Saturday, January 31, 2015

The lump in her neck that made a lump in my heart

I don't know how they do it, those mamma's that loose their little ones.  I just don't know, at least without the Lord.  My whole being believes in the Lord's sovereignty, His grace, His mercy, His love but I also know that means that doesn't always get you what you want, even when it means keeping the ones you love most.

Zoe has had this growth under her chin for awhile, how long I can't be sure but I do know it has been months. You probably wouldn't notice it, as it is tucked under her neck right where it reaches her chin.  "It's just part of her Adam's apple," I told Beach when he brought up his concern.  Surely it couldn't be anything out of the ordinary (even though it looked like it).  I hadn't the energy or the heart to think anything other, at the time.  

This week, though, Beach asked our chiro about it....it wasn't her Adam's apple, it wasn't supposed to be there.  As Beach explained this over dinner to me he mentioned about getting Zoe's white blood cells checked.  Zoe wasn't really aware of what we were talking about, and in her usual sweet spirit, Zoe wanted to hug me several times throughout dinner.  Her love just overflows that she much rather express it then finish her meal.  "I'm so glad your my mommy!  I want to keep you forever!"  I just held on to that hug...My heart sunk, as all I could think about was cancer and I couldn't stop the tears. Zoe has such a sweet tender spirit, more so than any child I know and I just want to keep her forever!  But there is no forever this side of heaven. She speaks of it often, our forever home, who is there, what it is like and what we will find.  As much as I love talking to her about Heaven, I don't want to think of her there yet. My devotion that morning: about how we will have trouble in this world.

Beach was crushed that night after we put the girls to bed. But I didn't want to go down that road, that "what if" road to heartbreak.  I couldn't and I would need to live in the place of denial for now.  When the lights were finally off for that night, though, our pillows where wet with tears. To the doctor I would go to start the process of looking into it. 
I was thankful to get her an appointment the following day.  Although she cried when I picked her up from school, as she did not want to miss anything.  The doctor recommended an ultrasound to get a better look, she didn't believe it to be a lymphoid but it was very hard to be a cyst.  So that sounded like somewhat better news, right?  She was, also, concerned that she had not gained any weight in a year.  
I had to wait for them to call me the next day to schedule the appointment and my heart sunk when she told me it would have to be done at the children's hospital (and not down the street as I had thought).  For some reason, that felt so different to me, that is where sick children have to go, it felt like more than just getting another picture of her throat, silly I know. But isn't it interesting how a little change in perspective can affect a heart.
The next morning I felt lead to call on the body of Christ for prayer, for her and for our families thoughts.  Although I prefer to pretend this wasn't happening, my gut felt differently and it was scared of the what ifs.  As I heard praise and worship through the computer speakers that morning, feeding my soul, I would also hear a ping letting me know that I had a message.  A message that represented a prayer from those that saw my facebook post that morning.  I couldn't help but feel His loving arms around me and His body coming together over us.  So humbled, which brought more tears than I could help. 
They were gracious at the hospital and Zoe didn't mind to much, other than hating the bracelet she had to wear and not seeming to be able to get the water fountain working.  I want to try to stay strong for her, didn't want to alert her to the under workings of my heart.  They were kind, complementary of Zoe but her tired self did not seem to notice. She did so well in getting the ultrasound done.  The tech had the radiologist look at it and came back to give me the name, thyroglossal duct cyst, she rattled off before she dismissed us, noting that she did not know if it would need to be removed.  Well that sounded better than a tumor to me!  We would just have to wait now for our doctor to call us for the next steps.
On our way out she wanted to play on the "playground" statue like thing.  She asked what the chapel was that was near by and I attempted to explain it.  Zoe then asked if she could go in and pray to Jesus.  Of course we did and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with thanks for so many things. My heart, at the same time, ached for those that don't have the same hope.  I thought of the countless prayers that had been lifted in that room for the pleading of precious children.
The next morning in my time with the Lord, it was speaking on anxiety and this was one of the verses that I read.  Amazing how the our Abba speaks strait to our hearts at times.  Although I'm not ever certain what the future may hold, I'm so comforted!  For His Word, for the body and so many that prayed for us and His love that covers all.

January and it has begun!

