Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's In the Small Stuff

I went to Walmart today. I always park by the cart exchange things so I can throw the kids directly into one... So I'm walking to the cart exchange and was stopped dead in my tracks. Like seriously, I couldn't move. 
"Turn around and take her cart."

Behind me was a woman halfway to her car with a car seat tucked in the front of her cart. She wound up being the car right next to mine.
Okay God. I hear you...

Is it okay if I steal your cart?
Yeah. It'll just take me a minute to unload.
Here, let me help you....

So I helped this girl unload her groceries and was waiting for God to tell me what to do next- because I seriously can never predict Him. 
I made small talk. 
...Her daughter was cute. 
...She looked great for having an about 5 month old...

I have 3. How many do you have?
Well, I have 3, too. One is with Jesus.
She looked totally taken aback. Like I knew something i couldn't possibly know. 
Like i knew her secret.
"I lost one, too. At 20 weeks. I had them put me under to deliver him. I just couldn't be awake and do that... My child after that was born 07.07.07... God's numbers".

So the groceries were loaded, her daughter was buckled in and my littles were in the cart with Marla impatiently waiting to start heading in.

Well, it was nice meeting you.
You, too... 

I cant move.
God, what do you want me to do?!?

Listen, I would really love to pray for you. Do you want to exchange numbers?

And it was done. I knew it was done because I could breathe again. I felt like the Holy Spirit had his hands on my shoulders, keeping me in that one place. Sitting on my feet so they couldn't move. And the moment the number was exchanged, she got in her car and my legs were free. If you have ever had a prompting like this, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you don't listen, for days all you can think about is what you missed out on while you were too busy focusing on yourself. It's a horrible guilty feeling. I think we miss out on what God really has for us a lot because we are always so busy. Too busy.

So there you have it. I may seem small. But so many of God's hugest plans started out so small. 
God used Moses' stick to defeat the armies of Egypt.
He used little David to defeat a giant with only a slingshot and a stone.
A boy gave Jesus 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and Jesus fed 5000 people.
Rahab saved her entire family using a red rope
The Isrealites knocked down a wall by walking around it 7 times and yelling, claiming the land God promised them. 
I can't wait to see what plans God has for the small little introduction of two of us today.

Friends, we have to stop thinking of ourselves as insignificant and start claiming who we truly are: the Children of God. We carry Jesus' spirit inside of us and therefore we also carry the power and authority of God. We can move those mountains we think are too big and we can step out on the water and walk with our savior. 
Jesus says we are worth it. 
Who are we to tell Him He is wrong?

Today I challenge you to believe what Jesus says about you, Beloved.
(That's right. He calls you His Beloved one)

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; Nothing will harm you Luke 10:19
Let us therefore come boldy unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need. Hebrews 4:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that God's spirit lives inside of you ? 
1 Corinthians 3:16

I do not think it's coincidence that this happened on the first day of October, child loss awareness month.
So I will wait on God and practice being still in His midst so I can hear Him...
Because, Father, I want all that you have for me!!!
I hope you will join me.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Everyday should be Valentine's Day : A letter to my girls

