Only For a Minute

This day four years ago my sweet Logan left my arms and went into the arms of Jesus. There are days when it seems like so long ago. Then there are other days where I relive every second. That day is so ingrained in my mind, that it is literally like a slow motion moment in a movie. I remember weird things too. I remember siting in a rocking chair in the hallway outside of the ER room as they worked on Logan,  and the thought going through my mind was that my flip-flops didn’t match my outfit. I kept thinking, “why did I put these on?” It was like my brain was short circuiting and not processing. Because in moments like that,  who would really be worried about their shoes matching? It was a big deal for some reason. I remember the ER Doctor holding me up when he came out of the room bc I couldn’t stand when he delivered the news. I remember a nurse squeezing my neck trying to make me breathe bc I was sobbing so hard. I remember a little room where Chris and I sat just trying to grasp what was happening. 

How we decided to leave the hospital is a memory I don’t have, I just remember walking by that horrible room and seeing that it was empty and it was awful, because I knew where they had taken him. I remember Chris walking in front of me with an empty car seat in his hands. I am not really sure why we had brought it to the hospital, it was probably just second nature to grab it. It was horrible though. 

I remember asking the question over and over “what are we supposed to do?” All of a sudden everything had stopped. There was no more feeds every three hours, no more meds, no more diaper changes, no more turning down the lights at 9 p.m. And laying on the floor singing to my sweet precious son. In one instant everything as I had known it was over. What were we supposed to do?

The nightmares were awful, and many nights I would plead with the Lord to give me peaceful sleep. I would sit up suddenly in bed at 3 a.m and think “oh my goodness! I forgot to give Logan his heart meds!” Then I would start to cry because reality would hit. 

The days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months. People went on with their lives just like they are supposed to do, but for us it was like we had to completely refigure out how to live again. It was SO hard. There are many things I have never shared about that time, and I don’t know that I ever can. What I can say is that God was so faithful to us. There were days where no one understood why we were acting the way we were, but our Heavenly Father knew and He was ALWAYS there. From the days when I felt like I could live again to the moments when I felt guilty because I laughed or had a good day. Yes, there was a lot of guilt on those days. That was one of the hard emotions to get through. How could I be happy? How could I have laughter come from my mouth?? Still God was there slowly guiding me and showing me that it was ok. He was gently letting me know that my joy and comfort were coming from Him. He was showing me that because of his peace I could truly move on. He was reassuring me everyday that Logan was fine. He was healthy and happy and having amazing adventures. Every day was another healing step.

So here we are four years later. The pain is still there. Sometimes just as overwhelming as the day it all happened . There are days I go through without even thinking about him, and yes, when I realize that there is guilt, and I feel horrible. But then I realize that it’s another step of healing. There are days where I miss him so much I cannot even move. Then there are days where I imagine him running and laughing. I wonder if David has taught him how to use a slingshot or if Joshua has told him the story of Jericho. I think of him fishing and building forts and just having the best time a little boy could ever have, and I smile and thank the Lord for heaven.

A couple of weeks ago we were in Colorado and Nate was having nose bleeds. I started using saline spray to help. He absolutely hated it. I knew it stung his little nose and throat. I would spray his nose and then hold him and say, “It’s ok. It will only hurt for a minute.” As I thought about those words, I began to think that maybe that was how God is comforting me. You see, He is eternal, therefore time isn’t really relevant to him; so this time on earth is merely the blink of an eye. My finite mind thinks that it will be forever before I see Logan again and the pain finally ceases. But God gently holds me and says, “It’s ok dear, sweet child, it will only hurt for a minute.” 

Dearest Logan,

I miss you more than words can say! I love you so much and I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again!!! 

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God is in Control

Oh my goodness! Is it just me or does everyone else feel like this week has just been overwhelmingly tragic and sad? I  have found myself  in tears as I pray for the many families and friends that have experienced such horrible news. 

I have found myself freaking out a little. I freak out at Walmart wondering if someone there is going to go on a shooting spree. I go to the zoo and keep Nate in the stroller the WHOLE time, because seriously people I have no desire to be the next punching bag on social media! We are going to Myrlte Beach for vacation, and I am now starting to freak out about sharks and jellyfish and undercurrents!     

Ahhhh! If I am not careful this can consume me. Anyone else feel this way? It’s so easy to let the fear of the unknown invade your every moment of the day. 