I don't think I have ever looked forward to a January more than this one!  Normally dreaded because of the weather, this one meant the freedom to be at home with the littles...and I couldn't wait!
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I do believe this was New Years...glow stick bath party!  They adored it!
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My sister, Danielle, had one more week to watch the two littles for me.  Such a blessing indeed!
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There has been no shortage of Frozen and Elsa around here!

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So there must be outings to the park with friends (especially when Zoe is also out of school) when there is amazing weather.
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Also, when you daughter gets off the school bus and wants to play hide-and-seek...you just do because you can say "yes" more now to the important things in life.  And you get to notice how cool the tree bark is when hiding behind the big one in the corner of the yard!
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Also, trips downtown to the library and park could be fun with the sister and nieces. 
It could also be a real challenge and one that makes me want to pull my hair out.
But yet so thankful that I get a chance to be there that it keeps me in perspective to keep a better attitude. 
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Now that I'm not working....errands are done with little ones included (instead of on the way home from work).  This means more adventure, less of myself being able to think strait and more planning ahead of time!  Shiloh was very excited that "Buddy" could now sit with her....he was as well...along with some appropriate apprehension about his sister.

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Beach worked all but one Saturday this month.

So momma was solo in bringing all three littles to their cousin's birthday party...at Edventure. 
It was fun and challenging and we were happy to wish Harris a Happy Birthday!
Shiloh reminds me of the wind in that she will often not be still for pictures!
However, Ezra was still content with the carrier (the only reason I survived) and was knocked out after a few hours!
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One of the things we have had to step back from during this season of life was hosting our community group.  I have been so blessed in getting to know these families though and hope to continue to build on the relationships we have made!
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Zoe's school often has positive programs going on.  It was nice to be able to make it to another one, without the worry of everything that I had to do, and be present with that time.  When I told her that I would be able to come to the program, her face just lit up in excitement, which made it all the more worth it!  
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There was a great stay-in date that my sister Danielle gave Beach and me for Christmas, complete with meal, wine and babysitting!  It was fabulous and we want another!  We forgot to take any pictures but she did attempt to take a picture of all the kids together!
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Shrimp and grits night with friends?  Yummm!  Plus Savannah got some big sister practice and you can tell Ez loved it!
Here's to more time at home and loving it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My little man at 10 months

My precious boy...time has now elapsed where you have spent as much time out of the womb as there.  My heart overflows as I get to spend even more time with you now that I'm not working.  I feel it is such a treasure!
  He is working on his top teeth as he has his tongue sticking out occasionally accompanied by a good bit of drool.
I think someone has turned on a crazy switch.  I'm not sure when or exactly how it happened, I just know that it has arrived.  Not fully aware of this I took the two littles to the downtown library for a puppet show (my sister's idea) and was REALLY looking forward to our outing together.  However, I had no idea what I was in store for as Ezra did not want to be still.  AT ALL.  Which meant crawling around the 50+ people there, including banging on the puppet stage and glass windows, crawling on and over strangers and teething on other children's toys that he found.  Chasing him around really wouldn't have been a huge issue, except for the fact that Shiloh got extremely jealous and began acting in the same way in order to bid for my attention.  Although only two, she looks as big as some four year olds and to see her crawling around with toys in her mouth, screaming and hitting her brother was not a fun sight.  I felt that it was true torture, which will not be attempted again for sometime.  We will try a different time and with Ezra in a carrier the next time we do go.  Sigh. 
The crazy is also seen during bath time.  It's easiest to have them all in at the same time at this age.  But Ezra has found the love of splashing.  And when I mean splashing, I mean non-stop, as soon as he starts with as much as he can!  Zoe has nicked named him "THE SPLASHER".  I like to pass the bathing job to Beach, if at all possible, so I don't end up with a shower as well.
I have to admit we are still co-sleeping, as attempting to get Ezra to sleep in his bed at night has not been successful.  I also admit I have not put extra energy into it, as will be needed.  However, it's so hard when I love holding and snuggling with him, knowing that I do not get to do much of it throughout the day, as he has gotten to be a speed nurser and then wants to get down to play.  However, Daddy is ready for him to move on!
Also, he does not like the flash when he is sleeping!
Ezra has become a master cruiser.  Although he can get around so much faster with crawling, that is his preferred method, so walking will be a bit longer...perhaps before he is 11 months?
He makes me so happy with his smiles!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Walking away from a big piece of my heart!

