Friday, February 22, 2008

Asher "Happy" Bolte

Hi Friends,
Please pray for baby Asher "Happy". He was born today at around 2:00 and needs your prayers. He and his family are listed as a link under my prayer requests. Happy is thought to have the same condition that took his brother Isaac from this family as an infant. Please visit their blog for updates and to let them know your are praying for them and to encourage them.
Thank you for your faithfulness. I am sorry I have not "blogged" lately but I have had the flu this week and am having a hard time writing - I go from one emotion to another (high to deeply low) in a matter of seconds. I covet your prayers and continue to be so thankful for everything everyone is doing for our family (prayers, meals, thoughts, cards, donations to St. Jude, etc.). It is truly overwhelming and we love you all so much.
With love,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentines Day? Well – this day caught me by surprise – or the feelings of the day I should say.
I got some big days behind me last week, Mary Grace’s due date (Feb. 6th), and my birthday (Feb 8th). The significance of my birthday is that when I found out I was pregnant I was so happy that I would have my 3rd and probably final baby BEFORE I was 38 (had to beat my Mom). I told Chris that I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday and when he asked why and I explained – he said “but you did have Mary Grace before you were 38”. With that, I said – but I do not HAVE her with me! Chris is a person who always looks at the positive and God knows I need him for that – but it was very difficult to have my birthday this year. I ended up having a good day thanks to all my family and friends who went out of their way to make me feel special this year (they always do really).

So I had a sigh of relief that last week was over. Then I woke up this morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks “I do not have one of my “sweet hearts” with me today”. I took a shower (a huge task lately), had to go to Target to get the girls their Valentine’s gift (something I knew I was putting off) and had several emotional moments. The last several days I have not cried and honestly I felt weird about it – maybe I am cried out. But…this morning every thought I had made me cry (so I put the water proof mascara on in preparation). While in Target shopping for the girls for something they would need as well as like, I kept running across baby stuff for baby’s first valentines day and I had to stop and think does anyone around me see the tears, do they know that I should be purchasing some of that stuff – do they know that I am buying for two girls but should be buying for three! Even getting back into my minivan, which should have in it an infant seat, is so hard.

I had to go to Kailey’s school party today which honestly I was dreading, especially with having such a hard morning. But…..Kailey deserves to have her Mommy there so you just do it. God is so good because yes, it was awkward seeing some people for the first time, but it was okay. I know it’s probably just as awkward for them as for me so you just get through it. One Mom however didn’t know I had Mary Grace, didn’t know about any of it – only remembered that I was pregnant with my 3rd. I know how it is when a lot of time has gone by but it doesn’t register to you….so she said so when are you due? (I know what you are thinking – aaahhhh – but it really wasn’t like that, I was bent down helping Kailey with something and she is a precious person.) I told her I already had her and she said wow how is everything, with a beautiful smile? So I just told her about it all. I mean what do you say, how much do you share, where do you begin and end – this was “my first time”. She was shocked and I know felt really bad and that’s when I just try to make the other person okay. The whole situation was overall good, and God helped me get through that whole party without breaking down but….. I am whipped right now.

You know – I have to learn how I will handle these things, what you say when someone asks, “how many children do you have” – I have three but then comes, “how old are they?” - I will have to figure it all out. One thing I know for sure is I want to talk about Mary Grace – I want her to be acknowledged – she is my 3rd baby girl and although she is not physically with me – she is a part of me that I want to share.

I do want you to know that I am doing okay. I am having some good days and getting back into a routine (my “new” normal). I am laughing more and trying to reflect on all the answered prayers that happened with Mary Grace. I told my Dad, I know it’s a choice when I wake up every day whether I am going to let Satan steal my joy or whether I am going to fight to enjoy everything that God has blessed me with, what I still have right in front of me. Some days it’s a harder fight and I get weak but you know that’s just my life now. I have lost one of my sweet hearts and I will never be the same. And if being the same means not having Mary Grace – then I do not want to be the same – she is worth it all – she is worth everything. I gotta figure out what God wants to reveal to me and in me and I do not know when that is going to happen but I will just trust him. I have read a book my Aunt gave me written by Billy Graham’s daughter called “Why? Trusting God when you don’t understand” – perfect huh? And there is one thing I want to share that spoke to me. She writes “ I understand that a turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won’t come near. On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own. It’s natural for me to be a turkey in my emotions, but I have chosen to be an eagle in my spirit. And as I have spread my wings of faith to embrace the “Wind,” placing my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, I have experienced quite “every day” miracles.”

