Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy (bittersweet) Mothers Day

I never imagined that Mother's Day would be so hard for me.  I know that I should be so grateful for my beautiful daughter Zoe, but my heart just breaks knowing that I should be holding a beautiful 5 month old daughter as well.  Mother's Day should have been joyous, instead it was marked by many tears.

It all started the day prior when we were at a friend's wedding.  She started her father daughter dance to Butterfly Kisses and I had to leave the room. My hopes of seeing Aaron do that with both of our girls shattered to the ground.  That was a psalm 13 moment of prayer for me. When Aaron and Zoe came to find me Zoe asked, "why you sad mama?" I explained to her that I missed Jubilee. She said, "Jubee home, me hold Jubee too." It was the most preciously heartbreaking moments ever. My girl is so sweet.

Almost everything in church that day made me cry.  I LOVE my church family and am so thankful for their support on Sunday. I had a few very special ladies ask how I was doing before we started church. I held myself together off and on but during Be Still My Soul, I lost it.  We had that playing before Jubilee's memorial.  It is a song that has always been dear to me.

Verses 3 and 4

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last

It is true that through trials we come to know Christ better and yet that pain is still so real!  Thankfully, our God understands our passion and comforts our broken hearts.  I'm so thankful that in His Word, the psalms are included.  Because of them, I realize it is ok to cry out, "why Lord?" And "Where are You in this pain?" Now I know those are mostly rhetorical questions but they are real questions.

I feel as though my thoughts are rambling. Sorry for that.

On Sunday we also went on a hike in the Gorge where we scattered Jubilee's ashes. It was so very bittersweet. We love the gorge, but it's also a reminder of Jubilee.  At times I could just see Aaron's face from that cold day.  I could hear his sobs as we said our final goodbyes to put precious one.  It was very sweet though watching Zoe enjoy playing at a place we've enjoyed so many times in the past.

Holding Zoe tightly only made me miss Jubilee all the more.  

And every time I see my cycle begin again I have a tough day or 2. I wish this were not the case. My heart longs so much for another child that my emotions go a little haywire.  Thankfully, the other day when reading to Zoe, I had an encouraging word. Our boy name has always been Nehemiah. It means according to Zoe's little Bible, God will wipe away our tears.  I find hope that someday God will give us our Nehemiah. I just wish His timing more closely matched mine.

In parting, I hope to write a more joyful post tomorrow. One with lots of pictures of Zoe. StumbleUpon

Saturday, May 3, 2014

4 Years or Happy Belated Anniversary

Dear World,

I am married to an amazing man.  I can't believe that it's been 4 years already.  We've been through some rather tight financial strains over the years but have always had a roof over our head and had a home full of love.  My poor husband, he has had to put up with so many of my struggles and has done so rather gracefully.
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Photos courtesy of Kat Ritenour Photography

Photos courtesy of Kat Ritenour Photography

We've given birth to two beautiful girls (even if we have to wait to be reunited with Jubilee). We've moved 3 times in 1 year of marriage.  Our oldest daughter turned 2.  Seriously when did that happen?  We've enjoyed many hours of family snuggle time (one of our favorite past times).

In these four years, I've become a much better cook.  (Praise God for my husband's patience in this matter).  I still enjoy baking, much to Aaron's chagrin. We've discovered that we really enjoy camping, and can't wait to start up again this summer.

And who would have thought 4 years ago that we'd actually be parents to 8 teenage boys.  Certainly not I!  I always said I couldn't do high school kids, that's why I majored in Elementary Ed.  God sure does have a mysterious way of working (like having us lead a high school youth group before starting this job).

Aaron, you are my shoulder to cry on, the twinkle in my smile, the arms that hold me when I'm broken, you are the man our daughter loves and kisses up, my personal heating pad (why I don't generate my own body heat I'll never understand). I love you more than words could ever express.

I look forward to many more years of growing old and wrinkly with you!  I love you!

Both pictures courtesy of our 2 year old. :) 


Happy Easter (only a few weeks late)!

We had a wonderful Easter spent mostly outside.  It was very enjoyable for all involved.  I sent out a family email describing the day in more detail.  Here are some of the highlights:

We really missed worshiping with our church Easter Sunday but God is so good to us.  We also REALLY enjoy working the holidays with the boys because it's actually a time when we can build relationships with them and show them that we care.  For example, we made a roast chicken for them since GJR provided ham and most of our boys are Muslim.  We also let them play basketball most of the day.  Then we played the Wii with them in the evening.  It's always funny to show them our competitive sides (even though we both fail miserably compared to their talent).  

On a slightly different note, Easter has taken on a new meaning for me.  The hope of the Resurrection has become so much more precious to me this year.  After losing our dear Jubilee, the promise of eternal life has become even more sweet.  Christ's work on the cross has become even more amazing.  And that He would bear our sin and our shame so that we can be called God's Children??? WOW!

The other day I was reading in Psalm 139 and it says, in verses 15 and 16 

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

​Jubilee's life was planned out by God in advance, even His knowing that He would call her home so soon.  It's still very much a mystery to me how that works, yet I know my God has seen me through so many tough times before, I know that He will do it again.  He is AMAZING!  The struggle is still there although most of the time I am doing oh so much better.  

And now for a picture recap:

Zoe "pulling" daddy

Zoe's turn for a ride

I found the eggs you hid mama!

Making some lunch.

Too tired to really enjoy the egg hunt at this point. 

And yup, I got her to sleep on the couch, eventually she moved into this position and slept like this for about 30-45 min until she fell on her bottom.


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