So KLOVE, the Christian radio around my parts, had a pretty big segment of Valentine's Day about how the divorce rate in the church is now pretty equal to that of the "general society". This breaks my heart because the one thing that the Church is supposed to stand it's strongest on is love... Christ is Love sent to us and we're supposed to be love sent to each other, especially our spouses. This whole thing makes my eyes water just thinking about it. But really, it's a topic for another day, because then my mind went in a completely different direction. My daughters.  My daughters are going to grow up in a time where love and marriage are thought as even less sacred than they are thought of now... 
So the only one left to teach them about love is me and daddy.
That's a gift, but a scary and heavy one. 
My dearest most loved and precious daughters,
I am your living example now, and hope someday my letters and this blog will inspire you as the powerful and loving women you are to love even harder in this life than I know you already will....
So for now, girls...
How I grew up I was always unsure about love. I lived in a house where "I love yous" were almost never used except written in a birthday card. I grew up in a broken home and watched my parents "love" each other in cruel and sometimes violent ways. I grew up fantasizing about love through TV shows and croony sappy love songs. I grew up being used by men much older than me for things I just didn't understand back then. I grew up without Jesus and the understanding of how precious I was or how sacred the depths of my heart were, so I just would give it all away. I grew up learning that love was found in tangible things, things money bought. I grew up with the belief that showing love meant you were weak. Being vulnerable to someone meant you were small couldn't make it on your own. I grew up, really, thinking that love was wrong and that if it was 'right', I must've been completely unworthy of it. So I gave up.
Until I met Jesus who led me (eventually) to your daddy.
When daddy and I first found out we were having a baby, I was so scared. Marlaina, I was scared out of my mind that you would grow up feeling the lack of worth I felt growing up. I wasn't scared that I wouldn't love you. Believe me, from the moment I found out you were coming, I was overcome by my love for you. I was feeling feelings I had never felt before and I didn't know what to do with them. I was scared that even though I loved you like no other, I would still fail you because I was unsure of how to express those feelings. I wondered if this was my mom's struggle. I never really talked with anyone about these feelings except for your daddy and God, because I was scared of other people watching me be a mommy. I spent hours, probably days, weeks, praying God would be refining things in me, teaching me how to love more like Him, walking me through my pregnancy and making my rattling nerves still. And he did - He used your daddy to do it.
Ladies, your daddy is my hero. In the beginning of our relationship, I probably seemed like the strong one. The prayful one. The one with all the crazy life experience that aged me to 50 when I was 17. But I wasn't. I thought that whole time that I was almost "coaching" your dad out of a pit he was in, that I was the "together" one. When daddy and I started out, I loved your dad with a passion so strong that people thought we were insane. Seriously. You couldn't separate us for but two seconds, maybe. The moment we met, a fire lit that no one could contain. It was amazing. It was the most intense thing I have ever felt. I am crazy about your father. But that whole thing about me being the "together" one, that's just not the truth. God was using your precious father to transform my heart in ways I never thought possible. The Lord was using your daddy as a sort of tangible teacher to unlock the greatest mystery of my life. 
What is true love? What's it look like? Feel like? Talk like? Touch like?
I wasn't always the nicest little lady to be around for dad. I got pregnant early in our relationship, hormones kicked in, I got fat, I got miserable, I got depressed. I believe this was all part of God's incredible plan for before you got here (and for me and daddy's relationship) because I got to witness the most incredible thing. Your dad loved me right through all my miserable days. He brought me flowers, He opened my door. He left me love notes everywhere. He worked all day and then came home and rubbed my back. He spent so much time trying to make the apartments we skipped from perfect for me - painting, laying down carpets, mowing lawns, fixing my vehicle in the freezing cold while I was warm inside watching movies, telling me I was beautiful when I know I looked like more of a swamp monster or something, defending my sometimes craziness to other people, listening to music I love that he hates, watching chick flicks, always holding my hand, and always reminding me he loved me and what that love felt like for him... Your dad fought the good fight for me. He never gave up on your mommy who just didn't understand this love thing. I remember one night sitting in our dining room just sobbing to him because I felt like I could never love him like he loved me. I would try. I would full force love your daddy, and then screw it up somehow. My mind is racing with memories now and it's making me lose direction in my writing (I'm sure you understand that about me)

