Thursday, March 28, 2013

You were in HIS prayers

You Were in His Prayers 

"Then Jesus went about
a stone's throw away from them.
He kneeled down and prayed. " Luke 22:41

And guess what... 
The final prayer of Jesus was about you
His final pain was for you. His final passion was for you.
 Before He went to the cross, Jesus went to the garden. 
And when He spoke with His Father, you were in His prayers...
And God couldn't turn His back on you
He couldn't because He saw you, 
and one look at you was all it took to convince Him. 
Right there in the middle of a world which isn't fair. 
He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. 
He saw you betrayed by those you love. 
He saw you with a body which gets sick and a heart which grows weak...
On the eve of the cross, Jesus made the decision. 
He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.......

Thank you Jesus, for without YOU, there would be NO hope! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

My wish list

I wish you were here today Dex... I wish I could take you shopping for Noah's birthday present.  I wish you and I could snuggle while your big brother plays with all his little friends tonight.... I wish you hadn't passed away and that I wasn't a grieving mother.  I wish the hand I have been dealt was easier to know how to play.   It's kind of funny because before we lost you, I had everything I needed and all I desired for was material things... new purses, new shoes, more make up and jewelry, and fashionable clothes.  I actually would day dream about what I would do if I won the lottery! I can hardly imagine those carefree days when my biggest wish was to get a bigger Coach purse.  Now I wish for you.... I wish this hadn't happened... I wish you could be at your brothers party.... I wish that Noah and you could've been best friends and that you and miss CoCo Bean could have been co-conspirators against Noah! I wish your sister and your brother didn't have to intimately know the sting of death.  I wish I didn't have to know about things like Grief Share, Grieving Mothers, and the MN SIDs family group.  I wish there was no SIDS.  After your death, my entire wish list changed.... my wish list now is more like a "if I possessed magical powers" type of list. All the wishing in the world wont bring you back. You're gone.  YOU are in a better place. YOU are running free, dancing amongst angels and singing praises with the heavenly choir... My sadness isn't for YOU, it's for me.  It's for my brokenness.  It would be selfish of me to want to take you away from heaven... but that is exactly what I want to do.  I want you here with me.  I want to feel you in my arms one more time...  I need to come back from my reality vacation and wake up!  It's not going to happen... at least not until the day I go home, until I walk through those gates of pearl and gold.  On that day I will see all you have there in heaven and will be ashamed for ever thinking you would have been better off with me here in this world.  I realize I need a new wish list... one that can actually happen, but then nothing seems important enough to include on a wish list now.  Like with every other step of this journey, I realize my healing and who I am is a work in progress and that someday I will figure out what holds enough meaning to be on my wish list.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Happiness is..." challenge, Week 2

As I continue my 31 days of happiness challenge I am amazed at how many opportunities I find myself in that makes me think, "this is happiness."  Happiness is all around me, present every day and just waiting to be seen.  I am starting to think that happiness is more like a state of mind.  Over the past year and 1 month, I have been unable to find that state of mind consistently... I find that grief often washes over me and it takes some time to regain my footing, to get back to a state of mind that allows happiness to be present.  In the midst of grief happiness can seem like an illusion that you are just waiting for someone to take from you.  It's easy when your grieving to live with a "ya, but..." attitude... I think it's almost like feeling as though I've learned my lesson and I shouldn't expect happiness because in the BLINK OF AN EYE it can be taken from me... and the hurt and the pain when you lose that which makes you happy is overwhelming.   Declan died one year and one month ago today.... When I say those words my breath is taken from me, my eyes turn blurry with tears and my heart aches with deep sadness.... and my happiness leaves.  Yet I am so blessed to have people around who know how and when to pick me up... I am fortunate because those who love me unconditionally still love me in the absence of my happiness and are able to 'put up' with me in my dark days...  and I am lucky because my walk from sadness to happiness is not far.  Here are the photos from this week of my "happiness is..." challenge! 

Happiness is... an evening out with the kids and new friends!  
We went bowling with a lovely couple who lost their precious baby 3 months ago today.  It might seem strange, but being with other people who know the hurt we carry inside provides some comfort... knowing we do not walk this journey alone is important to our healing! 

Happiness is... an afternoon at the water park with people we love!
My mom & dad and Nate's cousin and his family came up to Boji and we spent the afternoon getting wrinkly in the water! After Declan died, we became even more aware of how important family is and what investing in those relationships mean! 

Happiness is... leaving a legacy behind in the hearts of those who love you!
My great uncles, Marv and Harold passed away within 13 hours of each other this past weekend so I had several funerals to attend, which brings back memories... but I was able to find happiness looking at this photo of my uncle Marv.  I looked at all the photos his family had out on display and I thought to myself... "88 years of a wonderful life, filled with LOVE!" May I be so lucky! 

 Happiness is... having a group to 'lean into my grief' with. 
Right after Declan died, Nate and I started attending Grief Share at our church... we both found it to be so helpful in our journey! I recently started going back and am feeling renewed and re-strengthed by the  people who attend and the discussions we have.  There are several other mothers there who have lost children and I find their knowledge and willingness to share their experience to be invaluable. 

Happiness is... supper with my awesome dad! 
What else is there to say about that?  :) 

Happiness is... learning about Jesus!  
The kids go to 'sunday school' on Wednesday nights and they LOVE it! It makes me happy that we don't have to argue and fight with them to go! Thank you Hosanna! 

Happiness is... this beautiful smile to greet me in the morning. 
This little lady makes me laugh and smile so often... she is a funny little girl who can be so sweet and kind hearted.  The blanket she is covered up with in this photo is one of her two "Declan blankets" that she has to sleep with!  I thank God for her and Noah... I don't know how our journey would be if they were not a part of it! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happiness is... Challenge, week 1

As I mentioned in one of my previous post, I gave myself a challenge to snap a photo a day for the month of March to help me realize how lucky I am, how blessed I continue to be and that even with the great sadness I carry in my heart, there is always room for my happiness.  Here are the photos I captured this past week.

Day 1 
Happiness is... watching Co Co Bean play 'kitchen' while I am busy cooking supper.  Her little hat and apron are enough to bring a smile to any body's face! 

Noah is REALLY into his legos and this kid has an imagination like no one else... I couldn't resist feeling his happiness as he was telling me all about this piece...  So day 1 bonus - Happiness is... building legos and taking pride in your son's passion! 

Day 2
Happiness is... having friends to spend time with! 
It proved to be a challenge to get the kids to sit long enough to get even this photo, so yes, they have zombie eyes and fake smiles  :)  but trust me, a good time was had by all! 

Day 3
Happiness is... giving our old, unused toys to others. 
We had planned on dropping our two bags of toys off at Goodwill after church on Sunday, but while we were at church a woman was talking about her experience in Nicaragua and how the children in the orphanage LOVED the toys they brought to them... so plans changed and we dropped off our toys right at church!  Praise God for the inspiration to do that... 

Day 4
Happiness is... watching my children play in the snow! 
Fresh snow... and LOTS of it!  The kids have been having a blast playing in all the white stuff out there! 

Day 5
Happiness is... having daddy home after having to drive in the snow storm!
Thank God for safe travels! 

Day 6
Happiness is... my sugar free, skim milk latte with my husband.
Can you guess which one is the sugar free one?  Yes, the boring one on the left... Nate's is the one drizzled in carmel!  Our kids go to Sunday school on Wednesday nights, which gives us 1 hour of alone time!  Hey... sometimes its the little things that keep us going! 

Day 7
Happiness is... enjoying this beautiful morning, with the snow crusted trees and rustic old barn... and knowing it will be one of the last ones of this winter! :) 
I love morning like today, but am so thankful that we are coming to the end of this winter. Spring is an amazing season and I can't wait to see the buds on the trees, the green grass making its way up through old dried up leaves, the baby animals running around the farm houses I pass each day... 

I have really enjoyed this challenge so far... I look forward to finding a moment that steals my smile and makes me forget, for just a moment, how tender my heart still is and allows me to see the beauty that remains! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Living a full life

The day Declan died, I remember not wanting him to die... obviously, but there was such a mix of reasons why.  First, I remember praying over and over that God would take me instead.  Thinking I had lived a wonderful life and he hadn't even begun... wanting more for him.  Wishing that he would have those opportunities to be on a team and cheer his teammates on to victory.  Thinking about how wonderful it is to fall in love and wishing that he would have felt those butterflies... wanting him to experience church camp at Okoboji, splashing in the lake, learning about Jesus and finding pure joy at what our Father has done for us.   There were so many wonderful aspects to life that I wanted him to experience.  After we arrived at Children's Hospital and learned he 'probably' wasn't going to make it, I remember my thoughts changing to not wanting him to die because I didn't want to be so deeply hurt.  I didn't want to live without him.  I didn't want to feel the pain that I knew would come after he died.  I couldn't even imagine how to begin being the mother whose baby passed away... it was scary and I so selfishly wanted to keep Declan alive so I didn't have to live my life without him... so that I wouldn't have to know that deep pain.  A mix of compassion towards his life, knowing I would have done anything to keep him alive so he could live.... turned to my selfish nature of not wanting to have to endure life without him.  I suppose that is typical... when there was hope that he could live, I pleaded for God to take me instead... thinking that I could bargain with God.  Then, after learning he would not survive, my thoughts turned to how his death was going to hurt me... how my heart would never be whole again... wondering if I would even be able to breath upon his passing.  As time has continued to slip through my fingers, I try (and I say try because it is so easy to allow sadness to get the best of me)  to find comfort in knowing even though I can not see Declan, he is alive and is living a FULL life, much more than he could have ever experienced here.   My hope comes from the Lord... the maker of heaven and earth. Until we see each other again little man... you never leave my thoughts.