like winner tomorrow much more than I did in the past days, or that I will "win" every battle with my 3 year old self (hehehe), but I will keep tonight in mind. God equipped me to be a mom, today, yesterday and He will again tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Broken and Mended

How could this week have been so mentally challenging. I am not sure why this week all of my grief came to a head, and why my scars, figuratively, began to bleed a little. I am usually a glass-half-full girl, with rose colored glasses on, and that is who I love being. I enjoy finding "joy in the journey" - I absolutely thought I was fine: BUT,

I am extremely hormonal. So worth it, I would want these hormones all over the place, because it means I just had a baby - whom I adore!

I went back to work, which was an unexpected blessing, but going in I absolutely didn't know how I was going to feel.

I realized how much I miss my "old" life. Yet, knowing I am in the best place possible to live in obedience to the Lord and enjoy the reality I get to give my children a legacy of faith and family because we are so close to experience our families faith in our daily lives! (I just got this tidbit of truth put into me this morning at church and I needed it)

I don't know how to word this last challenge - Jackson is so valued to me, because of the time and loss we endured before he arrived. Yet, he doesn't replace what we lost - and feeling as though I suddenly can't hold onto my loss so tightly, because I have a child to celebrate, is tough. For the past two and a half years, the loss became a part of me. The broken part of me from that time in our lives, I still feel the impact of that pain. Now, I felt healing before Jackson came, but it is a scar; a scar that is tender to the touch. I felt healed in the waiting and it wasn't because I had any assurance of a child to come. In fact, many days I tried to accept that Elizabeth could be our only earthly child. Yet, when I prayed I knew God wanted obedience in my faith, and for me to know He didn't have to fulfill His promise of another child by my standards. I just knew He wanted us to have another child, whether it was a child to keep here or there. Today, we are on the other side of that obedience, we have a child and I don't feel that God has in any way "rewarded" me with a baby, but by making me obey Him, and His having our best in His sight - we have been given Jackson, for the glory of His kingdom.

Whew, okay I re-read those words like three times, I want this written right..
My prayer has changed for our family and for our children, I see them as purposed for God and His glory more than ever. I see our story, Gods plan, as purposed for His kingdom, for His glory - to stand beside the wounded (those who will have a scar like mine in time).

This week God put me face-to-face with each of my pains, I was not ready to face them, but there they were to remind me of when I was broken. To remind me what being mended feels like, how scars feel. I most definitely can't go back, but I have been broken and mended, I have scars!

There are struggles to come, and they are for other reasons then life and loss. I will break again, be mended again, and gain new scars. I pray I won't forget God faithfulness in my past, so I will live in hope during the times of trial. I will remember to walk with those who hurt and bring them to Hope!

Psalm 116 I choose for Jackson - it is two blogs below this, great reading. In addition, Chase and I are memorizing scriptures each month and I think my next will be this:
Deut. 6:5-9 (my thoughts, for reflection)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children (show them your scars). Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads (remember what the Lord has done for you).Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates"

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

To say I am going to get a Christmas card or a New Years card out this year, would be a lie. I think I am learning to not stress doing everything and just realizing I should do what I can. SO here is the letter I love writing, and packing, and stamping every year but not this year - since my hands are full with a new, cherished son!
Chase and I were discussing this past year and we both said, this was just our best year. I hate to classify a best and rate years, but this one was just so good, so changing, so full of love and excitement. I cant help but say - it was a full, wonderful, and yes, our best yet!
In January we made the choice to purchase Disney Passes. At the time we lived so close to Disney, that we knew we would use them often and we did. We had several fun adventures and short, mini vacations scattered through this past year. E grew and changed so much and experiencing the imagination of a child alongside her, brought about many cherished memories. Grammie and Grampie even joined us on several of our trips, which was fun. 4 or more adults chasing around a 2 year old.... Interesting stuff!
 
 

In April, the biggest surprise came just one day after a very rough day. We had to put our beloved Pippy down because she was very sick. Surprisingly the next day we got the best, most wonderful, amazing news came when we found out we were expecting again..... I seriously remember that moment as if I were a by-stander watching myself find out this news. I definitely cried tears of joy, ugly tears, but joyful ones. Chase was in shock, happy shock, but it was a total surprise - one we wanted; but we just were unsure if another pregnancy, and a successful one at that, was in our future - and it WAS because December 16th our son was born. His birth was beautiful. In the surgery room, they were playing Christmas music, and "Silent Night" was ringing in our ears when he arrived. I immediately burst into tears of joy again. The Dr. said "You must be very happy today." I replied a response, truly from the Holy Spirit, because I have never worded parenting like this, but it was a truth that came and impacted my heart and I repeat to E and J now often; I said "I just feel so privileged to be his mom." It took many of the people in the room back, including myself, one nurse seemed as if she as never heard a parent say that and I could tell they all were sharing in our joy.  Chase was humming "Silent Night" to our son as he held him, it was a perfect moment. A truly perfect moment. A delivery nurse later told Chase how nice it was to see parents who cared and loved so much, just taking in the moment with us. E loves being a big sister and has adjusted very well. We are so proud of her!
 
