Saturday, December 6, 2008

Remember Me?

Hi Friends,

Remember me? I know it's been too long since I actually gave an update on me so I thought while I had a few quiet moments this afternoon, I better take the opportunity. Thank you for all your e-mails and comments wondering how we are and letting me know that you are still there praying for and thinking of me! It means
so much.

First...the baby is doing great. We had our 20 week ultrasound this past Monday and things looked really good. It's funny how when you go through what we have that you don't even look forward to what you may see on the screen. The questions you ask the tech now is things like, are the feet okay and not club feet? Do the hands look okay? Do you see any fluid around the brain? Are the four chambers of the heart there? Kailey and Allison went with us and I had a fear of that because of what they could see, but everything looked great. And when the Dr. said the baby is growing well and everything looks healthy the girls were so happy. Allison said on our way home the other day "Mommy if this baby lives and gets to come home....." It's heart breaking but reality for them. I have always been so thankful for the 7 hours we had with Mary Grace as some don't get anything, but more and more I have imagined what it would have been like to have had a little bit more time with her, to be able to walk into the front door from the hospital with her and have Kailey and Allison smother her. And I am starting to feel more comfortable in day dreaming about getting to bring this baby home and what it will be like to actually do the room and have the bassinet in our room ready for the baby to be here in our house. And when I am in a store and I hear that "newborn" cry my heart skips a beat and I imagine being able to hear that this time, feeling like it will be such a welcome sound and hoping that I do not get frustrated with that sound when I can't get it to stop:) Mary Grace didn't cry like that, she whimpered and I long to hear that cry.

At about week 18 I started to feel human again...I was really worried that I would never come back to myself but I am having more and more days of feeling good. I do have to face that my age is playing a role that I may not be able to do anything about:)JK.. But for the most part I feel good. I still have those days where I don't know what to do with myself and I know that I am suppose to be chasing an 11 month old around and it makes me feel lost. And now that I am starting to feel this little one kick and squirm which makes it feel more real, I see that hope that is in my future. Yes...I am still scared to look forward in fear of disappointment but I usually can quickly feel God pulling me back into the reality of my faith in Him. I realize that if He can bless me with 3 beautiful girls and to love me enough to give me Mary Grace at all...then I know His plans for me are good. How do people survive without Him and the hope we have in Him? I can't imagine!

I have taken Angie's lead (Poppy's mom) in "taking back Christmas" this year which is really putting me in the spirit. We are serving the families of Ronald McDonald House dinner this month with my neighbors and friends. Taking goodies to the nursing home. Helping to host our 3rd annual Happy Birthday Jesus party which includes bringing gifts to the community storehouse. Shopping for an angel from Salvation Army and hopefully more......and I can't express how great it feels to give - so much better than to receive. So...I encourage you if you haven't already started to get on board, it's never too late.

With all the good and blessings in my life, it's still so hard to be without Mary Grace. I am having a hard time sending or even thinking of my Christmas cards this year. Pictures of the girls seem void of our 3rd girl and a family picture isn't complete - this year the cards just may not happen. When I start to think of it, my mind shuts it down because nothing seems to include all of us. So...I am struggling with that. I was in WalMart today looking at Christmas decorations and my heart breaks...it breaks to not have a picture of Mary Grace at 11 months to put in a new ornament for her on the tree. To even know our tree is safe of her baby hands pulling it down this year makes it hurt to look a the tree at times. And to realize I don't have to shop for her, my 3rd girl is so hard. I plan to give a toy in her name, but we know it's not even close to filling that void I am talking of. I wanted someone so bad to see the tears in my eyes and to know that my little girl had died. To know that my life is void of her and always will be. I still struggle answering the question of how many kids do you have? I always include Mary Grace but no matter how I state it "I have one in Heaven, or my 3rd little girl died, or 3 girls and nothing else - I walk away feeling so yucky like I never feel right about how I have said it. If any of you guys have a way of saying it that makes you feel okay, or if you have ways of including your baby in Heaven in your Christmas cards or how you sign your names..please let me know. Maybe something will click for me.

Let me tell you and I would shout it if I could....God is so good. Through the good times and the bad, He is still so good. Through my darkest days I have never been alone. He has blessed me beyond anything that I deserve or could ever deserve and I am thankful every day for everything. I said at Thanksgiving it's so hard to find the balance in being sad and questioning why we do not have Mary Grace with us and to feel that bitterness of being cheated, and then to have that feeling of overwhelming gratitude for all that God has blessed us with and continues to bless us with. It's even the feeling of trying to find that balance that I am thankful for because without it, I would have never had Mary Grace. She is worth being in this position and God knows I will see her again, she will always be mine.

I am still praying for you all my friends. Even if I am not blogging or e-mailing as often, there isn't a day that goes by that I do not think of you and do not include you and everything going on in your life in my prayers. It's so wonderful to see the blessings that God is pouring on all of us. And if it's not as apparent in some of your lives, I have no doubt of God's good plan for you!! Jeremiah 29:11!!
My church is having a remembrance service Tuesday night. When I light the candle for Mary Grace I will be thinking of all you and your babies too - Mary Grace brought you to me and I am so thankful!
Thank you again for all your prayers....they are working...keep 'em coming!!

I wanted to share the picture of Mary Grace's head stone. I am so proud of it. It took 9 months but it was worth the wait. While in Kentucky at Thanksgiving we were able to see it since it has been placed. I know several of you have asked as it was something that had been bothering me. My sweet Uncle and Mom take care of it and it's such a comfort to know it is near my Grandma Hazlett. Love you all!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Faith Clare is on her way!!

I got out of church tonight and got a text from Kenzie. Her water broke and Faith is on her way!! I just got home and ran to the computer to get an update and they think the baby may be here by around 9:00. Check her blog for updates, I can hardly contain myself!! The power of prayer is so beautiful!! I can't wait to see Deacon and Maddox's baby sister!!
http://thestanfieldjourney.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Faith Clare....

Hi Friends,
Kenzie is back in the hospital until sweet Faith Clare is in her arms. She is almost 35 weeks and little Faith seems to be at a good weight so they are going to just keep her in the hospital until she makes her grand entrance. They are hoping to keep her in her mommy's belly until at least 38 weeks but if anything should happen before then they will make a move.

Please check for updates on Kenzie's blog and keep her family in your prayers. It is very hard for her to be away from her honey and sweet Deacon. Dusty (Kenzie's husband) is pretty much taking on all the responsibilities of Deacon as well as his full time job and trying to see Kenzie as much as possible. They have really had to be patient and wait on the Lord and I know their reward will be great!!

Keep on praying for my sweet friend please.....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eliot Mooney on Oprah again!!

Hi Friends,

I know some of you watched Oprah on Tuesday and watched the video life diary clip of Eliot Mooney (99 balloons). It brought tears to my eyes and I have watched it a thousand times before. The show received so many comments about this sweet boy that Oprah is having the family on the live show tomorrow (Friday 10/31) for follow up. I loved watching how Jesus was so prevalent in the video on the Oprah show!!

Please watch if you can tomorrow. I do not promote Oprah but this is a tremendous opportunity for Trisomy 18 and for any other Trisomy awareness, well really any prenatal fatal diagnosis. I also think the timing of Eloit's video being played on Oprah is no coincidence as the most important election of our life is coming to a close. I think it will show that these sweet babies ARE compatible with life and that abortion does not have to be the only option as it has been presented to many of us! Mary Grace's 7 hours in my arms was worth everything that our family has endured. I would relive it a thousand more times if I could have those 7 hours back again. The joy of Mary Grace and these sweet babies totally outweigh any of the heart ache.

I was so proud of the Mooney family and their miracle boy Eliot. I was so proud of Mary Grace and all the sweet babies that I have met that are now in Heaven together. I praise Jesus every day for the opportunities and relationships that Mary Grace has brought to me.

I also urge you to be in your knees for the upcoming election. God's will be done.


It is You who made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You.
Jeremiah 32:17

As far as me, well thank you so much for all the prayers! I should have posted my good news way earlier because I do feel all your prayers. I am starting to feel a little better physically and am starting to have my sweet day dreams about this new little someone!! I have been scared and hesitant to let my mind and heart "go there" but God is directing them there anyway. He is so good all of the time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remember.....

As many of you know and for those of you who do not, today, October 15th, is National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. I ask that you join with me in praying for the millions of families who celebrate the blessing of the child or children they have lost (including miscarriage in any week of pregnancy).

I was talking to a friend yesterday who has also lost a precious girl to Trisomy 18 and has had a ectopic pregnancy. We talked about from the time we see the positive sign on a test stick or hear it from our Dr. for the first time, we are automatically in love with our baby growing inside of us, we are immediately Mothers with that love that God put within us. And whether we lose that child within weeks of hearing that news, or shortly after birth, or when they are 40 it is a loss like no other. I myself have had 2 miscarriages and the loss of Mary Grace after having her for only 7 short hours. They have each been a loss that will always be with me.