 Marla, when you were finally born, everything came full circle. Don't get me wrong, I've still got my "days". But everything finally made sense, and I got the best gift in the whole universe - my little family. We've now had your brother, who opened my eyes to love even more in indescribable ways, and your sister who I am five months expecting right now, who I am over the moon about.
I want you to know these things about me and daddy because love is hard. You are going to grow up in a world where loving others is even harder than it is now. But you've got to fight the love fight even harder than it's fighting you. This world doesn't know the love of Jesus. My precious girls, that's the only love that works. Pray with your man. Pray for your man. Pray for your man before he even is your man, before you even know him! Always go the extra distance to show your man that you love him more than yourself. It may be a pain sometimes. You may have a screaming baby that you're trying to change and the dishes may be piling up and the house may look like a tornado went through it when you just cleaned an hour ago, but your man is still going to walk through that door home to you after work - So take that extra few seconds and meet him with a hug. Do not let the craziness of life steal that few seconds of bliss and relief that only his entrance through that door creates. Let him know you value him and appreciate all his hard work. Let him know that no other person on the earth could take his place, ever. Let him know that he is the most peaceful voice you've heard all day and it stays in your mind when he leaves and makes crazy moments not so crazy. Let him know how much you miss him all day long and how lucky your are to be his bride. Let him know that his smile is the most gorgeous you've ever seen, and no happy moment in your life would be complete without it. Let him know that without him, you'd be nothing but a hollow heart, just like I would be with out your daddy.
I love you, Marlaina and my little Bean without a name yet.
And  hope when you begin your love journey with your husbands, you can look back at me and daddy and remember our love fight and want we what have. I hope we taught you well how to love though the good, and fight for your love though the shaky and rocky times. 
We love you unendingly and pray you find a love fight like ours.
Love, your mommy.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's A Wonderful Life

On Sunday, my Robbie and I celebrated our three year anniversary from the night we committed our little selves to each other, our first date.
Card I made Robbie
They say slow and steady wins the race, but our story is anything but those adjectives. From the moment our eyes met (Rob stalked me for about month at my work place) to the night I finally gave him my number, to our first date... Things seriously never slowed down. In fact, as we got closer, the more fast things sped up! I can only blame this on the fact that from our very first conversation, I knew and God told me that that blue eyed handsome boy would someday be my husband... And I was totally okay with that.
Three years later, a wedding late, three kids later, numerous apartments later, and a billion I love yous later, he still stands as my absolute everything and the hero that saved this girl form herself. I'm pretty sure we saved each other, scooped up at the same time by the hand of God and knitting our lives into one. My husband is so precious to me.
One of our first dates. An Eric Church concert. We almost died that night. Seriously. There was a mattress laying in the middle of our side of the road... Rob swerved between a telephone pole and the mattress... If I could say I hadn't fallen for him already, that would've been the moment!

 I wish I had taken pictures of our anniversary date night, but I totally forgot.
Our first night out with no Marla in awhile, it was a great time alone.
My knight in shiny armor...
 Also exciting, we are pushing and pulling ourselves more and more toward the finish line. We hit a very celebrated and tearful milestone a week ago. Our little bundle of girl made it passed a great statistic she was given - about a 50% chance of surviving past 17 weeks.
We are 18 weeks strong today with an appointment on Wednesday.

Now off I go to one of my favorite chores... Laundry.
The literal "cycle" that never ends...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back For Good

My last post was months ago, and I have been wanting so badly to hop back on here. So, my husband and I finally got the internet installed in our home. I am slowly catching up to normal society technologically and even more slowly, it seems, leaving the Flinstone world behind...
So I guess some catching up is necessary. My last post was a tear-filled one, shortly after losing our son. Since then, a lot has happened...

- I started working as a wrap around nanny for a family close by, which is made interesting because amongst their "normal" 13 yo boy, 11 yo boy and 5 yo girl, there's also an 8 yo down syndrome boy. So I'm always on my toes, but it seems to be working out well on both sides.

-I began writing a book, sort of a devotional, targeted mainly toward women with my uterine complications who have miscarried on how to keep living life through the strength of Christ, even when some days it's just hard to even get out of bed. I'm pretty excited about it, as I have dreamed of being an author since I was very very small. The book won't be able to be finished until after this new baby is born. The last chapters will be about continuing to heal during pregnancy and while having the newborn. That may sound strange or even cold, but really - when I think about holding a newborn in my arms, especially a little boy, I immediately break down. It is a heavy thing and scary! I know giving birth to this child is going to bring up a lot for me, and as not normal of a person I am, I know these feelings have got to be normal, but dealing with them is challenging. I just never want my son's legacy or what he brought to my family to be forgotten, but him being only a little 16 week "fetus" makes believing he won't be forgotten a huge challenge for me... I know I will never forget him, but I just wish and hope he made even a fraction of the huge impact he had on my life on other peoples' lives. Because his life and death were profound and pivotal in my own life. I hope this book transforms the hearts of families who have lost their precious babies, and enables them to delve even deeper into a love relationship with Christ.