 
 
 
To be honest, this was a big year - E and I traveled to OR to visit family and enjoy a beautiful wedding! While there, we made some amazing memories, such as my grandparents being able to be with all their Great-Grandchildren. It was a time that will always stay close my heart and I hope more time with West Coast family will be more frequent in the years to come.
 
Then, following up the week of vacation, I returned to news that Chase had been offered a job in the Panhandle. He asked if he could accept it, and after talking about it, we decided it was the right move for us, so we could be closer to family. Chases job has been good to him and I also found a new job I love at a local clothing and dress boutique. It all happened very fast, and it was so hard to leave Clearwater and our family there, we still miss it and each person in our lives there. However, we have enjoyed living closer to family and giving E the chance to get to know her grandparents and especially her great-great grandmother (Granny), who lives close by for visits. In fact, one of my favorite memories of the two of them, happened just a month after moving here. She bonded so quickly to her Granny, that when we attended a family wedding here in the area, the second she saw her Granny, E immediately ran up to her and reached over her walker to hug her. Seeing that reminded me the blessing of living close and helping E gather cherished memories of her Granny. Granny turned 95 this year, so we are so grateful to have this time with her. 



 
Other highlights included:
The funnest, best, baby celebration ever in Clearwater.
 
Joining a new church with our family!!
E starting school and meeting lots of new friends!!! (Her, Chase, and I)

 
Celebrating E's birthday!
 
And kinda meeting Santa....
 


 
This was a special year. A very special one... And E began to understand how generous and loving the Lord is to send Jesus to earth to be our Savior. I was grateful that she understood that Jesus came, and that was why we celebrated Christmas. She has begun to learn scripture verses and loves reading. Chase and I truly are privileged to be parents to E and now J. I am grateful, celebrating a gracious, loving year given from our Lord!
 
 
All our love,
Chase, Rebecca, Elizabeth and Jackson
 

A perfect song....

Psalm 116

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.

I found this scripture right before J was born. I absolutely praised the Lord upon reading it because He knew I had yet to find the right scripture to pray of J's life and this just sums up the journey we have been on to have and hold another child. With his arrival I have read this scripture over and over him and prayed it and praised through it. Now I share it with you!

Love, Rebecca
Little J's Mom

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Last thoughts before J arrives!

I wasn't planning to write tonight, but I am assuring myself I will go into labor tonight. I dont know how, but I want it to happen. That sounds so silly, but I really am anxious for his presence outside my womb. Stubborn me would wait up all night if I were sure he were coming tonight. 
Reality, I need some time to reflect, right now, on the love that exists between us in our current state and the changes that come with hearing those first cries. 

Jackson I love you now because you are my son, you are growing me in and it amazes me. I have waited to feel little kicks again, and your life in has gifted me that. I have seen you blink, and open your cute little mouth and those are stunning images - but I want to see you face to face. Is it selfish that I want that more than I want the intimacy of your little bodies current dependence on mine? I wish it didn't feel selfish, but come, please come soon. I want to hold those cute little hands I felt press against my belly so strongly the other night - and kiss each little finger. If timing is everything, we would share a 10th birthday if you come in the next 24 ('ish) hours.... Plus Daddy and I's anniversary is the 10th, soooooo... it kinda just works, don't cha' think Jackson? 
Honestly, there were days I wondered if little you would ever exist, if I would ever have the faith and strength to carry little lives inside - or how long it would take to heal up from earthly loss. I was surprised to find you - I was grateful, I was overwhelmed. When I started crying after I got the positive test, that you were positively alive - it was as if I was watching myself from the sideline. Could it be? Could we really be doing this again? And yes, we did it again, we have you - we have had you... all this time. I have not taken it for granted. Not gonna lie to you, I could have prayed more, I could have journaled more, I could have taken a lot more belly pictures - but God gave me grace on this journey of ours together, these 38 weeks and 2 days thus far. And to think the maximum I will have to wait to see you in my arms and not my belly is 6 more days, max! But like I said, today works too! 
When you read this, once you're older - I am sure it will just emphasize what you have, at the point, learned about me: I am impatient and a go-getter - well, I hope you think I am kinda patient (with you and E that is - but other than that!!! NO). 
Jackson Abram: God is gracious and exalted.... and He so is.... You are all His. Every cell given by His grace, and exalted because He is creator and He loves you. 
Psalm 139 I prayed over and over to E and have written it for her in her journal, read it to her and now I read it, write it, pray it for you....