I want so badly to be an eagle – I don’t know when I can be an eagle but that’s what I am praying for. I do know that I will choose to trust him. I choose to trust him because he is trustworthy – He is a God of fulfilled promises, of love, of salvation, of redemption, of miracles, of triumph and victory - victory even over the grave. Anne Graham also writes “When there are no answers to your questions……Trust Him when you don’t understand.
Trust His heart.
Trust His purpose.
Trust Him when it is your heart that’s broken.
Trust His goodness.
Trust Him beyond the grave.
Trust Him to know best.
Trust His plan to be bigger than yours.
Trust Him to keep His Word
Trust Him to be on time.
Trust Him to be enough.
Trust Him to set you free.
Trust Him – and Him Alone.”

I will choose to Trust Him. That’s all a Daughter can do sometimes……….
So, Happy Valentines Day? I choose YES.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Urgent Request

Hi Family and Friends,
I have an urgent request for a sweet friend of mine and her daughter Mallorie (my friend's 5th child/gift from God).
Mallorie celebrated her 1st birthday on February 6th (Mary Grace's due date - so it's a special day all the way around). Mallorie is a precious miracle, a sweet baby girl who has beat all the odds against her. She was born with cleft palate / lip, spina bifida and trisomy. She is a blessing and a joy! But.....she needs our prayers. She had cleft palate surgery on Thursday and although the surgery went well, she has developed some complications. I am not sure of the specifics, but I think things got a little scarry yesterday. I ask that you pray for the specifics given by her Mom:
For clear x-rays
For no fever/infection
For peace with all decisions being made - for her Mom, Dad, family
For the right Doctor's and nurses - loving, patient and knowledgeable
For a private room - to provide better rest for all
For complete healing, no need of oxygen, for no pain, for comfort

I also ask that you pray specifically for her Mallorie's Mom. I can not express to you how much this woman has meant to me. She reached out to me along with others and has not stopped loving, praying for and supporting me. The weeks leading up to Mallorie's first birthday and her surgery, my friend took time to write me and be there for me as if nothing was going on in her life. She has been there for all of us "trisomy" Moms. Her heart, her love for her children, her love for others and her love of the Lord is unfailing. Please be on your knees for their needs. I love them, and my heart hurts for them.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Mt. 7:7-8)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mary Grace's video

Hi Friends and Family,
On the left hand side of my blog under my profile is our beautiful video of Mary Grace. This is what the wonderful photographer (Amber Augustin) provided us with for Mary's celebration of life service. She is part of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation and is a God send. This video captures one of the best days of my life and I feel so proud of my little Mary Grace and want to show her off to you.
Enjoy her......
With love,

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Can't praise you in this storm - not yet

I sit here at the computer not really knowing what to write but wanting to give you something. I know sometimes when "checking" on someone I feel desperate to know how they are doing or what they are feeling and I know my friends out there feel the same about me. It's not that I do not want to write - it's just that I have nothing to give you, nothing new.
Chris took Allison to a birthday party because I am still avoiding people (no offense), I am giving Kailey math problems and I am searching the blogs for something.
The last few days I have desperately been reading / searching past blog posts (of the ones that have lost their babies before me). I am trying to go back to where they were in their journey that corresponds to where I am now. To see if how I am feeling is normal and/or okay. Do not get me wrong - I know we are all entitled to how we feel, we all feel different and all feel grief and loss in a different way or at different times. But right now, I do not feel strong, I do not feel encouraged, I do not feel "held", I do not feel okay that Mary Grace is in Heaven in stead of with me, I do not feel like praying (except for others - nothing that makes it personal between me and God), I do not feel like reading God's word. So what do I feel? I feel mostly numb. I am going through the motions, trying to be "normal" on the outside so my girls are okay. And after faking it so to speak, I feel exausted. I went out for a drive last night so I could listen to my music which is therapy to me. It felt good to blast the music, cry out loud. The songs spoke truth to me, I cried to God to tell him that I know he's there, I do believe, I do praise him for my girls, my husband my family but I am mad. I feel let down and even though I am so thankful for everything in my life, it doesn't take away the fact that I gave up one of my children!! I was listening to the song - I will praise you in the storm. The verses spoke truth and I was singing the words and thinking...yes this is how I feel, then comes the chorus and I said to God - "sorry - can't praise you right now".
I was speaking to one of my best friends this week and I was telling her how I felt, how I couldn't get on the computer and say all these great things about God yet. That's just the truth - and yes I do feel guilty feeling this way. She understood then she told me about her and a group of friends in Texas who got together to pray for me while I was in Kentucky burying Mary Grace's body. She told me that in her prayer she told God she couldn't wait to see my rewards. Then God poured something over me, a truth / a reminder that even though I may feel defeated, angry, disappointed, confused that my Heavenly Father does love me. He loved me so very much that he chose ME, ME to be Mary Grace's Mommy. And that I would go through all of this a billion times to be Mary Grace's Mommy - to have held her in my belly for 37 weeks and in my arms for 7 hours alive and 24 hours after going to Heaven. So my friends...I have this......this will sustain me, this reminder will get me through this. I can praise God for this - I will praise him forever for Mary Grace. I will hang on for dear life and he will give me what I need, when I need it. If God be for me then who can be against me?
I want to say thank you for all your prayers for me. As I mentioned I can pray for others, thank him for others, pray for my girls, my family etc. but I have not been able to get personal with God - kind of like with our own earthly parents. We can remember loving them, knowing they loved us but being so mad at their decisions that we could not speak to them, we just wanted to stay in our rooms and sulk - well that' me right now with God when it comes to me. So I will rely on your prayers for me if that's okay.
I do feel bad that I can't be more positive about all of this....but I am struggling. I want to encourage others, I want to life you all up so that you walk away from the computer feeling uplifted and encouraged, but I also need to be real and honest. I love God, he loves me - he knows me and he knows I am struggling. That's just the truth. This week has been a week of many "firsts". I went to Allison's gymnastics with Mom and Chris (felt safe with them) and I was faced with loving to watch Allison but the reality that I will never get to see Mary Grace do dance or gymnastics hurts. It hurt that I didn't have her in a carrier beside me while we watched Allison - three weeks ago she was with us and now I feel so empty handed. We go from there to Chic-fil-a for lunch - while ordering a kids meal for Allison it hit me that I will never get to order a kids meal for Mary Grace. When taking Kailey her lunch for the first time again on Thursday (I do this every thursday) I was faced with the truth that Mary Grace will never be in first grade and be excited about Mommy bringing lunch to her. A thousand more firsts that I could tell you about, but I am sure you get the picture - everything, every thought, every movement there is a constant reminder that I do not have my 3rd daughter with me. I love thinking about Mary Grace constantly but the truth and the reminder of her absense hurts so bad. When I was pregnant with her - I knew the reality of what was going to happen but while she was with me there was always HOPE. Now there is just absense - that's the truth.
But......truth also is that we can struggle, we can question, we can be mad, we can yell, scream and kick, we can ask why and we can pray for everyone else but then tell God I do not want to talk about me cause you have hurt me....... and we still have the truth, the promise of Heaven because of what Jesus Christ did - not because anything we have done or will do (thank God). I will hold on to this and no matter what.........I will be there with my girl one day. This is truth - I guess all the truth we need. I wish Satan would face this truth and get off our backs!! Thanks for being there - thanks for listening.