Today is not a day to mourn or be sad, today is a day to remember and to celebrate the sweet gifts that God chose to give us. We serve an amazing God who has a plan for each of us from the moment he knits us together in our Mother's womb. As I celebrate Mary Grace and my other two babies I never got to meet, I will also celebrate all the other babies I have had the pleasure to know and love without ever meeting them. I can thank my Mary Grace for so many things but especially for being the gift that brought these other babies and their Mommy's to me. May God bless your family today and always!

Psalm 139: 13-17: You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well we know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

I also ask my faithful friends and prayer warriors to pray for my new blessing. I am 13 weeks pregnant with a new little someone!! I am so thankful for this new blessing in our family! However, I have had a really hard couple of months emotionally. I am not sure how to even explain how I have felt. I thought that if we were blessed with another baby whether through pregnancy or adoption I would start feeling so much better, to have a reason to celebrate and to look forward. And God answered our prayers!! But.....I have felt horrible physically with no energy and my emotions have been really low, I have missed Mary Grace even more and the thought of not ever getting to have her here with me on earth in my arms have been more than I can bare. This baby by no means was meant to replace Mary Grace and even the thoughts of that horrifies me, but now that I have this baby the thoughts of it not being her has been there and has weighed heavily on my heart. To even admit that hurts but I have to share the truth, my real feelings as hard as it may be. I know it's not been very long and hormones could be a big culprit so just pray that I will start to feel better and enjoy this pregnancy as it will be my last. For the first time I feel my age dear friends plus some!!
I do want to let you know that we got our test results back from the 12 week nuchal translucency screening and everything looks good with no indications of any problems so far, Praise Jesus!! That has made me feel a little better mentally. This is the blood work that began the questions with Mary Grace and it was confirmed at around 18weeks.
I can not express to all of my faithful friends how much it has meant to have you in my life, to come here and to know that you guys are are still checking on me and praying for me and my family. It has been, at times, the only thing that keeps me going as this grief road can feel pretty isolating. Thank you for your continued prayers and know that even though I may not be leaving you as many comments on your blogs, I check on you and pray for you and yours daily, you will always be in my heart!

Jeremiah 29:11 : "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you: Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Feeling Sad Too

I have just read a friend's blog and she simply titled it "feeling sad". I can so relate. I have been wanting to come here with something uplifting, profound and encouraging but this week I got nothin'. I always feel the pressure of wanting to give God nothing but praise through Mary's blog but this week, I have had a hard week, a week of feeling very sad. It's been one of those weeks where I simply ask God when I get out of bed, just to help me take care of my girls...and He has helped me do that. I can't imagine not having Him. With Him all things are possible and without Him there is no hope, there is nothing worth while.

Wednesday and today have been especially hard. Why? Don't know. Just days where I feel the weight of not having Mary Grace with us. Wednesday afternoon the girls were at a friend's house and I stayed in the bed. When she walked them home it was hard for me to hide that I had had a hard afternoon. Usually I am really good and putting the smile on but not this day. Kailey asked what was wrong , I told her I had a head ache, which was true. She asked if I had been crying I said yes. She said "Mommy do you have a head ache and a heart ache?" I simply said yes. That's it, as simple as that...a head ache and a heart ache, a really sad day. My sweet Kailey went on to say, "let's put on some Toby Mac, he will help you get in a good mood". She is right...we love us some Toby Mac!

I had to do the kids program that night at church and I wondered how in the world I would do it, I prayed that God would just get me through it. It was a really fun night with the kids and He once again gave me the energy that I could not have gotten on my own. This is yet another reminder, God is with us, He wants to help us and when we simply ask, when we simply rely on Him cause we got nothing in us to do it on our own.....He fills us up, He answers our crys.

Today while feeling the sadness I thought of this song we often sing in church, a song that never leaves me with any more tears to cry. But this I feel is my song, this is my heart's desire and I pray if you are in the pit today, the lyrics will bring you encouragement. This song speaks truth, He is there with us in all times!!

Verse 1
GOD IN MY LIVING
THERE IN MY BREATHING
GOD IN MY WAKING
GOD IN MY SLEEPING
GOD IN MY RESTING
THERE IN MY WORKING
GOD IN MY THINKING
GOD IN MY SPEAKING
Chorus
BE MY EVERYTHING
BE MY EVERYTHING
BE MY EVERYTHING
BE MY EVERYTHING
VERSE 2:
GOD IN MY HOPING
THERE IN MY DREAMING
GOD IN MY WATCHING
GOD IN MY WAITING
GOD IN MY LAUGHING
THERE IN MY WEEPING
GOD IN MY HURTING
GOD IN MY HEALING
BRIDGE:
CHRIST IN ME
CHRIST IN ME
CHRIST IN ME THE HOPE OF GLORY
YOU ARE EVERYTHING
CHRIST IN ME
CHRIST IN ME
CHRIST IN ME THE HOPE OF GLORY
BE MY EVERYTHING

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Kenzie update

Kenzie is back in the hospital due to some bleeding. Baby Faith looks great but they are obviously wanting to check some things out so she will be in there a little bit. Please continue to pray. Her blog is up and running again so you can check on her there for updates. thestanfieldjourney.blogspot.com
Thanks for your faithfulness!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

8 months since I held my sweet Mary Grace

I can't believe it's been eight months since I held my precious 3 lb 15oz baby girl. Yet, it seems like a life time ago. I know I haven't posted an update about how I am doing and am really not quite with it tonight to do so, but I wanted you to remember my baby girl with me today. I still have my really hard days but to be honest, they feel good to me at times. Good to feel the realness of Mary Grace and her presence in my life, if that even makes sense. Thursday was particularly hard, not sure why, it wasn't a Monday - or the 14th which are the "typical" hard days, but I cried harder than I had in months and it was a relief actually - except for the major headache that followed:)

Let me just say that through it all - through the heart ache, the tears, the empty arms that literally ache, the heaviness of it all.....God is here. God is with us every step of the way. He is still good and I am grateful every minute of every day that He chose such a person as me to be that precious girl's Mommy. Mary Grace is perfect and when we sang this hymn in church this morning.......I am reminded that I long for Heaven even more......and I know He knows my heart, it's not just to see Jesus, Grandma Hazlett, Grandma Allen, Papaw or Grandpa Sisldorf or the others I've longed to see.....it is to see my Mary Grace, I will run to her first and I know He will understand.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
'twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.

How marvelous how wonderful
and my song shall ever be
How marvelous how wonderful
is my Savior's love for me

I got a response from Kenzie today. She is safe, she is at home with family and is doing well. She had a hard day of contractions yesterday but hardly any today! Keep on praying like I know you will. God is our refuge and strength, our very help!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/10 Update on Kenzie

*****Since Kenzie's blog isn't up and running - I thought some of you would like to send her a message. She gave me permission to share her e-mail address and I know she would love to know you are thinking of her:) I am sure she misses the comments on her blog - some days it's the only thing that keeps us going......
Her e-mail is: Kenzie.stanfield@yahoo.com

Hi Everyone,


Here is the text I just received from Kenzie:

"Yeah!! Working on discharge papers now. Faith had one decel last night but no noticeable pattern. She looks good & I'll go to an office appointment on Monday. Thx 4 Prayer"

PRAISE JESUS!!!

"Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God: I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Update on Kenzie and Baby Faith

**Praise Report - Kenzie said she is going to be able to get copies of all her blog. I am not sure when/if her blog will be restored but at least we know she has that.
She said that she is having some more/new contractions....keep praying!!

Hi Friends,
I know everyone is so concerned about Kenzie and Baby Faith especially since her Blog page is out of commissioin. So when I spoke to Kenzie today she asked that I give everyone an update.

First - Kenzie's contractions are stable right now, the medication seems to be keeping things under control for the most part. She thought she may get to go home today but the Doctor told her that they had noticed Faith's heart rate being low a few times during the last few nights. He mentioned that it probably isn't anything but that with her history he wanted to keep her a few more days. I am so glad they are being cautious with her and sweet Faith. Continue to pray for the contractions to be under control and for Faith's heart rate to be okay. Faith Clare seems to continue to be strong, praise Jesus!

Kenzie is not sure what is going on with her blog, but it has been shut down as well as her face book and two e-mail accounts. She is obviously very upset about this and is hoping and praying that their is a history of her blog or record that they can retreive. Please pray about this, I know it's not near the scale of everything else that is going on with her and Faith, but it's 1 1/2 years of Kenzie's heart and soul of her journey with precious Maddox. Pray that the company can get her blog page back and have the history with it.