"You have searched me, Lordand you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully (reverently) and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sandwhen I awake, I am still with you... Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

See you soon! Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Updated Life

I realize now, I am a horrible blogger - and I thought I would be so good at it! Bummer!
Less than 6 weeks until we deliver baby J - dont forget to check out my last post for pictures and info on his little life.
On my darling E - she turned 3 and with that came a new child - I mean this with all seriousness. Why didn't anyone warn me that 3 is not the same as 2 - terrible twos, it laughable, it should be terribly terrifying threes...... I can't say I was prepared, because I wasn't, not at all. However, this past week all my hard work for the last 2 months is finally bringing about a positive change in those challenging behaviors - I could not be more proud of E and myself, we made it!!!!!
In fact, E is now becoming an even greater joy to me - she is such a little story-teller. Yesterday the stories were about chocolate milk that has blueberries in it, that tasted like strawberries, ranch dressing, and cranberries.... Interesting stuff! She also told me that she and I are afraid of dragons and daddy is not, and when we are scared he cuddles us and makes us feel better. I mean that is just about the sweetest, best-est, most honest, and loving thing a little girl could say. I am so glad she sees her daddy as a source of comfort and strength! E is also now reciting bible verses, talking about God being with us, and Jesus saving us - I am just in awe at her ability to know and remember these truths. She has come to a time of fearfulness and it has been refreshing to my spiritual growth to go back to the basic truths with her, the uncomplicated truths of God as our protector, through His power and strength. I feel myself approaching these truths openly, honestly, and fully - it is such a cherished time to share with her my truest heart and love for God. Even speaking to the power of God is us, that I am only able to comfort her, just like daddy, because God has given us those abilities. The full circle of speaking through His truth in a way she understands, building knowledge from nothing but her sweet little, practically pure heart, it's simply put, the most exciting part of parenting yet. And thanks to the terribly rough beginning to 3 - I take it as God opening our hearts to rely on Him to survive it, but also to teach us through it. The beauty of living in obedience to Him - never have I been so challenged to BE LIKE JESUS then when she was losing her mind and by His grace, I kept mine! That power and example of loving her through it, teaching discipline through it - God opened opportunities! Grateful!
E also can't wait to meet baby J - and neither can I! I am ready to have him in my arms - but I know, I know... I should appreciate the journey of pregnancy - and so we wait... 5 weeks, 4 days..... plus a few hours.... hahaha! He is such a treasure to me, like E has always been, feeling him move, I wake up most night with my heart rejoicing at the thought "He is alive, my son is alive." It has been a overwhelming and blessed pregnancy, despite the constant discomforts that come as a baby grows, kicks, and moves. I love him so very much - unexplainable love between a mother and her children.
Life is busy, we are still adjusting to our new home life... All is well, we are blessed to be close to our family. I see the blessing of their closeness in E's bond to them. It is so different, but in the best, and clearly God sent way. Yet, I have found myself complaining more than I should, which Chase made clear to me this week. However, I am processor - I think over things like hundreds of times. I reflect on our life here, there, and what the future will be like here vs. there. And life is about to drastically and blessedly shift with J's arrival. I haven't settled as quickly as I wish I could, but that doesn't mean complaining about it, so I press on, trying harder not to complain! The best thing for me this week was reading back on the emotions and timing of God moving us here, the clear knowledge that we did follow His leading, it was not anything but His desire, and in obedience we moved. The knowledge that our lives are being lived out by His will - there is no greater peace then being smack-dab in the middle of where you should be! Whoop, Whoop!!!!!!!
Prayer for the coming changes of J being in our arms and able to cry, out loud! :) With love, I pray all of you are doing well, very well too!

Searching for scripture of what our lives look like, this is one of my favorite passages in all of His word. Love the Lord, in that love obey Him, His good plans for you are waiting on the other side of you following Him in obedience. He is both protector and provider. His truth is not just for you, but for you to pass onto your children - that what you do, would be blessed by Him if you only obey - both in the suffering you had/have experienced and the freedom He gave you when you were released from your bondage and gave you the blessing He has stored up and prepared for you. You have seen the great work God has done... Dont forget it!

Deuteronomy 11 (HCSB)

Remember and Obey

11 “Therefore, love the Lord your God and always keep His mandate and His statutes, ordinances, and commands. You must understand today that it is not your children who experienced or saw the discipline of the Lord your God:
His greatness, strong hand, and outstretched arm; His signs and the works He did in Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land; what He did to Egypt’s army, its horses and chariots, when He made the waters of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, and He destroyed them completely; what He did to you in the wilderness until you reached this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when in the middle of the whole Israelite camp the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing with them.
Your own eyes have seen every great work the Lord has done.
“Keep every command I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to cross into and possess the land you are to inherit, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your fathers to give them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated by hand as in a vegetable garden. 11 But the land you are entering to possess is a land of mountains and valleys, watered by rain from the sky. 12 It is a land the Lord your God cares for. He is always watching over it from the beginning to the end of the year.
13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, worship, and bow down to other gods. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will close the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads.  19 Teach them to your children,talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers. 22 For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love theLord your God, walk in all His ways, and remain faithful to Him— 23 the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. 24 Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as He has promised you.

A Blessing and a Curse

26 “Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: 27 there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, 28 and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. 29 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. 30 Aren’t these mountains across the Jordan, beyond the western road in the land of the Canaanites, who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, near the oaks of Moreh? 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you possess it and settle in it, 32 be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances I set before you today.