Monday, July 25, 2011

Bring Hope Home Online Auction

We are having an online auction adoption fundraiser at our Adoption Blog today through Saturday!

There are lots of great items up for grabs (77 to be exact) and I just wanted to share a few of them with you...

I'll Hold You In Heaven  -     
        By: Jack Hayford

more information about Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Sufficient Grace Ministries Tee

Tears necklace on - NILMDTS Fundraiser

Blog Design By:

So go on, if you see something you like...head on over to Bring Hope Home and place your bids!  There are many more listings to look at there as well!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reflecting on Hope

I've been working hard today on our upcoming online auction, and I needed to take a break.  I needed a refresher.  I went back to some old blog posts on my other blog and remembered this one. At the beginning of this year, just before we signed our first paperwork to begin the adoption process our Pastor preached several weeks on the topic of hope.  The below post is notes from church during that time.


What is Hope?

Hope - desire accompanied by expectation.  An anticipation of fullfillment.  NOT wishful thinking.

{She is chosen.  Actually, we were all chosen.}

Hope is an anticipation for good in God.  Hope is not about striving, but resting and allowing His grace and His strength to take us through a "door of hope".

Hope is a perspective of an abundant life.

Hope must go from a concept, to a specific powerful virtue in your life.

Hope redefines our past.

(Photo Credit)

Hope is a lifestyle. It's where you grow to the place where you daily focus on "answers of hope, solutions of hope".

With hope- we see more with our eyes closed than we do with our eyes open.

Hope is an anticipation and belief in good from God, now and in the future.

Psalm 27:13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Hope gives us the ability to look out a very long way.

And my favorite...

Hope can become part of your fiber when the unseen world becomes more real than the seen.

How many times have I said that Heaven is so real now.  The unseen world (Heaven) and the seen world (Earth) are just separated by a thin veil when you have held the babies I have held and have been talking to Jesus as he ushered them into the presence of the Father.  Heaven is so real. 

Lamentations 3:22-24 says, "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

We wait in HOPE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hard to Explain

It's really hard to explain my emotions some times and I almost don't even want to move forward with these thoughts for fear of being misunderstood.  But for the sake of sharing and letting others who may be feeling this way know they aren't alone, here goes...

Yesterday there was a baby dedication at church.  These have been a little difficult since loosing Shyla, but yesterday's was especially hard.  These were the families that were pregnant when we were pregnant with Jakin. All of us due within a few weeks of each other.  We announced our pregnancies about the same time and a few of us were pregnant the first time together and our oldest kids are the same age.  When they announced they were doing a dedication, I involuntarily became tense.  As I watched all the beautiful babies and their families file in front of the church I began to feel my eyes get hot with tears and had to fight them back.  When the prayers were being prayed for all these precious families the lump in my throat got bigger and I struggled to stay in the present.

This may be the hard part for some to understand.  I loved seeing those healthy babies up there.  Each one of them is a blessing to their family and I know they are all cherished.  (If any of the parent's of these babies are reading this, I sincerely hope you understand how happy I am for you and that I love seeing you with your little ones!)  But something about not being a part of this dedication was so painful.  Just another reminder of something I feel like I have lost.  Just like when I see Ethan get so enamored with a baby girl that is the same age Shyla would have been.  It's so hard to explain.  I'm so happy for them, but my arms still ache...

We are getting close to Shyla's 2nd birthday so maybe why the emotions have been a little more raw.  I'm not sure.  It could just be one of the ups and downs that this grief does to us.  I'm struggling with what to do for her special day this year.  With her birthday in September, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in October and then Jakin's first birthday in November (Thanksgiving Day actually) we have lots of opportunities to remember and honor our babies, but as most of you know, that can be as exhausting as it is special.  Read HERE to see what we did for Shyla's first birthday.  It was a beautiful day.  We don't plan on doing anything as big as that this year, but I still want to do something, even if it is just for our family.  I would love any suggestions!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm linking up with Gypsy Mama and 5 Minute Friday.
Want to take five minutes with me and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my right side bar}
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.
Today's promt...
I have so many things to be grateful for.  A little boy in particular that helps life my spirits anytime, anywhere.

I'm grateful his daddy is teaching him manly how to hold his fish and what a "leverman" ( is for.

I'm grateful for birthday parties and cousins and kiddie pools.

And grateful for being that mom that lets him have too much sugar on special occasions.

I'm so grateful that my big boy will still fall asleep on his mommy's lap.
Even in the middle of the lake.

And VERY grateful for swimmies and for bravery I've never seen in a four year old delicately balanced with a respect for the water.

I'm grateful for this yellow two seat kayak that has taken Ben and I from dates the first summer we were together to riding our first born in it.