It had been building, the stress, at a level that seemed unstoppable.  Then there was more, more work that was asked of me, more pressure, more sickness, more tears.  It seemed to be snowballing the past few months, all the little things that got together and made it too much.  "You can do anything but you can't do it all."  My body suffered, with the stress breaking down my immune system so weak that it couldn't fight off the countless colds, flu, all types of infections.  Literally each week that I went to work, the first day I would bring home some new bug.

However, the true breaking point was my family.  Owning our own business also means countless hours and hours of work that needs to be done.  There was so much stress on our marriage, as we just tried to survive each day.  Then there was the kids...Ezra, as sweet as he is, needed his mommy more at night, which cut down my hours of available operations.  Zoe is in school, always a stressful rush in the morning and lunches to pack.  Then poor Shiloh, having the middle child syndrome in full gear, acting out as I just could not seem to fill her love tank enough.
So after a particular hurtful day at work, I was driving home decompressing with God when the thought of not working popped in.  That had never been a real possibility for us, not with starting our own business and having a growing family.  And I had been okay with that.  Really, it is not even a finical possibility for us now....so I let the thought pass but picked it up in my quiet times the next few days.  And I got clarity, very clear clarity, that it would be okay to quit working.  That it would be a huge step of faith, but that God would take care of us (just as our ebeneezers of the past speak of so evidently), that the most important thing I could do was to minister to my family.
Just to be clear, as stressful as my job could be, I loved it.  It had my invested heart for over 10 years.  The Nurturing Center was a place I grew as a professional and as a person.  It was a place that I was able to love those that may have never been loved.  To encourage the broken hearted.  To hopefully be a light.  To rub shoulders and to be present with those that I may never have contact with otherwise. There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason I was on the staff end of things and not a client was the grace of God. 
So leaving meant saying good-bye to a large part of my heart and life that I had known.  Who's to say I won't find myself back there one day, but for now, I carry such peace in knowing that I am where the Lord graciously has me.  I'm not scared, despite the money we currently make not matching out needs, but truly excited about seeing how the Lord is going to take care of us!  Enjoying my new FREEDOM and loving on those that need me most!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wedding workings and a blast from the past

It's funny how things that you never think about, people that you never seem to get to talk to anymore, it's funny how when you able to get together with them, how it brings up emotions.  This was the unexpected case when working an out of town wedding with the Beach man.  There were several people there from our past church, most who do not go there anymore and many who live in different cities now.  It was the church that Beach and I met in as youth.  A church that we both found ourselves on staff with for different points in our lives, that I worked with the youth there for eight years, that I spent so much time in and where we were married.  There was a big chunk of our lives.
 So seeing these people together brought back a flood of love and joy that I was not expecting.  Even though I was busy throughout the night and only had time to run to snap this picture and to hug a few necks, I was reminded of the love that I knew and the body of Christ that I'm so thankful to have been a part of! 
I was, also, thankful to get to work aside my best friend!  And for some quiet moments before the reception to pray over the special bride and groom that we got to spend a wonderful evening serving!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year Word

If you had to chose a word....just one, to set a tone for the year, a hope, a wish, a breath of expectation...I have tossed them around in the past, but this year, I'm claiming it.  

2015Word: FREEDOM!  

Under the pressure and stress of the past year, it is something that I have craved so much but thought it impossible.  However, I feel it....this weight being lifted.  I want to live in my identity, that of being free in Christ. 

I want to feel free to play, hold them longer and just be with my children without feeling like I really have to get up and get the next thing ready, as there will not be time later.  
I want to feel free to linger in the Word and books to help my soul grow.  EACH DAY.  
I want to feel that I can spend time in creation, especially with my creator.  
I want to be free to visit my daughter at school, to eat lunch with her, to encourage her teacher, to help out in ways if possible.  
I want to be free to have margin...so I can lend a helping hand to someone that needs it.  
I want want to be free to use my creativity, something that I feel is rarely used but struggling to get out.  
I want to free my husband up from all the stress of work and his responsibilities, supporting him with my strengths so that he can flourish in his. 
I want my free time so that I can learn more about true nutrition and figure out a plan in how to implement it in my home.  
I want to be free to teach others about the gifts of the earth in essential oils, as it has been such a blessing in our own home.  
I want to be free to be more me, to find her again.  

Yes, this is true....but mostly in all these things I want to be free to let His light shine in all these areas.  Bring on the FREEDOM!