Me and Marla celebrating

-Rob and I found out we are pregnant again on November 1st!! We are beyond excited. I don't think I've ever jumped so high as when I saw that extra line on the pregnancy test! I am now two weeks into my second trimester and it's been a rocky but blessed road so far... 
Cute little piggies!!

The Bean, 3 1/2 inches long, 3 little ounces.
(13 weeks gestation)
- Rob and I visited a specialist, who we now see every two weeks, and discovered I have uterine conditions a little "worse" than what we thought. So, along with see our tiny little Bean for a second ultrasound a little while back, we also learned I have what's called a "septate uterus". He determined that Nathaniel (our son that passed) was on the right side, which is what created his demise, and that this baby is also implanted on my right. My daughter, who is two now, made her home on my left side. Little did we know then what a mighty miracle she really is.

See the pretty uterus on the left? That's a normal one. 
See the pretty one on the right ? That's mine. 
Except the septum in the middle comes down lower for me. 
So we were thrown into scientific statistics, basically telling us our baby had about a 50/50 chance of survival until we hit the 17 week mark. Then we drop off to a 30% survival chance until we hit 24 weeks. And if all goes well until then, I am placed in a sweet little 45% chance of preterm delivery from 25 to 39 weeks. Of course this news brought up a whole lot for me and my poor husband, but we are Believers and daily choose not to be afraid. I do have my moments, and have had some scares so far, but I think that's part of being flesh and blood, and our fears give God room to move in our lives and prove, once again, that we really don't have to fear. He brings us peace everyday and everyday it gets easier to not think about it every second. We are standing on the solid rock of the Lord's promises!

-My baby girl turned two shortly after Christmas. We won't even go there. I just can't believe how time has flown. Really, it's out of control... I'm glad she still cuddles up or my heart would totally be broken by her growing so fast. Haha.

My beautiful girl, Marlaina Celestina

It sure has felt like my life has been a whole lot crazier than this lately, but this sums it up pretty much. Feel free to keep my family in your prayers and wait in anticipation with us for the miraculous delivery of our healthy sweet new baby. We seriously CAN NOT wait!

I'll be back a whole lot sooner now than the last time I left!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Let Me Take You On A Journey....

Hi, everyone! 
Today we went and picked Marla's "munkins" on for Halloween carving adventures. It was faaaareeezing, so bundled in snow pants, hats, and mittens she went. The cold didn't
seem to bother her half as much as me, but we had that horrible misty rain as well. I wish I had pictures to share, but I'm on my mother's computer so you will have to wait! And I wish it would've been warmer,because even in the the cold and rain she had a blast.

Okay. Time to get heavy. Time for a trip through my brain lately...
Caution: I have been emotional and I just can't stop thinking, thinking, thinking....