She is so grateful for everyone's thoughts, prayers, calls and messages. Her Mom is on her way today so I know that will be good for her, Deacon and Dusty.

I will keep you posted as I hear anything else. God bless you all for being so faithful in your prayers for all of us and our families.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Update on Kenzie and Baby Faith Clare

I just got a text from Kenzie that they are trying to regulate her medication to stop the contractions. When they give her the amount that stops the contractions she feels really bad so when they back off a little the contractions start up. So they are trying to work it out. She will be in the hospital for several days it seems, which I am actually glad about so they can keep a close eye on that sweet baby. Please continuing praying for Kenzie and precious Faith.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Please pray for Kenzie and Baby Faith Clare

Hi Friends,
As you know, one of the sweetest girls I have met through this trisomy 18 journey is Kenzie Stanfield - Maddox's sweet mommy. From the moment I met her we had a connection, not just because our baby angels are in Heaven, but because of our hearts. It's hard to explain the connection but I feel like she has been a part of my whole life and I have only spent time with her face to face twice. We will be life long friends I know. I remember so many details of her and sweet Maddox's journey as me and Mary Grace went through ours. Sweet,beautiful and heart breaking details.

When I met her in Austin in May to talk about our sweet angels, she had a little belly growing already with a new miracle little girl. Since then I have prayed for this sweet baby and for Kenzie, that she would have peace about this pregnancy and enjoy every minute of it.

I received a text message from her last night saying that she went to the Dr. and he admitted her into the hospital because she was in preterm labor at 26 weeks. I immediately began to pray and while waking up in the middle of the night twice immediately prayed. I got an update from her this morning and contractions have slowed down, she will be on bed rest and hopefully will get to go home tomorrow. I have such a peace about this but ask that you pray for Kenzie and Faith as they go through the rest of this pregnancy. I ask that God keeps that baby in her mommy's belly so that she will continue to grow and be knit together perfectly! Pray for peace and comfort for Kenzie as bed rest is not easy with another little boy in the house.

God's plan is perfect, I believe it and I will hold tight to it.

"God's peace...is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:7

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prayers Needed....

Hi Friends,
Yesterday I went to the celebration of life service for Jonathan Elijah Peterson. He blessed his family for 31 days on earth and will continue to bless them while he is with Jesus. I ask that you continue to pray for this dear family as they continue to miss there little boy. Jonathan's parents are Heidi and Joel and his little sister is Annika. He had Trisomy 18.

I also ask that you lift up the Paige Family. Their precious boy Christian Dale Paige was born on Monday August 18th. He went to be with Jesus on Friday August
22nd. He also had Trisomy 18 and was Ryan and Leah's first born son. Please visit their blog and let them know you are praying for them: http://thenaplespaiges.blogspot.com/

Is.43:2a-3a "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you....For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Ps. 27:13-14 "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mother of three?

One of my “hang-ups” for lack of a better term, when losing Mary Grace was the fact that I have physically given birth to three babies and only have 2 with me. I have had 5 pregnancies and only have 2 babies with me. It’s hard to take and I know I have posted before about what an empty feeling it is and all the sadness that comes with it. How sad it is to know that I should be taking care of a baby right now, feeding her, waking up with her and getting frustrated that she may not be sleeping through the night yet:). Yes there is much sadness in this but I have to tell you that I wouldn’t trade the sadness for the joy I feel in my heart. I often catch myself wondering, “am I a mother of three REALLY?” When someone asks how many children I have and I have answered “two” because it’s easier……and I walk away with that pit in my stomach that I didn’t say three, it’s tough. When I have had the panic attacks and have fled to the bathroom to see Mary’s scar just to insure she really happened, it hurts. But I know, thank God, that I am truly a mother of three. Praise Jesus.

I have really had a peace about this lately. I have had an air about me and my head is held high that yes…I am a mother of three. I have three baby girls, two are with me and one is with her heavenly Father. I do not see her physically around me, but there is no doubt that she is in my heart, she is real, I feel her…and that sweet girl brings me joy. Would I choose to have her with me? Yes…..but I trust God in this…it’s not always easy, but I do.

I sometimes sing to myself (and out loud in the car when nobody is with me) “since Mary came into my heart, since Mary came into my heart, floods of joy ore my soul like the sea billows roll…since Mary came into my heart:)”.

Today I took Kailey to chick-fil-a for a get together with her class from last year. She has a great group of little girl friends and an awesome teacher. There were two moms there with little babies, a boy 3 months old and a girl brand new. When I saw them of course my first thoughts are of Mary Grace, but it wasn’t horrible. I didn’t feel bad or sad, God is good to me in these instances. Kailey was over by the mom with the baby girl (she is drawn to babies) and she yelled across the room to me “Mom, how old would Mary Grace be?” and truly there was not a feeling of ‘oh no let’s not go here” I said proudly, “7 months” with a smile (a real one) on my face, and I watched Kailey tell the mom 7 months. She didn’t have sadness on her face, Kailey proudly talked about her sister being 7 months. It felt sweet to me, it felt okay to me and honestly I loved it. I love it when Allison will sometimes still insist on setting a place mat for Mary Grace at the dinner table. Mary is a living part of our family, she is in our hearts and she is real!

I was talking with someone about Trisomy 18 and how it is a “fluky” chromosomal thing, not age related like so many would believe. Now this is something I have said so many times……but for the first time when I said “fluky” I didn’t like it, it felt horrible to me. So I back paddled and said but you know, Mary Grace was not a fluky thing, she was exactly perfect for us. I feel so proud of my third little girl and all that she has accomplished not only on this earth, but also in me. She has changed me and even with all the sadness and all the hard days, I love what Mary Grace has brought to me, the changes I feel in my heart. Again I would not trade one second of Mary Grace for anything.

We talked about faithfulness in our bible study this week. We talked about all the people that had faith in God and a lot of them didn’t even get to see what God accomplished through their life long suffering, they just obeyed Him and trusted Him. Now they are reaping the benefits of Heaven, an eternal reward. It was another reminder of all that I do have, all the good that God has given me and yes, I don’t like the fact that Mary died one bit, but God gave her to me, she is mine…how can there not be joy in that? How can I not feel blessed even if only to have her for 7 hours in my arms? How can I not praise Him every day of my life for such a gift?! I told my friends one night that I am the lucky one, the blessed one and I am so thankful that God chose me to be Mary’s mom, I am so thankful that He gave her to me.

When I meet a new mom that has had to endure or will have to endure the loss of her child, it truly breaks my heart. I can feel so discouraged by it. But when I know that Jesus is her Savior, I have a peace that she will be okay. I know that she WILL find the joy in this circumstance. I know that she WILL be blessed for her faithfulness and it comforts me!

“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.” Romans 5:3-5

So….is everything perfect? No. Is everything okay? No. Are the hard and sad days behind me? No. Will there be a day when I see a baby and will not get sad or mad? Yes. Will I never again question God and what His purpose is? Absolutely NO. But…I will take it, ‘cause I am a mother of three precious sweet and perfect little girls. How sweet it is!


“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:10-12

Monday, August 11, 2008

Prayer Request - Baby Jonathan Peterson

Hi Friends,
I am on a little trip with my husband right now. His parents came from MD to watch the girls while I joined him for a few days on a business trip.
I have an important prayer request that I need you to be praying about. The photographer who took Mary Grace's pictures has become a very dear friend of mine. She told me of another Mom she had met who's baby had been diagnosed with T-18. Baby Jonathan was born a month ago and his family has been blessed with some precious time with him. Amber (my friend) called this morning and told me that he passed away early this morning. I have corresponded a few times via e-mail with his precious mom Heidi. My heart breaks for this family right now. I ask that you be on your knees praying for this family today and in the weeks to come. We know that sweet Jonathan is in Heaven dancing with Jesus now in perfection and I praise Him for that, but we also know that a family has empty arms that should be filled with their sweet boy. This bitter/sweet feeling is tough to balance, so I pray God will give them the peace that only comes from Him and that He will carry them in His hand!

Thank you Jesus for your promises, we will hold on dearly to them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Old Kentucky Home

Well I am back in Texas from my trip HOME to Kentucky. Back to the piles of laundry, paperwork, bills, housework and piles and piles of REALITY. My time in Kentucky was good. I had lots of time with family and friends. I got to see everyone (minus just a few) of some of the most important people in my life. There was no schedule; no agenda just spending time with family and it was good. Mom was off for summer break and so was my Sister. I had lots of time with them and it was so nice. My Mom’s neighbor had a cat that just had kittens and some how they ended up on Mom’s back porch. The girls loved them. We had to force them to put them down some so they could nurse from their mommy. It was so neat to see that even a Cat mommy could love her kittens so much. I was able to share a cup of coffee every morning with Mom and sit on her back porch until it was too hot. We were blessed to have time with cousins that visited with us from Nashville. The girls played non-stop with their other cousins and so I barely saw them for 10 days except for when they still wanted their nightly song and prayers from Mommy. I was also able to spend some good time with my Dad, made him some hot fudge brownie sundaes and was reminded how much he really loves his family. He loves having us all together and you can tell. The thing the girls talk about the most when going to Pa and Grandma's house is that Pa will take them shopping and buy them everything they want, and he does every time which leaves me purging some old stuff when I get home. It's worth it though cause they love it. I was also blessed with some time with Emily (Miller Graces' Mommy). We met half way, an hour drive for each of us, had dinner and spent a lot of time talking with that comfort level we have with each other. I am so thankful for her.