I have to remind myself that God is in control. That he is not surprised by anything, and that my life and my family’s lives are in his hands. I pray for protection, for wisdom, and for grace. I pray that if something does happen to me or to someone I love, that I will remain thankful; and that I will accept His will. 

Most of all, I pray that the Lord will control my thoughts. Fear can destroy precious moments, and it can keep you from living life to its fullest. 

Isaiah 26:3 is a verse that is so dear to my heart. I quoted it often during Logan’s life and now I quote it with Nate. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Perfect peace is found by keeping our thoughts focused on Christ, and trusting him fully.

It’s a promise from God, and that means it’s a promise that cannot be broken. If you are like me and you are “freaking out” I pray that this is an encouragment to you.

God is in control, and he loves you! He cares about what happens in your life. 

It’s Okay To Walk The Hills

I am a runner, and I have been since Logan’s homegoing. It started out as an escape. I was stuck in an empty house with junk food and Netflix. My husband had gone back to work, but my job was no more. I was a mom only in my memories, and I was hurting, struggling, and had no motivation to do anything. Two of Logan’s nurses encouraged me to go running. They signed me up for a run, and the rest is history. I have been running on a consistent basis ever since. This escape kept me from resorting to anxiety medicine, and it helped me lose the grief weight that was very quickly piling on. There were days that I could barely run at all because of the tears. There were days that I ran like a gazelle because it was the only way to get the crazy out. There were days that I would not think at all and just let myself go, and on other days I would pray and ask God to strengthen my lonely heart; and he did. 

The lessons I have learned from running are numerous. To me, it is no wonder why Paul likened the Christian life to a race. It completely makes sense. When preachers say, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” I smile because I understand this all too well. 

When I first started running I had the hardest time learning how to pace myself. I would start running way too fast at the beginning and then completely burnout within the first mile. The cramps would hit, my throat would burn and I would have to quit because I just had no energy. It hit me that spiritually that this was a struggle too. I was trying to hard to get through. I was pushing and rushing things that just needed to be paced out. Wow! Huge revelation! This was one of the greatest lessons I learned. Learning to start up with my spiritual warmup(quiet time with my Heavenly Father) and realizing that I need to pace my day with prayer, and stop fretting about the things I cannot control.

Throughout my running journey I have found things I love about it and things I absolutely despise!  After we moved to Texas, I found the thing I despised most….hills. I loathe hills. They are exhausting, they slow me down, and I just really do not like them. I forgot to mention that I run with a stroller and inside that stroller is a 23 lb little boy named Nate. Ugh! I don’t like hills. When I first started running these Texas hills, I would hit them full steam ahead. I figured that was the best approach. It wasn’t. I would get to the top of the hill, but then I had no more energy for the rest of my run. I needed to change my approach. So I started walking the hills. I found that by doing this I could catch up on the downhill and still have a decent finishing time. It was fabulous! I am now able to run up some of those hills and still have energy for the remainder of my run, but it took some time.

In this race we call life, we have hills (trials). Sometimes we go full steam ahead pushing through and trying to be strong, but finding ourselves winded, discouraged, and barely able to go on. I would like to tell you that it’s ok to walk the hills! We have so called 23 lb toddlers weighing us down and we just can’t muster up the strength to do anything more than walk. So walk! 

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He goes on to say that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Meaning that he makes it so much easier to get through the hard times. He doesn’t want us to quit, he wants us to lean on him! 

There will come a time when a “hill” will rear its ugly head and you will find that you are able to run up it with ease because your muscles(faith) have been strengthened.  You will get to the top energized and ready to keep running the race! Until you get to that point though, walk!

Seek encouragement from your brothers and sisters in Christ! Pray and study God’s Word. These are the tools needed to make it through. We so often just quit and never reach the top, and never experience what victory feels like. There’s nothing like the “top of the mountain”experience. 

My God is Bigger

“My God is Bigger” this has become the theme for my life this year. Stepping into a new role in life has really placed a burden on my heart. Not a horrible burden by any means, and a burden may not even be the best choice of words. I pray so much harder for the spiritual, and emotional protection of my family. I have stepped into a position that is all about people, and let’s face it people can be cruel. And sometimes the most cruel of all can be those who call themselves Chrisitans. So I pray for protection from these people. Those that can discourage and tear down. And I pray that if ever these people show up in the life of my family that I will remember that “My God is Bigger”. My God called my family to a people ministry and he will faithfully see us through the good times and bad.