Very very soon my brother in law will be welcoming home their newest bundle of joy. A sweet little girl. Two Junes ago, they lost their precious son, so I am over the moon excited for them to take home a happy healthy baby and get to experience those fun first weeks of no sleep and delightfin diaper changes of moosh. Hehe. But really, I couldn't be happier or more excited for them.
As you know, Me and my hubby also lost our son this April. My brother in law and his wife will be delivering in Lockport, where I painfully delivered our lifeless son. The same place me and my husband walked out of the front door to be never the same again...
I am by no means a selfish person. I love helping other and seeing others smiles, most times ahead of my own... I know that's the way God calls us to be. But friends... As we joyfully anticipate the birth of their little girl, Violet, my heart skips beats just thinking about being in that hospital. I want to be there. I will be there. God will be my strength. But I just have to be honest... I am freaking out inside! Every time I think about it or try and "practice" being strong or try to envision them in their little maternity room, I have these out of body experiences where I'm just staring across the hall into the room where I began the grieving of my son (Yes, I delivered Nathaniel next to woman birthing healthy happy bundles of joy. As I listened to their baby's precious cries, the only crying that came from my room was my own). The room where part of me was carried up to Heaven with him, and left an empty space inside of me. Now don't be mistaken. My room was filled up the the ceiling with the Holy Spirit. God was so real you could almost tangibly touch him for those seven hours... But when everyone left, Rob and I were just two broken parents trying to help each other stand up from that hospital bed and hand our tiny son over to strangers in blue scrubs.
Two thoughts I remind my self daily...
1. God alone is my strength and salvation and I can do all things through Him.
2. There is not two people on this earth that understand the things I'm feeling now more than Tony and Vanessa do.
October is baby loss and miscarriage awareness month, which makes me think of my boy even more. I have not cried so hard or shouted at God with such sadness than I have lately since we lost him in April.
You see, I'm the "crazy Christian girl" around town and my family, so because of my faith, I have been able to grieve in pretty healthy ways and have jumped right into helping other people. But being a believer is sad and lonely and frustrating sometimes, and you'd be lieing if you didn't agree.
 The not so nice thing about being a believer is that sometimes people think you're invincible or that you don't hurt. But I hurt as great as any grieving mother, I just have the hope of seeing my baby again, someday. When I lost him, I was so confused that after only a couple days the phone calls stopped but a rare couple of people and I was left alone, trying to smile in front of my daughter when I really just wanted to burt my face in the floor and scream. My  husband worked ninety hour weeks and slept out of his truck at his jobs and I paced the house all night crying and yelling as my daughter slept. I have never felt so close to god yet sot trapped by satan in my life. I never want to go back to that place again. Going back to that place would be a CHOICE, which is why I'm writing this now...
I rarely present my greatest struggles publicly. I was trained not to as a child and now as an adult, I most often keep them with God.
But I'm asking for prayer. For both Vanessa and me. Because I know as happy as they are, they still lost their baby, too...
I am so honored to have the testimony I have, but some days I just have to cry a little.
I think that's good for anybody, whatever the circumstance.
And if we don't be honest with each other and stand strong with each other as the body of Christ than how can we call ourselves believers? How can we claim to love God if we can't love each other first??

So as I cry in my healing brokenness, I'm also shedding tears for every other mother who knows these same feelings... I will stand in the love of Jesus at that hospital in expectation of Violet's pure beauty and in remembrance of my son.
And please pray for an easy delivery for Vanessa as our family waits for little Violet.

And I must end on a happy note, because that's just who I am...

I cannot wait to hug this one nurse in particular. This beautiful and brave women stood at my side as they painfully scraped away Nathaniel's placenta from my uterus. She held my hand and told me how strong and brave I was, while I was thinking the exact same thing as her. She was the strong and brave one. She was a complete stranger but she supported me more deeply than some of my own family. She made me laugh when the tears wouldn't stop rolling off my cheeks. I cannot wait to see her. Maybe I should make her something...
And I know this is getting very long, but I have to tell you that as ugly as the past I came out of is, none of it compares to losing my boy. But nothing in my life today is more beautiful and true than the grace and understand of my Heavenly Father, the love my husband has for me, the giggles I bring my sweet little angel daughter, and the presence of my son hovering over me every single day.

Blessings <3

Monday, October 21, 2013

Greetings From The Stone Age

I know most people probably stopped popping into my blog because I haven't been posting, but I thought I would update a teeny bit.

I have been a stay at home mom for nearly two years, and have loved every second and am so grateful my husband worked his toosh off so I could do that.
About a month ago, I joined the work force again. I took up a nanny position for a family a little down the road. I absolutely love it. I love being around children, because I believe the spirit of a child is the closest on Earth to the Spirit of God (although His spirit does abide in us!). So I have four precious children I care for before and after school and thank God they've taken up a love for me... But really, who wouldn't be able to do that ? Haha.

