Tuesday, June 24, 2014

August

I try to like the month of August. I really do. I work really hard to find all of the positives--it's my niece's birthday month (the only thing I truly find myself excited about in August), and it's also Barrett's birthday month. I do my best to try to make all of the good outweigh the bad.


It's the month I was able to hold my son. It is the month Barrett was born, and so many beautiful things and friendships that have bloomed from that.
 
But I am going to be incredibly real with you in this post. I am going to be 100% raw and human. I hate August. Beginning in June, I start to feel the dread. It is already hitting me so hard. August feels like a dark cloud looming over my head in the summer. I try to push it away and run away from it, but it follows me. It gets closer and closer with each passing day.
 
I feel like I am walking around with a weight on me and I know so many other grieving mothers feel this same feeling. In fact, there are many who share my feelings about August. Too many mothers know exactly what I am describing.
 
August and it's impending arrival floods me with so many memories. The day before his birth, the day of, and the memories of the following days including his funeral are as clear in my head as they were in those moments. The moments that change your life so drastically are slow to fade. They become a part of you.
 
August brings those memories raging back for me. They never hit me when I expect them. It's always at random times. Like yesterday when I had a doctor's appoint on June 23...and I saw the date and thought, "Two months. Two months until his birthday". Or when I get a notice that something at work is scheduled for August, and I realize how close that is. It hits me when I realize that June has flown by and July will probably be the same way.
 
It hits me when I see that Audrey goes back to school on August 6, and that will be two years since we received the joyous news that our precious baby was a boy. August 6 will be two years since the last time I saw Barrett alive.
 
I have moments still where all I want to do is be alone and have a good cry, even almost two years later. There are some wounds that time can't heal. The moments are fewer, but when they hit, they are still just as strong. I have so much to be grateful for, but that doesn't mean we aren't allowed to grieve as well. My two living children do not replace the one who is missing.
 
August, I am dreading you right now. I am trying to embrace you, but you bring so much hurt. August, you make me feel like I am having to give my baby away all over again.
 
 
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Are you Courageous?

It's Father's Day. I've enjoyed the day with both my dad and my husband. When we got back home this afternoon, I started flipping through the channels on TV as I tried to get Cate to take a nap. I saw that the movie Courageous was on. I haven't seen it since Brent and I saw it in theaters and since it is Father's Day, I decided to watch it.

The movie is mostly aimed at Father's, but I have found it beneficial to me as a mother as well. There were a few things that struck the core of my heart his evening as I sat down to watch this movie.




First, I felt guilt. I don't want to give the movie away, so I am going to do my best to explain my convictions without giving it away to anyone who hasn't seen it. There is one part of the movie where one of the fathers regrets not doing something with his daughter when she asked. When he realizes he will never get the chance to do it with her, his heart is broken. I felt guilty, because I do the same thing sometimes. Audrey will want to do something and I will say "Maybe later" or "Mommy is tired right now". But what if we don't get a "later"? What if "right now" is all we get?

I know it's cliche to say "Live each day as if it were your last", but what would happen if we truly did? What if we stopped pushing aside the statement we often hear and put it into action? What would you do with your spouse and your kids? What would you do for God?


This was also my first time to watch this movie since losing Barrett. I was able to relate to the movie in a whole new way this time. One quote struck so many chords with me. "You can be angry because of the time you lost with her, or grateful for all of the time you had with her". That statement is so powerful. Not only is it powerful, but it is so hard to live. I cannot just say today "I will be grateful for the time I had with Barrett" and then truly live that way from here on out. It is a decision that I must make daily. 

In the movie, the fathers sign a resolution to be godly husbands and fathers. I am a mother, but it resounded with me just the same.

THE RESOLUTION

 

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

 

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

 

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

 

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

 

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

 

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

 

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

 

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

 

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

 

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

 

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

 

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

 

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ---Joshua 24:15
 
You can find out more about the movie Courageous, here: COURAGEOUS MOVIE
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Babywearing - So Many Questions

If you are friends with me, or know me at all, you have probably seen me or a picture of me wearing our youngest daughter Cate in some form or fashion. We "babywear" a lot. I live in an area where it isn't common at all. Actually, I have never seen anyone wearing "in the wild" where I live.
 
I get a lot of questions and so I thought that I would collectively answer them here.
 

1). Did you make that? (in reference to wraps)
 
No. I don't make my wraps. Woven wraps are just that (woven), not just any fabric you can go buy at JoAnn's. There are many safety standards that wrap companies must be compliant in with their wraps. They hold precious cargo.
 

2). How did you even find out about that? (babywearing)
 
The internet can be a fabulous thing. It was through the internet that I found the wonderful world of babywearing and all of the fabulous people I have met as I learned. The Babywearing community is pretty great. Check out Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive as an example of some of the awesome people I am talking about.
 

3). Can't they just walk (or crawl)?
 
