March 28, 2014

An update on last week's request for prayer

I thought I should update you on the last week since I specifically asked you to pray. I wish I could say that I magically felt better after reaching out but I think the difficult thing about grief is that you still have to walk through the milestones and pain and memories and loss and anniversaries. I think the big difference that I felt though is that it didn't feel unbearable as it had before. I could tell people were praying for me. (Which is always amazing to me, by the way.)

Tuesday was by far the hardest day, the 30 week mark. I was teary and easily angered most of the day. Asher and I visited her resting spot while Micah was at school and I felt like I usually do when I visit her - so incredibly sad that I have to go to a cemetery to visit my daughter.

After we left, I had to return some shoes at a store Which-I-Shall-Leave-Unnamed and had a terrible return experience with the employee helping me. Long story short - I left with the shoes. I was so mad and felt extra indignant and self-righteous because I wanted to yell at the lady that I had just come from my daughter's grave and could she possibly wipe the defiant smirk off her face and possibly have a little more compassion??? 

Later that day I could not escape the Holy Spirit's conviction that he wanted me to call and apologize to her. At one point I literally said out loud, No, why do I care? I don't want to do it. But I could not get out from under the weight of it. So I finally called and asked to speak with her (but she wasn't there) so I left the most awkward message they have probably ever received. Can you please tell her that I'm the girl who was in this morning trying to return my son's shoes? I was very rude to her and I just wanted to call and apologize....

So quite honestly that's what the day looked like. Tears and sadness and anger followed by I'm-sorry's. The boys. Matt. The store lady.

We had already decided to go to a worship night that night and I'm so glad I had already committed to a friend that we'd be there because we actually turned around on the way because I did not feel like I could tolerate seeing so many people. But then I remembered I'd already told her we'd be there so we turned back around and ended up going. My heart wasn't in the worship and I only sang about two lines the whole night but it did feel good to just sit and talk with the Lord in my heart.

And I ended up having such great, encouraging conversations after that I'm pretty sure the Lord had orchestrated it previously to make sure we were there.

So. We're past another painful milestone, the one beside her birthday that I was dreading the most actually.

Thank you, Lord, for your grace. Thank you for Grace. Thank you that we experience fellowship with you in our sufferings (Philippians 3:10). 

And thank you to the huge lot of you that wrote to let me know you were praying. It has a greater impact than I can express and I think even than I fully know.

To end on a happy note, here are some pictures off my phone from the last week.

That is a dead wasp. IN OUR HOUSE. Killed by ME. Have I never mentioned my manic/phobic fear of bugs? No? Well, it's manic and it's phobic and I was probably (definitely) praying out loud the entire time.

This is the smile Micah gives every time I ask to take his picture. I love it.

Asher is our cuddle-bug. He's always down for a good snuggies.

I took some pictures of Asher while Micah was still napping. I love this kid.

He let me take his picture but he had to get all his current favorite toys first.

Showing me how they're lined up.

Have a great weekend, my friends. So thankful for each of you.

March 19, 2014

I'm not sure how else to ask except - would you please pray for me?

Ok, I'm doing it. I'm reaching out. I've been battling the lies that tell me that I've asked for too much, people are tired of hearing about my loss, my grief, my needs; they're tired of more requests for prayer, more burdens placed on them by the needs of someone else. They have enough of their own needs, for the love of everything good and right in this world.

But I'm humbling myself again and putting it out there that this is a journey and some days are darker than others and some seasons are more wintry than others, and two days ago I found myself flung back into the darkness and the cold. Right on the heels of a particularly refreshing and encouraging season, I might add.

Simply put, I would so love and appreciate your prayers.

I am 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I was 30 weeks pregnant when we lost Grace and 30 weeks and 1 day when I delivered her. I have a full week ahead of me to remind me of those final days, and the memories and reliving have already begun in crushing measure. And then I have the beginning of April to relive when we were in Seattle and learned of her severely worsened heart failure and subsequent grim prognosis for making it to 34 weeks. And then I have April 26th, the day she was born into our arms, still and silent.

It feels un-doable, quite frankly.

And on top of that I'm preparing and studying to speak at this conference (which you should go to, by the by), and while the Lord has planted seeds of direction and insight, it's not all coming together. So I find myself having anxiety and fear thrown in for extra measure. Again, at this moment, it all feels rather not doable.

So I'm not sure how else to ask except - would you please pray for me?

I'm not even sure exactly what to ask specifically for. For this coming week. For the coming month. For the conference. If there is anything that terrifies me, it's going where God is not. It's quite the story about my agreeing to speak at this conference (and also quite the honor) but the Lord was absolutely behind it. So I trust that he's in this. But I need more trust to make it to the finish line.

So there it is. It's so incredibly hard to ask for help, to put myself out there, to be in such a needy spot, but the prayers of the saints are worth it to me.

Thank you. So much love to you all, more than you know.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
 2nd Corinthians 12:9

March 09, 2014

27 Weeks Pregnant

We finally had warmth and sunshine yesterday when Matt took this picture so we were immediately out for a hike and bike rides. We take what we can get around here.

27 weeks and 4 days.

How far along: 27 weeks and 5 days. Officially in the 3rd trimester!

Total weight gain/loss: I don't know. Well, I don't know since my last appointment. And I've conveniently "forgotten" what it was. Let's just say I'm sure it was gained

Maternity clothes: In my defense, I did wear a shirt today that isn't maternity. But other than that, all maternity. 

Sleep: It's been a little better the last week. I get up several times a night to go to the bathroom but in between I sleep pretty soundly. 

Best moment this week: I'm just so stinking excited to meet him and hold him that it grows every week as we get closer.

Food cravings: PROTEIN. And sweets.

Food aversions: If it doesn't have protein, I don't want it. 

Gender: A boy! Luke Honor.

Labor signs: Braxton-hicks have started but nothing too strong.

Pregnancy symptoms: Weight gain, sciatica pain, waddling, heartburn, low energy.

What I enjoy: I never tire of the kicks and rolls and turns and hiccups. I'm always in awe of the growing belly and love to imagine him in his cocoon. I'm just so super thankful that I get to carry a baby. I can't wait to have an itty-bitty baby in my arms again. 

What I am looking forward to: Our next ultrasound. It was at this ultrasound that we saw Asher's chin dimple and I'm dying to know if Baby Luke has it too! Micah doesn't have one, Asher does, Grace didn't have one, so now I'm wondering if we're due for another one with that squishy, dimply goodness. :)

This photo of Matt last weekend in the middle of the blizzard we were having will give you an idea of how much snow we've had and why it's such a big deal when the temperatures hit 40 and the sun is shining. The wind chill was like negative 20 in this picture.