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!

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