That being said, I will have running internet in my home very very soon and will be able to fill your eyes to the brim with my oh so interesting life. I'm pretty excited about blogging.
My greatest reasons for wanting to blog are forming friendships, the chance for my daughter to get to know me on such a deep level (when the time comes) and be able to have my "diary" when I pass away for her own children as well, and to reach out to hurting women through my faith in Jesus and be His messenger to spread healing and bring peace where brokenness lives...

So shortly I will be joining up with you in the bloggy world for good.

Ta ta for now...

On  a side note -
October is baby loss and miscarriage awareness month.
Please reach out and pray for these mothers, fathers and families!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whatta Weekend!

To start the weekend, my mom took Marla and Rob worked a night shift, so home alone I was, which I hate, but I decided to make the best of it. Crafting and food. Doesn't get too much better!
At the top of cuppycake toppers I made for my dad's wedding this weekend. I've got an order of almost 200 to do! I'll be sure to post the finished products. I think I'm going to make a bunting to go around the cup cake tiers out of these same little flags. If you aren't a fan of a lace and a distress pad, you probably won't enjoy my stuff :)
I made a stuffed crust bacon and asparagus pizza, which was awesome. No red sauce, just olive oil, garlic, and cheese.. Mmmm.
The bottom right is the little birdie I dolled up. He lives on our bathroom door now, so when you walk into the bathroom you are greeted with the words " You are just lovely!". 
Now, what folks like us call "romantic"...
This would be me and my handsome hubby. Those are big ole noise cancelers on his head. 
First we went to the junk yard in pursuit of a transmission for the truck Rob's building. On the right you can see him standing on top of a truck hood in a mess of poor torn up vehicles. It was my first time at a junk yard and besides an encounter with bees, we had a good time! We found this old '88 Ranger (third down on the right) and I decided I needed the tailgate. Now my hubby and I are going to make a bench out of her!
Last picture down is of the tractor pulls we went to. Are some of you confused right now ? 
A...tractor pull ?
This is a huge event here in the Orleans County. Lots of tractors and trucks get together to see who can pull the most weight the furthest. We double dated with a good friend of Rob's whose truck was actually pulling that day, which was neat because I've actually drove the truck myself.
 Please excuse my husband's hands... Ay yi yi.
On the way home I decided to do something I rarely ever do - IMPULSE BUY!
We stopped off at an antique shop where I spotted the cutest little wicker chair. Like, the kind of cute where you almost cry because you need it SO BAD!
So I did my first ever wheel and deal all by my little self. 
(My hubby usually does this for me).
The purchase ? The wicker chair, of course, an antique birdcage with it's own stand, and two adorable chippy white iron antique ice cream shoppe chairs. I'll show you the wicker chair, but I need to re-upholster the chairs and paint the bird cage and stand. 
Then I'll post before and afters.

She did not want to sit pretty for me, so this was the best we could get. Haha. 
She can be quite a stinker sometimes! I wish I could fit in that cute little chair!
We ran into this BBQ joint set up in a trailer on the side of the road and there was this little girl dancing in the road with a pig hat. She was adorable. So we had to stop - and the food ended up being really good! 
We got pulled pork sliders. Pulled pork is one of my favorites.
The next day we went to my dad's for food and some gun shooting.
Okay, I am so sorry that I sound like a complete red neck in this post! I'm really not this bad!! I swear!!!

I did shoot and believe it or not, I did hit the target. 
I know. I surprised myself! 
I like taking Marla over to my dad's because it's like reliving some of my best childhood memories - eating venison, shooting guns and the outdoors. Marlaina is obsessed with anything outdoors. She can't get enough of it. My dad's fiance gave her not one but two ice cream cups today while we were outside so she was truly in all her glory. 
My little best friend. She just cracks me up....
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends as much as I did! Now for a busy week preparing lots of tent bunting and cupcakes for my dads wedding. I'm pretty excited to see some family I haven't seen in almost ten years!
Love & Prayer!!