Reality: when I said that earlier I realize it sounds pretty negative. And believe me there are times it is pretty dog gone negative. When coming back from KY I felt pretty strong. I had lots of down time without a ”to do” list to just reflect on things, reflect on the type of Mother and Wife I long to be, the type my kids and Chris deserve. How I want to be the person God wants me to be. When coming back I had in my mind, it’s a new day, a new chapter and I feel good and I am going to be different, I am not going to carry so much sadness with me, I choose to be better. Then I woke up in my bed Friday morning, not refreshed and ready to conquer the world, but defeated. The reality of being back in this house without my 3rd daughter hit hard. Where does it come from out of the blue? How can it happen so quickly and rob me of so much? How can life just go on with out her? Geez I thought I was past this! But after moping around for the past few days I realize I will never be past it. I will purposely and deliberately have to die daily, hourly, sometimes minute by minute to the desire of my flesh to give up, to let satan have his way with me, to let satan defeat me and steel the Joy I know that I have, the Joy that Mary Grace brought to me and our family. And besides, getting past “it” means getting past her. I never want to get past her and so with the grief and with the hurt comes the Joy and happiness in having one of the best things in the world, Mary Grace. So REALITY is also sweet and precious and good. With God, and only with Him, I can live this life with Mary in Heaven and still have all that God intended for me, I am His child and His plans are not to harm me but to prosper me.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you: Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

When I got to Kentucky Monday night the 14th, we went to Mom’s house and I went to Mary’s grave by myself. I was kind of anxious and didn’t know how I felt about the whole thing. The last 6 months I have longed to go to her grave and spend time with her and now I had the chance. I was a little nervous about the whole thing and on my drive to the cemetery I almost felt sick. I didn’t even stop to buy flowers like I originally thought I would because I just wanted to be there. When I got their I expected to still see fresh dirt, not sure why since it had been 6 months but that’s what I expected. But, there was grass like it had been there for 100 years, nothing was new and fresh but the hanging basket of flowers my dear Uncle Edgar had placed there. There was only a little grave marker with her name and date on it because her head stone was not ready in time to be placed yet (long stinky story). As I sat down in the grass beside her I just couldn’t believe that I was now one of “those” Moms who sit at their children’s grave. How could this be me? I sang to Mary Grace and then…. I started getting bit by what seemed like 1,0000 mosquitoes. I felt kind of aggravated because I just wanted to sit there and talk to her but couldn’t concentrate on what I was singing or saying because I was getting bit. I mean come on…this is what I have longed for since I was back on the plane to Texas in January. This is not what I pictured in my mind what sitting at her grave would be like. Then as the frustration seemed to build it’s like God was telling me, see Kim this is not where Mary Grace is. She is with Me and she is happy and healthy and perfect and having fun. She has been as much with you when you go to your closet and weep for her as she is with you here and now at her grave. I realized that it’s nice to be able to sit at her grave, make sure it looks nice since this is where we put her to rest, but it’s not where she is. I do not have to be here to sing to her, to talk to her, to cry or laugh with her. I have had to fight the thoughts that it is her sweet body that I held laying beneath the dirt, but I know that is from satan and that my daughter is simply not there. She is with her Creator, she is with our King and she is good. Who knew that God could use Mosquitoes?

I have never been that Christian who feels like I hear God audibly. I have desired it and wondered what He sounded like so I would know if I ever did, but I never have. I have always thought that maybe I wasn’t a good enough Christian and didn’t have the relationship with Him that I needed to in order to hear Him. But the few times lately that my mind has shut off, I have heard Him. He doesn’t really have a sound but He has spoken softly to me and it has been beautiful. I know it was Him at Mary’s grave, it has not only been His voice but His touch in my closet many times when I have been on my face with despair. It was even Mary that day in the kitchen when I was so upset and she spoke to me and told me that she was not given to me by our God to let Satan defeat me, she was not intended to bring me despair but to bring me pure Joy. And oh she has brought me such pure joy, the kind you can’t really explain when such grief comes with it, but it’s there.

Just as sure as Jesus was not there in that grave on the third day, my sweet daughter Mary Grace was not there in Stanford Kentucky underneath dirt in a tiny white casket. No… she is in Heaven with Jesus, the one who died for us and made it possible for us to be together in perfection forever. Praise Him for giving Mary Grace to me, Praise Him for giving us Jesus, Praise Him for perfecting her and holding and loving her until I get there………

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deeper Still a Divine Appointment

Emily (sweet Miller Grace's Mom) was asked to write an entry about our weekend in Atlanta at the Deeper Still conference. She writes beautifully. When you have a minute please read it, it's yet another blessing from that weekend, and another blessing from our sweet babies!

http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/deeperstill/2008/07/deeper_still_a_divine_appointm.html

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy 6 Months sweet Mary Grace!


Happy Birthday baby girl!! We miss you and love you and celebrate your life. What I wouldn't give to relive January 14, 2008 @ 7:15 a.m.! To be able to hold your sweet precious self and to feel your perfect nose against my cheek again. I know you will be having a sweet 6 month birthday party with Jacob Ryan and will be celebrating with all your new little friends and with your Grandma Hazlett, Grandma Allen, Grandpops Silsdorf and more.....
You are precious and I can't thank God enough for choosing me, choosing us to have you. You are perfect, you are everything.
Psalms 139........

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Six months ago......



I was getting things ready to have Mary Grace. I had found out Wed. that our prayers had been answered and she had turned head down and was ready. I was so relieved because I had never had a c-section and I was scared of the risks, the surgery recovery, not knowing how much time I would have with Mary and being scared to be out of it due to the surgery. My family was all here, we were heading to the build a bear workshop so that Kailey and Allison could make their sister a bear to give her at the hospital. I enjoyed a big buffet at the Golden Coral and was looking forward to some ice cream. We headed to church on Sunday morning and I realized that it would probably be the last service that I had Mary Grace with me, that she would probably never be sitting in an infant carrier beside my pew - it was quite emotional. We came home to get packed and headed to the hospital Sunday night. At 11:00 p.m. they checked me before they gave me the medicine I needed to "get started" and Mary Grace had seemed to move back to breech. I was so confused on how God answered what seem to be like the only prayer so far and now even that was not the case. But then I had a weird kind of peace about it, maybe because I knew that within minutes of going into surgery I would for sure be holding my baby girl. Then 7:00 a.m. rolled around quickly - and at 7:15 a.m. one of the most incredible miracles was being held right up to my cheek, she was crying this precious little cry (which they said she never would cry) and as I immediately started singing to her, I knew how great my God is and just how many prayers he had answered just to have her there by my cheek! That day was perfect. The 7 hours with Mary Grace was perfect and I can't even begin to tell you how many prayers God answered in our lives that very day.




Now....six months later I am pretty lonely for my Mary Grace. My arms feel very heavy today. I have had a lump in my throat that hurts from holding back the tears all morning but are freely flowing right now. I am confused....I am scared....I am mad....I am hurt....I am lonely....I am disappointed....I am stuck......but I do have JOY. Joy is so prevalent within me and it's hard to explain but I know God has me...I know He is carrying me. And in those really mad moments...moments like when I look at pictures from January 14th and I see the love and smiles in Mary Grace's sisters face when they look at her and are holding her, and I think oh God..they should have got to keep her...why???? It last a moment and I hold on to the times when Kailey says to me "Mommy at least we get to be with her forever in Heaven". Because Heaven is forever, this world it but a fleeting moment.

Oh and remember that prayer that God must not have really answered, the one where I ended up having to have a c-section? Well, thank God He knows what we need, He knows what is right for us....because when I get the panicky feeling of "did Mary Grace really happen, did I really have her?" I can run to my bathroom mirror and lift my shirt and see the proof, feel the proof. Oh I am so thankful for that scar, the scar I do not put anything on to fade it - cause I love, love, love it. Thank you Jesus for what seems like those unanswered prayers.

Monday will be six months since my Mary Grace started dancing with Jesus....I am flying to Kentucky and I will sit at my daughters grave, I will sing to her and I will praise my Jesus for the third greatest gift in my life.