And grateful we both have days off work when we can enjoy it together and for a husband that knows where to go to avoid the holiday traffic :)

 I and I am so very grateful for little signs.  I am so grateful for seeing so many dragonflies this summer.

I am so very thankful for summer and all the beauty that makes it what it is.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Everlasting Joy

God's word is amazing isn't it?

I could stop this post right there, but I miss writing on this blog and wanted to share something I read tonight.  Both the kiddo and the hubby fell asleep before 9 (after a long day of kayaking and playing in the pool) and I find myself with the unique situation of a quiet (mostly clean) house.  I sat down to read the Bible and take advantage of this time.

At the beginning of this year, I resolved to read the Bible through in 90 days.  I have tried the One Yea.r Bible several times and I always fall apart by August, get behind, can't catch up and quit.  But I thought I could do this.  90 days.  3 months for me to read the Bible.  I got behind a day once or twice, but I got caught back up and I did it.  I loved this reading plan because it kept me focused.  But one thing about reading that much scripture everyday and staying on that schedule is that sometimes I felt like I just didn't have the time to dwell on the words.  I LOVED using the Bible app on my iP.od touch because I could "bookmark" scriptures I wanted to study and I have been going back through the bookmarks and trying to dig deeper.

Tonight, I was in John.  It's near the end of Jesus' earthly life and he is trying to describe to his disciples what is getting ready to happen...

"You're going to be in deep morning while the godless world throws a party.  You'll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness."

Then he goes on (as Jesus often did) and give them a visual description to help them understand their emotions during his death and resurrection...

    "When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it.  But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth.  This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain.  The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar.  When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.  You'll no longer be so full of questions."  
John 16:20-23 The Message Bible

I know that the pain and joy he is referring to here is the pain of his death and the joy of his resurrection.  But part of me sees that this promise still holds true.

But the part at the beginning is what struck me tonight.  Talking about the pain and joy of childbirth.  I had to really try to remember the joy in the birth of my living child.  Shyla Joy's birth was peaceful, calm and beautiful...but I honestly don't think I could use the word joyful to describe her birth.  Jakin's birth was more traumatic for me.  After two c-sections and absolutely no idea what to expect with his birth I was more than nervous to say the least.  Combine that with not being allowed to have an epidural and the sickness brought on by all the labor inducing meds and the fact that for the 2nd time in 14 months, I was preparing to see one of my babies was not a word that I related to that experience.

At first reading, I felt a little robbed.  I mean, what was he talking about?  I understand the "hard times" of labor, but the "joy in the birth" part was making me really think.  I had to search deep in my mind to recall Ethan's birth.  The memories from that day are foggy (thanks to an over zealous anesthetist) but I did start to recall what it was like to feel him lifted from my body and hear that first (loud) cry.  I remember struggling to see him as they cleaned him up and then they brought him to me to see as they closed the c-section. I remember touching his soft little face and that feeling of complete joy washing over me as I watched my husband carry our baby boy for the first time.

I had to talk with God about this.  I'll admit that there are times I still question him.  Like when a lady I know locally has a miscarriage on the anniversary of her first (and only other child's) stillbirth and the wonderfully sweet lady I met online who just had her 4th miscarriage in 2 years...

I know that life is not ours to understand and most of the time I don't ask these questions.  But I have noticed them creeping in lately.  And then I read this scripture.  And then He speaks.

The joy that is coming will take away the pain of those memories.  You'll no longer be so full of questions.

The joy that is coming will be permanent.  Forever. And NO ONE can take it away!  PLUS, our questions will be gone.

This joy is not anything that we can fulfill ourselves or seek to be fulfilled by another human, but will only be fulfilled when Christ returns or when he takes us home to Heaven.   

The labor pains we feel are reminders that our joy will not be birthed here in this life, but in one far more permanent.  These contractions of grief and longing will all fade when we look into the eyes of our savior and know that the joy we have been longing for is now the joy we will walk in for eternity.  

One of the best parts is we wont be alone.  Many of you that are reading this have loved ones who have went ahead and birthed their joy and are basking in the Heavenlies with our joy-giver.  Once our labor here on earth is over, we will have our babies who were birthed into eternal joy.  They literally never knew anything but love in this world and eternal joy in Heaven.


I'm in tears and awe that my God is showing me this tonight.  While I may have a hard time using the word "joy" to describe my feelings on the days of two of my babies births, JOY was all they were experiencing.  Babies that are born living are thrust from the comfort of their mother's wombs into a bright, cold, unknown world that is scary...but our babies...they were born into Heaven.  They were born into warmth, love, angels and EVERLASTING JOY!