Yes, Cate can crawl. No wearing doesn't mean she will "never learn to crawl" or walk for that matter. She is crawling everywhere at the same age Audrey did. I have to admit that I find this question kind of silly because I don't think it is very thought through. I don't wear Cate when I am hanging out in the living room (the time she usually spends playing and crawling). I wear her when we are out shopping or in the yard or when she needs Mommy time and I have laundry to do. All of those are times that she absolutely would not be down on the floor crawling anyway.
 

4). Why do you wear her?
 
This is a biggie. There are SO many answers to this question. Because of that, I will break it down into parts.
 

First, I wear for convenience. Sometimes Cate needs to be held (I consider that a need of babies, not being "spoiled"). I can give her the snuggles she needs without getting behind on what I need to do. When we are out shopping, I can wear her instead of carrying her in my arms. I have two free arms, I haven't sacrificed any space in my shopping cart, and I don't have to spend time running the cart over with Lysol wipes before putting her in it. I don't have to worry about fitting a stroller through tightly packed aisles of clothing and such. I don't have to worry about finding a stroller friendly ramp or elevator when only stairs are in sight. I can carry her with two free arms and without wearing myself out. Wearing is also SUPER convenient for breastfeeding. There is also no need to lug around a heavy carseat with a small baby if you have a carrier.
 
Walking the dog
(Disclaimer: I have a stroller. We use it sometimes. I have nothing against them and am in NO way saying they are bad. I just know that realistically they can be a pain in my rear end. I think both strollers and wearing have their own places.)
 
Audrey's Pre-K Graduation
Second, I wear so that I can experience the world with her. I feel so connected with her versus the disconnection I feel when she is in a stroller and I can't see her face. I know exactly what is catching her attention in the world around us and I am able to share in these learning experiences with her because of it. I don't have to stop and check to see if she is asleep or what she is looking at. I love sharing all of these new things with her--from the animals at the zoo, to discovering that Banana Cat can climb trees in the yard, to watching other children in the mall....I am able to see her face during all of those first. These are moments I can't get back. I want to soak them all in.

 
I wear for safety. Wearing Cate leaves me with a free hand to hold Audrey's and two free hands if I needed to move Audrey quickly. I don't have to worry about her running off from me in a store or her running in front of a car. She can't fall out of a buggy or grab something she shouldn't. She is close to me always. This was one of my biggest reasons to embrace babywearing. After losing Barrett, I need this sense of security. 
 
I wear because time is short. One day, I will be longing to spend time with her. I will long for these snuggles. I love when she gets tired and lays her head over on my chest to rest or sleep. My heart melts when she takes a moment to just look up at me and smile. When she takes her hands and rubs my arms as we walk, I am amazed by the miracle I have been blessed with.
 

Life is precious. I want to experience as many moments as I can with her and Audrey. Actually experience them. Not just be there. That's why I wear.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wearing White

My heart has been so sad over something I read on Facebook yesterday. I've debated on posting this blog, but I need to get this off of my chest.
 
I'm sure most of you have seen the photo and story of the woman who fastened her baby to the train of her wedding gown in order for the baby to be part of the ceremony. I don't even want to debate that. I personally do not care to argue opinions on her choice to do that. Honestly, I just told my husband that I was tired of seeing it shared on Facebook.
 
Then, I saw it shared again yesterday. And the person who shared it was shaming her for having a baby out of wedlock. Then, the comments by her Facebook friends, continued to demean and shame her for this choice. And my heart broke into a million pieces. The same people doing this were using the Bible as a reason to do so. The Bible says no sex before marriage, therefore we can shame this woman for her decision. Right? No. So much no.
 
The Bible does say we should refrain from sex before marriage. Just because you followed that does not give you the right to shame someone who didn't. That is wrong on so many levels. Have you ever told a lie? Even a small fib? The Bible also says you shouldn't do that. Have you ever coveted something that didn't belong to you? Sin. Would you rather have Christians tell you "Yes that is wrong, but God still loves you and you can ask for forgiveness" or would you want them to basically make fun of you and tell you how horrible you are?
 
We have no idea the depth of this woman's story. We only know that she attached her baby on her wedding dress as she walked down the aisle. We have no way of knowing where she stands with Jesus. As someone who had a baby out of wedlock, had I not already known Christ when I read this post yesterday, it would have pushed me farther away from Christianity.
 
One commenter said she didn't understand women wearing white if they had engaged in premarital sex. Again, we don't know her story. Will Jesus not make us pure again?
 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone,
the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
 
Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool
Isaiah 1:18
 
 
Social Media can be good or bad. It is what we make it. It can be an amazing tool for Christianity. There is the potential to reach so many people with His love. But we can't do that if we spew hatred in the same sentence that we profess His name. It won't work. The Great Commission tells us to preach His word and bring people to Him, not push them away. I'm not saying ignore sin. Sin is wrong. But it is all about the way you present it. LOVE people as His word is preached. We shouldn't just beat them down.
 
I'm guilty of this too. Maybe not on social media as much, but in my words. So this challenge is to myself as well as you. Let's make our words and Social Media a tool for Christ, not one that works against His kingdom.
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