Psalm 90:14 "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Thank you Megan.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ain't God Good?!!

How amazing it is to look into the eyes of 7 other women who have had to let their babies leave from their arms. How amazing it is to see and hear them praise the God that allowed it to happen. How amazing it is to listen to how perfect God’s plan played out in each of our lives (and for us to know it was perfect) with the end result being the same. How amazing it is to smash pottery and take a peace of each other’s to create something that includes all of us and to do it with laughter and not bitterness. How amazing it is to worship our loving Savior with 19,000 other women who probably have similar stories or ones of their own that are just as horrific. How amazing it is to be with 7 other girls that I have never even met (excluding my precious Kenzie and Emily) and to feel like we have all been life long friends, meeting up for the weekend. How amazing it is to love them and their babies with all my heart and soul and to create a lifelong bond/friendship that regardless if I ever will get to see them all again, will always be a part of me. I could go on and on with these thoughts but now you see why I ask “Ain’t God Good?!!”






The Lord blessed me with an amazing weekend! I can not even begin to tell you how much fun we had together while laughing, crying, singing, dancing and praising God with all that we have in us. It is Thursday a week later and it will probably take me another 3 weeks to get caught up on sleep – One other woman (will not mention names) and I are the only ones who are probably too old for this kind of weekend (yes we were the joke of generational things, how did I get here?). I roomed with Emily, Kenzie and Karen and the first night we got 4 ½ hours sleep, the second night we got 45 MINUTES worth of sleep and the third night we got 3 ½ hours sleep! Kenzie did get more sleep because she’s gotta take care of that little GIRL she is having! I realize that I can’t hang with the young folk any more and that although I did not feel like 38 when I got there (gotta be honest with that number since I am a Christian) I feel like it now!! Reality is so wrong!! Hee hee










I want to praise God for orchestrating such a perfect time of praise, worship, love and friendship. I want to praise Him for Mary Grace, Maddox, Miller Grace, Isaac, Asher, Tristan, Poppy Joy, Jacob Ryan and Eva Janette. I want to thank these babies for bringing their Mommies into my life. And although we would never choose to be a part of this “club” I could never imagine going through this without these woman. I know because of this trip it seems I feel this way exclusively about them, but realize this weekend and this post is to describe them, but there are so many other babies and Mommies who mean just as much to me and that I could not imagine not having known them as well (too many to mention for fear of accidentally leaving someone out, because of my age you know). I love you all!

I am so thankful that I live in this day and age where it’s possible to grieve like this, to have this outlet, to have other Mommies who are able to connect with me throughout the world. I am so thankful that families are willing to share themselves with me so that I do not have to do this alone, that Woman reach out to me and share their journeys, it means the world. I do not take for granted that this is a blessing to be able to find each other in this way. I can’t imagine loosing a baby and not having this outlet, not having photographs and videos and my heart breaks for any Mother who has lost a baby without these resources because it has been my saving grace.

This conference included three speakers (Kay Authur, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer), Travis Cottrell and his praise Team and Mandessa (she is so beautiful with an incredible testimony – one of my favorites). Everything and everyone was amazing. Kenzie had mentioned in her blog that the teachings from Priscilla Shirer spoke to her particularly. I have to agree without being a copycat that this was the thing that spoke to me the most. She spoke from Exodus 19 of the Israelites in their wilderness period, how that God took them to the furthest point away from the land of blessings to the wilderness to “camp out”. How that in the wilderness where God brings us to, we need to camp out, we have to kneel face down, we have to pitch our tent and trust Him. And that through this trust, through this relationship that we can have with God if we choose it, we will find our mountain. Lord I will surrender to this and I will camp out! As she said “it is more safe in the wilderness with God than out of the wilderness without God”. AMEN!





P.S. I had to edit this blog to make sure to include our sweet Sister in Christ Kirsten. She lives in CA and happened (not by chance thank you Jesus) to be in Atlanta for another reason, looked us up and shared some wonderful time with us. She has been part of this journey and has lifted us up in prayer. She too lost a baby during her pregnancy and has held on tightly to God and His promises so beautifullly. Kirsten, thank you for meeting with us, sharing this with us...I will continue to pray for you as God takes you through this wilderness to the mountain!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and our trip, your excitement for us, your support of us has been so wonderful. I feel as much love from you all as I do from my new lifelong best friends. You are all as much a part of this as us and I praise God for you. Because of all your love, my cup runneth over!

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. Mark 9:41

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prone to Wonder.....

Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart Lord take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

I am sure you know by now that I LOVE christian music. It ministers to me like nothing else. And more than that I LOVE hymns. I love singing them to my girls. I love knowing why they were written (especially since I was given Mary Grace). When I am having a "moment" and words come to me that I can't figure out where they come from or what song it is...I love being able to go to my hymnal and find it and get excited to introduce it to my girls. Since a lot of churches have gone to mostly praise music (which my church does and I love) I still want my girls to grow up having the old Hymns in there hearts. Cause man how much it has meant to me, in my happiest and in my darkest moments. It's like knowing the bible and going through something in your life and just having the word of God in your heart to help you through it, verses like Phil. 4:8 "Finally Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think on such things". Unfortunately I am horrible at memorizing verses...but songs.....I know the words to songs and I can break out in a song at any given moment.

Sunday my girls and their Memom was outside playing in the driveway, I wasn't sure where Chris was, and I was fixing dinner and my heart had been stirring since the message at church that morning. I was engulfed with thoughts of Heaven and Mary Grace, looking out the window at her tree (again it means the world to me to have that tree!) and feeling oh so emotional. I had the radio on and one of my favorite songs came on : Let it Fade by Jeremy camp ( on my play list to listen to) and I could not get to the volume knob fast enough!! I ran to it, blasted the music, closed my eyes and starting lifting my hands up to the sky and when I opened my eyes Chris was standing there and I totally lost it...I collapsed in his arms and wept and it felt so good! He asked what made you think of her? and I said I always think of her. He said no I mean was it the song that made you think of her? I said no..I mean I ALWAYS think of her. I love my husband and he is the most awesome man in the world, but please! Mary Grace is a constant in my mind - there isn't any one thing that makes me think of her - my thoughts are always on her. How can a person explain that? A Mother's thoughts are always on her children, and there's no way to explain it.

Now...there are things all the time that trigger certain thoughts. Like the hair in the drain (Emily calls it Chubacka which totally cracks me up) triggers the thoughts of my body recovering from having a baby but she isn't here with me. My tight "big" clothes remind me that I have baby weight and she isn't here with me. My arms that literally ache at times remind me that I will never hold Mary Grace in my earthly arms again. When I go to see Kailey dance in her recital (which she was amazing) it reminds me that I will never get to see Mary Grace dance on stage. When I put sunscreen on my girls I think that I should have a third sweet girl standing in line waiting to be lubed up. When I go through clothes I have to remember that I do not need to save them for Mary Grace. When I walk in the office I am reminded that it's not a nursery. When I run to the grocery store I do not need to make sure my baby girl is fed up to last her three hours so Chris can stay home with the three girls. When I register Allison for Kindergarten I think of not having alone time with Mary Grace for 3 hours while Allison is in school. When I see Kailey in the seat next to Allison in our van, I am reminded that she is not in the back so that Mary can sit there in her infant car seat. When I think of Mary Grace being 5 months old I am reminded that I do not have to clear space in my cabinets to make room for baby food. I can go on and on.....so what made me think of her? I ALWAYS think of sweet Mary Grace........I love you sweet girl.

And then I hear a sermon preached, a sermon about God calling me to make an eternal difference and what am I building into eternity? Am I building with Gold/Silver/precious stones or hay and stubble? When I get to Heaven I will hear enter in, thanks to Jesus Christ's blood and His Grace, but will I hear "well done thy good and faithful servant" or will I just get a shrug? And I visualize my Mary Grace entering into Heaven and Jesus holding her, dancing with her, pitching her up in the air and saying "well done Mary Grace, I am so very proud of you". And it thrills my heart and soul!!!!!!!! She came into this world for 7 short hours and made such an ETERNAL impact on so many many people that it really makes her Momma proud. And she makes me want to make her proud, she makes me want to make my God proud, my Savior proud. She makes me want exist for eternity. She makes me want to be a better Mommy to Kailey and Allison, a better wife to Chris, a better Daughter, Sister, Friend.......

I know I gotta long way to go. I know I am struggling, struggling with anger, bitterness, anxiety, eating, must I go on? But we (God and me) will get this done. When I was feeling sorry for myself this weekend and I was letting my strong holds get a hold of me, I could literally hear Mary Grace saying to me "mommy this is not what I want for you, this is not what God intended, this is not why God gave me to you, I want you to be happy, I want you to be okay for my sisters...I am here, I always will be...it's okay to be okay, I am yours and I will be waiting for you!"