This isn’t the only reason this has become my theme this year, though. You see, I have this ability to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am a born worrier, and more often than not I worry about things that will never happen! So when I begin to stress out about little things I pray and remind myself that “My God is Bigger”.

Once again, that is just another small reason why I have claimed this phrase. The main reason? I am a God limiter. Is that a word? Limiter? Well, it is now! I limit God on so many levels. I see someone in the store, and I feel pressed to hand them a tract, but I stop myself with the thought “They aren’t going to take this.” Or “Look at them, they will never want to hear about the gift of eternal life.” I see a “hopeless cause” and I think “God will never be able to get ahold of their heart”. Are these not the most awful thoughts ever?! They are my thoughts, though. And many times they happen on a daily basis. I have been very convicted about this lately. Why am I so quick to downplay the power of God? He saved me, and I am the worst of the worst! So, if he can convict a horrible hard heart like mine and save my soul, why would he not be able to do that with everyone? Why do we limit God? How often have we missed out on seeing his power at work because we didn’t reach out to that person on the park bench or the cashier at Walmart. 

Here’s another one…Why do I limit God based on how someone looks. This has been the most convicting of all. I shy away the most from the ones who REALLY look like sinners. You know what I am talking about right? The ones with piercings in the craziest of places, or arms and legs so tattooed up they look like the Sistine Chapel. Yep, I run from those! Because there is NO WAY I can ever tell them about Christ. There is no way he could ever save them! I mean, look at them! Yikes!!!!  Anyone else feel like this? 

I am so, so ashamed of these thoughts. These are the ones God is desperate for us to love. It’s so easy to love the well dresssed, the well behaved, the polite, the kind hearted who would never hurt a fly…. But what about the mean ones, the maniacs of Gedara, the Rahabs, the thieves on the cross? God loves those too! And He can save them! He is so much Bigger than all the baggage they carry. These are the people that we need in church. We should bring them in and fill up those empty pews. We need to stop sitting around and shaking our heads at all that is going wrong in our world. We need to stop posting things on Facebook. That doesn’t fix anything. The power of God and His word is what solves problems. But we are scaring them off because we fold our arms, stick our nose in the air, and judge. “There is no hope for them!” “They are too far gone!” “Look at them. They are hopeless, they have no chance.” 

Are they really too far gone? Is there really no hope? Or are we being God Limiters?

The Bible tells us to go and tell others about the Gospel. Are we obeying this command? I am more and more sure that the problems that I see posted on social media are due to the silence of God’s people. We are very good at talking the talk, and dressing the part, but we have no love and no confidence that  God is bigger. We are lazy and apathetic, and we are very ungrateful for our salvation.

I have decided in my life that this has to stop, so here is what I am doing,  and I encourage you to do the same. I carry tracts with me, and when I am at the store I hand them out to the cashier, to the lady who gives Nate his free cookie, and I ask God to bless it. I pray that if they don’t read it that someone else will. I pray that I will overcome my fear of being rejected and scolded, because this has happened. It’s time for me to do more than go out on Saturday mornings for visitation. It’s time that I as a child of God take action, and not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It’s time that I stop limiting God. It’s time that I realize that He is bigger, and in control. 

My God is Bigger!!!

  

I Want to Blog Again!!!

I miss writing!! I am always telling myself to write again, but for some reason the motivation hasn’t been there. Well, here I am taking a leap and getting back into the writing game!  I don’t have a theme that I am going to stick to; I just want to be an encouragement and document moments that I can look back on later. And I have found that this is the best way to keep people in the loop who don’t participate in social media. 

We are on another leg of this journey we call Life. In November, we moved to Decatur, Texas where Chris has become the pastor of Eagle Drive Baptist Church. It’s super exciting and super nerve wracking all at the same time. I love where we are and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do. 

Nate is growing up SO QUICLY!! I am trying so hard to soak in every single minute of every single day, but still I feel like it’s all speeding by. One day he has no idea what a train says and the next day he is walking around with his train in hand saying, “choo choo!” He has the energy of 3 children and he is so happy all the time.