I get exhausted a lot by being okay in front of people. I mean I really do not intend on "faking it" I really do not try to put on a front...it's just not me to be down in front of others. I am the type of person where I want everyone to be happy, I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable or down, I want everyone to be okay so it's not something I mean to do, it's just me. But I can finally just get exhausted by it and that's when I have my down times. But this is grief, this is sadness and longing for my Mary Grace...and I know my Father is okay with it. But I know too that He wants more from this and I will give it to Him.....I will............

Keeping praying my friends, keep praying that I do not waste any of this.......

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pistol Packin' Momma

This is my new nick name for Kenzie and it cracks me up every time I think of it.
Some of you have read Kenzie's blog but for those of you who haven't let me tell you about Saturday.
First let me start by saying GOD IS SO GOOD!! There is a lot of tragedy, a lot of heart ache, a lot of disappointment, but...there is also so much to be joyful about, to be happy about, to praise Him about and Kenzie is at the top of my list. (Along with all my new found friends).
Kenzie and I live about 5 1/2 hours from each other and have talked for a while about getting together. So....Saturday was a day that worked out for both of us and we met in the middle in Austin. Kenzie was there a little bit before me so she got parked and waited. I pulled up and picked her up on the side of the street in Downtown Austin and from the moment she sat in my car...it's as if I knew her my whole life. The first thing Chris said when he saw our picture was that we could be sisters...and I said "we are, soul sisters!"
Well..we headed off to get some famous green chili cheese fries (boot camp is over!) at the famous Shady Grove in Austin. We talked about our precious angels, our families, our gripes, our questions, our fears, our praises and the list goes on. After sitting there for a few hours and I am sure annoying our waiter who was losing tips, we decided to head down the road and do some sight seeing and walking around. The light turned greened - I had to wait for a pedestrian to cross and BOOM. We got rear ended. We pulled into a Whataburger and once I found out everyone was okay..the laughs began. I mean really.....we are 1 in 3,000 and the odds proved themselves yet again...we couldn't help but to laugh. After spending 2 1/2 hours in the whataburger parking lot waiting for the cops......they came and gave us a sheet to fill out, no police report and said see ya! Now...during the wait, I witnessed a person walking with a belt and bracelet made of bullets...couldn't motion to Kenzie cause he had a back pack too and I just knew we would make the 10 o clock news. After he was out of site I told Kenzie and she then tells me she is licenced to carry a fire arm...what! Kenzie, sweet precious Kenzie? Well...now she is "Pistol Packin' Momma" to me! Cracks me up!
We finished the day with more laughs, some tears, more good food (boot camp is REALLY over), great conversation, and regret that we hadn't planned to spend the night and have more time together. Good Times!







I am so thankful for Mary Grace, Maddox, Miller Grace, Tristan, Poppy, Eva, Madeline, Happy...really the list is so much that if I continued I would be devastated to leave anyone out! You know who you are....I love you all, I love your babies, I love your hearts, I love and Praise the one and only God who has brought us together. There was nothing like looking into the eyes of another Mommy who got it. Who knew exactly what I was saying even if she felt differently or her story played out differently than mine. Friends...we gotta reach out, we gotta be there for each other, we can't waste this...these gifts that God has given us.

On another note, a note that breaks my heart deeply...please pray for the Fahmer Family. Jacob was born the same day as Mary Grace. I have loved reading about him, watching him grow, watching him beat all the odds and touch the world every day, all 139 of them. I have imagined through watching Jacob, Mary Grace and where she would be if she was still here with me. Sweet Jacob is now with Mary Grace in the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ. Please pray without ceasing for this family. It's never enough time..... http://fahmer.blogspot.com

God is great but sometimes life ain't good!

Friday, May 30, 2008

What a day that will be.....

I am writing today but let me warn you, my brain is pretty much mush. It’s filled with so much stuff that I do not know where to begin and do not know how it will end. I am overwhelmed with my “to do” list, the piles that lay before me from paperwork to laundry, the endless piles of papers that come home from school (to keep or not to keep so they all just lay there), the things I need to get accomplished and off of my plate but I just can’t seem to move forward with any of it. Yesterday I bought two bags of groceries and walked past them a hundred times and just couldn’t put them away (besides the stuff that HAD to go in the refrigerator). I mean really, it was grapes, some broccoli, bread and apples and I seriously could not put it away. How can that weigh on a person? I mean it’s a few groceries for goodness sakes, not finding a cure for cancer or solving global warming. So is this depression, the feeling of hopelessness at times when you can’t even do a simple thing? I think that’s why when I get dinner on the table 5 out of 7 nights I feel like I should get an award for such an accomplishment, who cares if it’s spaghetti or "just add water" pancakes (with calcium at least).

I have been trying to limit my computer time as it was starting to get out of control. I was spending hours here and when it’s the first place Kailey or Allison look for me, I thought that was a sign. But it is a place where I do not feel so alone. I now just try to check to see how everyone is doing (2 to 3 a day). I have to say there have been some really exciting things happening with my friends, miracles and displays of God’s grace and power, but it has also been a tough few weeks of adding to my prayer list and feeling discouraged that so many people’s lives are changing due to similar circumstances to mine. Whether it be difficulties in raising a special needs child, death before birth, death after birth or SIDS…it’s just crazy. I sometimes feel that it may be best for me right now if I just stayed away from the computer all together so the reality of this life will not bring me down further, but there’s just no way. There is no way I can be comfortable knowing that God is specifically putting people in my life for me to pray for, people who need and covet our prayers. I can’t ignore it, I can’t walk away from it…who am I to think that it’s okay to just safely get through this life with as little grief as possible. I look around me and am reminded all that I am blessed with, my home, clothes on my back, a beautiful family, my stomach has never felt TRUE hunger, the bills are paid. Yes I have lost one of the most precious gifts that has ever been given to me and I would trade all of the stuff to have Mary Grace back, but I will not be separated from her forever (this world is not our home, we’re just a passin’ through). Because of what Jesus did for me, I have the promise of having it ALL for eternity, not just this brief moment in time. If given the choice I choose eternity not this ole’ world.

Well today was my last day of my 4-week boot camp. I decided to jump in a have something kick my butt and I finished it. Let me tell you that there was hardly a day that went by that I would not get back into my car, with not a dry thread on my body, and not have a break down on the way home. I was pretty much ticked the whole time, especially when I would wear the wrong shorts and my inner thighs would remind me during the whole run! I mean first I thought….am I actually paying for this, for someone to kick my butt like this? Second I was mad the whole time trying to lose baby weight with no baby to show for it. I would get in my car and think, I should have a baby to rush home to breast-feed. I mean with my other two, when I had to lose the weight it was okay, a slow process and I remember going to the gym in between the three hour feedings and needing to get back home to feed my sweet girls. Now I am coming home to pictures of my sweet girl, the house empty of her. Oh it’s just so hard, it just stinks. But….today on my last day I was having to talk myself into staying and not leaving early pretty much the whole time and on that last run I had the most overwhelming beautiful thought of….. “Mary Grace you are worth all of this”. And I kid you not, when I got into my car, started it up, Chris Tomlin was singing “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free” (the girls call it Mary and Poppy Joy’s song). So…..I lost it again, but this time with tears of joy. And at the end of that song he sings “you are forever mine” I sang it to Mary Grace, because death and passing from this world, does not change the fact that she is forever mine and I will see her some sweet day. “And what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, and I look upon His face the one who saved me by His Grace. And when He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promise land, what a day …glorious day that will be".

Please pray specifically right now for my cousin/best friend Tracy’s family. She lost her Grandfather this week and he is walking in perfection with Mary Grace right now.

Pray also for Greg, Nicol and Summer Sponberg as they deal with the loss of their baby boy Luke due to SIDS. This is Angie’s family who recently lost Audrey Caroline and now have to bury another baby in the family, it’s unfathomable. http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prayer Request - Faith Webb

Hi Friends. Sorry I haven't updated lately. I do have a prayer request today. Faith Webb will be entering into this world. She has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. Please pray that God will bless this precious family with lots of time with their angel and that they will feel His hand holding them the whole way through.
She is one of the links under my prayer list...check on her and let them know you are thinking about them and praying for them - I remember how much it means.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

TRUST.........

is not a feeling, it's not an emotion. Trust is a decision, a choice. It's something that I think every Christian struggles with concerning God and His ways (Lord knows I do!). If we truly believe in God and His Holy Word and have a relationship with Christ, then we believe to some extent, if not all, that the things that He allows to happen to us are for His glory and for our good....Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." But man is it tough to take sometimes! You know, I don't think God ever promised that if we walked with Him , it would be a perfect road, (but some of it just feels too hard). In fact, we see time and time again in the bible and in our present day life, that some of the best Christians and believers are the ones who are persecuted the most and the hardest. But let's admit it....when these bad things happen to Christians, and they CHOOSE to trust God, to praise Him, to glorify Him, how much more powerful is that?! So powerful!! How easy is it to praise Him when things are going great, when things are pretty much perfect? Does that really say a whole lot?

I know in the past I have seen Christians get the worst Satan attacks ever, when they are really on fire for God, bam Satan attacks them! And I have thought.....okay.....I do not want to face those hardships so I am going to play it safe...not be too on fire for God to draw Satan's attention to me! You know, one of those "Safe" Christians. Still a Christian, still saved through Grace, still going to heaven, but SAFE....making no impact, making no difference for the Kingdom of God.
And, when the trials have come in my life (2 biggies so far) I have been angry, bitter, withdrawn....but I have still dug may way out by the power of my Savior and have found a way back to Him, even though He never left me! Praise Jesus for His love and patience for even me! He loves all of us, Christ died so that we may have life and have it more abundantly!! If you are facing a "biggie" right now, God is there, He WILL carry you I promise. I can now say truly, I KNOW! Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
And if what you are going through is not a "biggie" know that nothing is too big or small, God wants our everything...He wants to help us and be our Father in the small things too. (Besides...God doesn't have a scale,He wants it ALL). Phil 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Of course I do not want any more biggies, but I tell you now...I do not want to play it safe! I do not want to "lay low" so Satan will not target me. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! I want to Glorify the Almighty Father who has made it possible for me to spend eternity with all my loved ones who accept His Son as their Savior, because without Him there is no hope. I have always known how great a sacrifice Jesus was but I especially realize it now.
I was given a miracle, I was given a beautiful life, I was chosen to be the Mother to precious Mary Grace, praise Him for loving me so much!! And as sure as I decided to follow Jesus....I have decided not to waste what He gave me in Mary Grace - she is too precious to waste. I am not saying that I will not struggle, probably daily, but I AM saying that I have a longing for that Kingdom, that Kingdom I am called to make a difference for.

I have imagined a love note from my Heavenly Father that says "Will you Trust Me? Yes or No...do not circle OR." I circle YES..I choose to Trust.

Deuteronomy 32:4
"He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

When you can, please watch this inspiring video of a family who is in the depths of grief having lost their precious Audrey Caroline, but is choosing to Trust while realizing the true picture of what that means......you WILL be blessed. The "Smith Family Story".
http://withoutwax.tv/2008/04/28/rocked-to-my-core/

Friday, April 25, 2008

Batter Batter Swing





Jeez Louse this hurts! I am so mad right now. I just want to curse...I just want to scream, but I can't so I thought I would come "blog it out". I started reading a book tonight, When bad things happen to good people....I have only finished 2 pages and I threw it down (i am sure it will be good), I thought of all the books I have STARTED since I have lost Mary Grace....and I realized, I don't want to be the person who needs to read these books, I don't want to be the person who has to buy the One Year Book of Hope, I don't want to be the person who has to relate to Job, or read Psalms for comfort and/or peace!! I want my Mary Grace back, I want this to be over. I want to say...Okay God, we got through it, we have given you Glory to the best of our ability, NOW give her back!! I need her NOW!!!

I just read another Mom's blog where she had a dream that she stood outside and if she screamed loud enough God would drop her baby out of the sky.....oh heavens if only.....I feel like I could split the Eastern sky wide open with my scream tonight. I wish I could take a ball bat and go to town. Kick boxing might be good? I don't know.....that's just it, I don't know (but I know the One who does).

I have wanted to come write for the last two days about the anger I am feeling...but I didn't want to scare people, or discourage them. That's the fine line that's hard to draw when in the blogging world.....the responsibility that comes with it (wow is this what Brittney and Paris feel like?:). Oh how I DO want to glorify God, how I do want to be the one to encourage not discourage, but...I feel I need to be real and honest at the same time...cause it's real, grief is hard, it stinks to be a woman who has carried and given birth to three babies and only raising 2. There is no way to discount or describe the feelings of anguish (pure anguish) that comes with that. I also want the people who come here that may be going through the same type thing, to realize too, that you can be totally secure in your salvation (John 3:16)and love Jesus with all your heart, but still be angry. I mean God knows our hearts anyway....so why try to fool anyone else? I am not really good at showing people how I am really feeling, you know...the "how are you doing?" "Oh I am doing okay"....that stuff. And by the time I just go through my day, trying to be a good Mommy to the girls, loving them, paying attention to them (the best I can), keeping the house decent (livable), laundry, dinner etc....it piles up inside emotionally and sometimes you (my blogging friends) get the brunt of this junk.

But....you see...when I start writing, truths come flooding my soul. The truths of the blessings I still have with me, the truth that having Mary Grace is worth all the hurt even if I can't keep her with me to raise (I would do it 1,000 more times for those 7 precious hours)....the truth that I really can't relate to Job cause PRAISE GOD, I still have so much. It's all coming back to me now! See......this is so therapeutic!

One of the terms that will repeat itself to me daily for the rest of my life probably, is the term I heard when they gave me Mary Grace's diagnoses of t-18....."incompatible with life". That just always bugged me, who are they to tell me, they are not in control here! And the other night while driving in the car, I was thinking to myself...why does it bug me so much, that phrase that I repeat in my head can make me so angry......then I realized.....because Mary Grace was given to me FOR Life. She is my daughter, and death will never change that. Also, it gave me great joy to realize....she takes after her Momma...cause I am incompatible with life - at least I want to be incompatible with the life of this world. John 12:25 says "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life".

Friends, thanks for listening, thanks for caring and praying. Thanks for being there for me to swing the bat at! I think times like these are inevitable when you have lost something as precious as I have. I know there are those out there who have endured much more loss than I and I feel for you, I pray for you...but how can you compare loss, it's impossible.......

Consider this...as Paul considered everything he had accomplished...
Philippians 3:8 "What is more, I consider EVERYTHING a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, ...."

Philippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain"

AMEN

Monday, April 14, 2008

3 months..........

Not only is today the 14th and marks exactly 3 months since we kissed our sweet Mary Grace and then said goodbye, but it's a Monday which is the DAY she was born. The 14th of the month is hard, Mondays are hard, but both in one day is pretty yuck. I thought about it a lot this weekend and knew today I would stay busy and I did. But every non-focused thought turned to my sweet Mary Grace. I have to tell you however, that is not a bad thing. In fact when I have a day that is so busy and she doesn't cross my mind as much, at the end of that day I feel more sad. I love to think of her, I love to talk about her and when I got home today and had one e-mail that was titled "3 months" and the message simply said that I was being prayed for and thought about today.....well it made my day. That maybe I was not the only one on earth that realized today's significance - it really meant a lot. Now...if you saw me today and didn't remember or mention anything...do not feel bad, that is not what I intend and I understand that I live with this every minute of every day and do not expect the same from you...in fact I didn't even realize myself how much it would mean until I opened up my e-mail. It did however help me to realize even more, that it feels extremely good when someone does remember and acknowledge and talk about Mary Grace, so don't be scared, it makes me happy not sad.

I went on a field trip with Kailey today to the Dallas World Aquarium and it was hectic and a little crazy but fun. But as busy and crazy as it was almost every other thought was of Mary Grace. How she would be 3 months old today and that I should not have been able to be a chaperon. How I should be pushing her around in a stroller while trying to enjoy Kailey's day too. How I should be scrambling for a private place to feed my sweet girl. How everyone should look at me and talk about how precious the new baby is, how she has Kailey's eyes and Allison's nose....and then look at me and realize SHE is why I am 30 lbs over weight (well not all her fault!!) and my hair is thinning. AAAHHH it just hurts....... but you know....God is sustaining me. Even with the hurt and despair, I am able to walk, smile and even enjoy Kailey/life for the day. You know most people might even think that I am doing really good. Praise Jesus for that because I was really scared of the aftermath of this... and it's been doable.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you....For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior," Is. 43:2a-3a

Thank you for all your continued thoughts, prayers and comments. My sweet family, friends,even stranger's support and first and foremost, my Loving Savior Jesus Christ, is keeping me from drowning.....



Monday, April 7, 2008

How Sweet It Is


I don't know if you remember but I know I have mentioned how perfect Mary Grace's nose was (it was one of the first things I noticed). So much so, that I couldn't count the number of times I kissed her nose, rubbed it against my cheek or just touched it, even after her spirit was already with Jesus. I really thought a few times I could literally bite it off - if you are a Mom you know what I am talking about. Anyway - these pictures are priceless to me - thank you again Amber from NILMDTS - now a dear friend - it's such a blessing to look at these and remember the feeling I had (BTW - she took over 1,100 pictures that day and we didn't even realize she was in the room! now that's good photography!). I hope these pictures show why it is worth it all, why I would do it a thousand more times just for these precious moments. God blessed us with Mary Grace and I will praise Him forever!!