His newest thing is waking up around 1 in the morning. He comes into our room with his blanket and his little monkey pillow pet. He climbs into bed with us and starts talking away. He says all the words he knows and then just jabbers. He doesn’t want anything except to talk.  At first, I would pick him up and take him back to his room firmly telling him that he needed to stay in bed. Then I started thinking about what a precious moment I am missing out on. This sweet precious time where my child just wants to talk to me. Yeah, I know it’s at one in the morning and I am exhausted, but these little phases of his pass so quickly and I know that one day I will wish he would come in my room and just simply want to talk. Here’s the thing, parenting has made me see how my relationship with my Heavenly Father should be. God NEVER turns me away from his presence. I can talk to him anytime of any day and he hears me, and He WANTS me to talk to him. He loves it when all I want to do is just “jabber”. So now when Nate comes in and pushes me awake I smile and let him sit and talk. It only takes about five minutes and he is laying down ready to go back to sleep. I take him back to his room, lay him back in his own bed, kiss his sweet baby cheeks, and tell him I love him so so much! Then I softly say a prayer of thanks for this  moment and ask for another one. Because all too soon these little precious moments will fade only to be sweet memories. 

I love being a mom so much! I love what it teaches me everyday! Thank you Lord, for the fleeting moments and may I never take them for granted!!

Pink or Blue?

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We had the reveal party last night! Oh my goodness, it was so much fun! I went and picked up the cake on my way home from grocery shopping, and it was making me so excited because the answer was in the backseat of my car, and I had no clue what to expect.
I can see why these reveal parties are such a big deal. You are standing over this cake with knife in hand, you make the first cut, and for us, you couldn’t see anything. Then you make the second cut, and you pull out the slice, and BAM!

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It’s a BOY!!!! Ahhhhh!!! We were thrilled! My mom and sister were hoping for a girl, but the rest of us were pulling for the boy.
For Chris and me I think we just really want to know what it’s like to have a healthy boy. We have actually been praying since Logan’s birthday that God would bless us with another boy. We even bought this adorable Buzz Lightyear jacket on faith. It was so much fun to pull that out and show everyone. God is just a little too good to us all the time. We have just been in awe of all he has done.
So now the real fun begins! Planning out the baby room and all that comes with a bundle of joy. So to all my Pinterest followers, I apologize for the blue explosion that is about to happen!
We are so excited and we cannot wait to finally meet yet another miracle!

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
I Samuel 1:27

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And Then There Were Four!

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Yes! We are due with baby number two! The expected arrival is around the beginning of June.
We were pretty sure I was pregnant before we moved out to Colorado, but because of all the things that have happened with previous pregnancies, we felt that it would just be best to wait until we knew that the baby was ok.
I took a pregnancy test on October 7 and text Chris this picture.

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The first several months have been very unnerving to say the least. My mind has run wild with all the possible things that could go wrong. And I won’t even get started on the horrible dreams. Every day I have just had to pray that I would accept God’s plan for this child. And then I would have to pray all over again. It’s not that I haven’t been trusting God; I don’t think that trust is the absence of fear; but rather being able to seek refuge in the comfort of my Heavenly Father.
It’s a hard thing being pregnant after losing a child to a birth defect. I have had terrible morning sickness with this little one, and the thought going through my mind was “is this going to be worth it, or is it all going to end up just like Logan” I loved, and still do love Logan, but what I don’t love is being the mom of a dead child. Sometimes I would sit on the couch and the tears would just come, because I would wonder why we tried this again. Not knowing the future can be so horrifying sometimes. God’s grace has been present through all of this, and He has been so patient and good to me.
Our first appointment was on December 16, and we were hoping to be able to get an ultrasound, but our insurance was all messed up and we would have had to pay out of pocket, so we were only able to hear the heartbeat. It was a precious sound, but at the same time we knew that it did not necessarily mean a healthy baby.
Today we had our first ultrasound, and we were able to see all four chambers of baby T.’s heart. And he/ she looks healthy. We were so relieved and so thankful. For the first time in a pregnancy I have been able to cry tears of pure joy. I get to experience a happy pregnancy, and it is such an amazing feeling. We plan to have a gender reveal party on Monday so for now pink or blue is a mystery.
We are so excited to see what the future holds, and we are praising The Lord for his goodness.

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