I just know God formed her hand like this to tell me she loves me when I look at her pictures. And they called it a "hand abnormality" ha!














Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Longing for Mary Grace

It's been 73 days since Mary Grace entered and left this world. I want to say I miss her but I didn't have her here on this earth with me long enough to know what I am missing, except for what I can imagine of her. So...the only way I know how to describe it is I long for her, I deeply long for her, and only her - only Mary Grace could fill this void. The emptiness that I feel for her is a lot of times overwhelming. I start to get the feeling of longing and I get anxious, like I do not know what to do with myself. I think one of the things that has been most difficult is the fact that I can not go to Mary's grave since she is in Kentucky. I want to sit by where she is and talk with her, cry for her, and although I realize I can do that anywhere, anytime - it's just different. It's a very helpless feeling but when I actually make the effort to ask my Lord to sustain me, he does, every time. I am not quite sure why I do not automatically ask Him but I don't. Maybe I still feel abandoned by Him although I know that's not true, it's just not true. Maybe I still want to solve this and get through it on my own, even though I KNOW it's not possible, and I know that "all things are possible with Christ who strengthens me". So why do we, especially as Christians fight it within ourselves so much, why do we fight the fact that Jesus can and will rescue us? Why do we seek other things...call a friend, talk to our Mom, eat those chocolate eggs, turn on the TV, look at a gossip magazines, get on the computer......all these things to run from the very one who wants to embrace us, the very one who died on the cross to SAVE us? Ps. 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken".

Oh Jesus, hear my cry and help me. Help me to wake up every day and think of you first, help me to remember in my deepest hurting moments that YOU are my answer, You are my refuge, You sustain, You save, You deliver and You are the One who loves me unconditionally the most. Help me to gain everything I can and that all you intended for me from Mary Grace's life so that You and only You will be glorified through me. Help me to feel and be deserving of the beautiful honor of being Mary Grace's Mother, I do not want to waste any of it. Help me to help others, help me to help myself, help me to be the wife, Mother, daughter, sister and friend that you intended me to be. Help me Lord...hear my cry. Ps. 107:13-14 "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains."

I have been blessed with the most amazing friends a girl could have. I mentioned earlier that not having Mary Grace here is very difficult although I know she is in the right place by being buried in Kentucky. My friends here in Texas went together, bought and planted the most beautiful Crepe Myrtle tree (the blooms will be pink! pictures to come). We picked a spot up by the swing set where my other two girls play all of the time -it's a spot that I can see from any where in my house and back porch. I want you to know that when the tree was in the truck I didn't notice blooms or buds on the tree nor did the person looking at it with me point any out........and as soon as it was in the ground, watered and finished we noticed buds popping up - it seemed miraculous to me but I couldn't speak of it at the time without losing it. I plan on putting a garden around it and have had another group of friends say they are donating another tree to us in Mary's honor to put in the garden. I will have a place for Mary here. I can not tell you how much this means to me friends and how thankful we are. There are no words.

I also want to ask that all of you pray for someone who has recently contacted me via e-mail who recently found out her precious baby girl Faith has Trisomy 18, Ashley is 29 weeks pregnant. Oh how it breaks my heart but we know God will be glorified through yet another miracle baby. Pray for this mommy and family (Faith has 2 sisters), pray for Faith and that God will do great works in and through her. Here is her information, please lift this family up and encourage them.... www.caringbridge.org/visit/faithwebb BTW she gave me permission to share.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. God has blessed our family so much by using you and I hope you know how much you all mean.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eva Janette is here!!

Visit Eva's blog and check out the beautiful miracle girl, www.evajanette.blogspot.com. Let's continue to pray for her and her precious family - and let her know please. I remember walking this road only 2 months ago and I remember the peace that God poured over our hearts and the miracles and love that took place that day when Mary Grace blessed our lives forever. Oh the sweet power of prayer!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just another manic Sunday

I come to you with a heavy heart tonight. Today has been a really hard day and I have had several good cries. I was by myself in church today (Chris is traveling) and I pretty much cried the whole song service. I didn't have a Kleenex and I must have looked pretty nuts to everyone around me. Normally I will cry during the songs but not during the message. But today it seems like almost everything our Pastor said triggered tears. When he ended the sermon he sang "on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand" with tears in his eyes. Wow, did that get me going, those old hymns are so incredible, I just love them.

Everything feels so conflicting. I can feel pretty "normal" one second and totally lost the next. When someone asks how are you doing and I say "okay or pretty good" I am not sure what those words even mean. I can be reading scripture about Hope and know that God's word is truth, but after reading it I can still feel so hopeless. I can be praying but not feel anything. It's just such an empty feeling. I can feel so cheated and mad, but then look at Chris, Kailey, Allison and pictures of Mary Grace and feel so very blessed.
I am not sure that just after several days of putting on my "game face" I just break down from being exhausted from it all. Not that I am trying to or that I purposely "fake" it, I just have never been the type to be "woe is me" in front of people, even some of my closest friends, even a lot of times with Chris. I am not sure if that's good or bad or what the right way to be is....but it is what it is.
It's just tough - plain and simple. I have to just tell you, I want Mary Grace, I want to hold her, kiss her, look at her for hours, I want to whisper in her ear to tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is, I want bury my face in her neck, I want to kiss her sweet feet, I want to sing her some hymns while I rock her in the chair that I rock my other two in, I want to watch her sisters argue over who gets to hold her next, I want to buy her first Easter dress and get her picture taken, I want to give her a bath and rub Baby Magic lotion on her just to smell her. Oh my arms ache for her, my heart breaks for her, my sweet Mary Grace. It's just that simple..........

Ps. 55:2 - Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught.

So I came to the computer to cry out, to get it all out, to tell you about ME and how much I am hurting and how mad I am and how heavy my heart is (ME ME ME again!) and when I sat down I decided to check in on others first. And well, I am reminded that this world and this hurt and this trial is not about ME - guess I need to read the book I purchased a while back (it's not about me!). It's about something much bigger. Something I will never fully understand. But...in my hurt and despair, I somehow find God, I find that I need Him deeply. I find that this is about reaching out to others, it's about connecting with others and sharing and loving and growing. It's about knowing that Mary Grace has connected me to some very amazing people, some awesome miracles and stories of others that I would not know without her. That she has taken me to a better, more "desperate for God" prayer life (very desperate). It's about being prayerful for others, it's about trying to find a way to glorify God in all of this. It's about so much.
So....while I know I have a right to be hurting, I know I have a right to feel sorry for myself, I know I have a right to pull the blanket over my head and not come out for a while and I know I have a right to feel cheated (and I do and I will)...... I want more from this. I want all that Mary Grace was meant to bring me. I want her purpose to be fulfilled in me, I want to "get IT". I want it desperately and if I don't get it for a while, I know I will get it eventually. I will just keep on keepin' on. In the good and the bad times, I will seek His face.

So..speaking of being prayerful for others. I have some pretty big requests.

First, tomorrow or today for that matter (March 17th) my friend Chrissy will be meeting her precious miracle Eva Janette. Eva has been diagnosed with t-18. Chrissy is the last of our group that has met via the blogs to give birth. She has had to endure all of our stories and losses and still find a way to enjoy her pregnancy with Eva. Please pray for her, for Eva, for Vinny her Husband and for her other two children Mya and Dominic. Pray for lots of time together and that all their prayers will be answered. Oh how my heart hurts right now and how anxious I feel for them. The entire of day of Jan. 14 (Mary Grace's birthday) plays back in my mind as I think of this precious family. May God grant them their heart's desires. Check on them via their blog:
www.evajanette.blogspot.com/

Pray also for the family of Joshua Mathew Sams. Joshua passed away after having 67 days with his family. He was born with a neural tube defect. The Doctors said he would pass away soon after birth but praise God the family has had some wonderful time with him!! Please pray for Mommy Susie, Daddy Matt and Sister Oceana. They have many needs but mostly pray for healing that only can come from God. Let them know you are praying for them : http://www.mnssams.blogspot.com/

This family I have never heard of until tonight after reading a friend's blog. Molly Brown suddenly passed away at 19 months old - she had Trisomy 18. What a miracle this sweet girl is but her death was sudden and unexpected. Oh to be given so much time and then to have to let her go. Please pray pray pray for this sweet family. Let them know.....:
www.caringbridge.org/visit/mollybrown

Thank you for your prayers for these families. Thank you for your continued prayers for me and my family. I appreciate my family and friends and even strangers more than you could ever know!

Ps. 9:9 The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee.