Hold Me

Thank you to Bonnie at Learning To Be A Newlywed for posting this yesterday.

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Faithfulness

God’s faithfulness astounds me…moves mehumbles me. John got home last night and I got everyone to the table to eat. The kids (and men) had their food and seemed content. I then proceeded to excuse myself for some much needed meltdown time. John simply nodded, trying to understand. I walked outside, grabbed a patio chair, and made my way across the pasture to the edge of the bean field. It was there that I emptied my sorrows to the wind. It was there that I felt surrounded by no one and everything all at the same time. It was a completely consoling moment. “Be still and know that I am God.” Was all I heard….”Be still…..and KNOW…..that I am God.”

“Be still.”

We had a most wonderful tearful exchange, God and I. And after about 45 minutes I collected myself, took in a handful of deep soothing breaths, and headed back to the house.

John, being the great man that he is, had the kids fed, bathed, pj-ed, and sitting watching Wall-E. He kissed my cheek and told me he wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do to help me feel better, but whatever I need just tell him. Tears welled up again and he just held me for what seemed like an endless 2 minutes. A perfectly endless 2 minutes.

He helped me clean up the kitchen. And while I was elbow deep in suds at the sink asking God when these sharp edges of grief would soften, I looked up and saw this right in front of me…..

A smile came. And the tears stopped.
*sigh*

Thank You.

Too Much? or Just Enough?

Sometimes I think my life is just a bit too much. You know? Like constant-super-overwhelming circumstances. Like the kind of too much that repels people instead of attracts them. You know? Those people that just don’t know what to say so they just don’t say anything at all. And over time all those moments of NOT saying anything add up to so much that it is safe to say that probably that person just isn’t a part of your life anymore like they used to be. That kind of too much. Is my life too much? or is it just enough? I can’t always figure that one out. Probably a bit of both.
How life changes so quickly. Just when our life was getting back on track we are faced with grief again. Just when I think I have a schedule down for the kids, they go and change. Just when we think we are on top of things, a whole new pile appears that we need to begin tackling. Just when I think I have something planned out and it looks like it’s going to work perfectly, something happens/changes/stops. When does it stop? When is enough, enough? Will life ever just stop for a few seconds so we can catch up?! And in a moment when I think I need a friend, there’s no one. And on the day I need my husband to be home because I feel like I’m on the verge of a meltdown, he’s working. And just when the weather decides to be super nice out, the kids just want to stay inside and play contently with each other – even though I’ve got a million and one things that need to be done outside.
But they are playing so well together. I just don’t want to break that up. Plus the meltdown day?…that’s today. I realize it is the suffocating pressure of grief. It takes my breath away, literally. I’m grateful to be able to recognize it at least. But facing it hurts. Facing it is so damned difficult. Facing it “alone” is even worse. Where is my husband?! Where is my family?! Where are my friends?! Nowhere to be seen. And deep down I know that’s okay. Deep down I know that being “alone” right now is probably what is best for me. I don’t think it’s coincidence that the topics I’ve been meditating on lately have been simplicity of heart, poverty of heart, prayerful heart. That book of meditations on the heart of Christ is really actually heart wrenching and oh-so what I need. God is good like that with me.

Jesus meek and humble of heart….
Jesus pure and simple of heart….
Jesus poor and passionate of heart…
…..make my heart more like yours.

And so we continue with life – mostly joyfully but with some sadness, frustration, anxiety, and all the other human frailties that plague us.

Here’s to not being in control of a life that is so in need – in need of Him.

Jesus, strength and conqueror of all….
….take my heart and give me Yours!

The (mis)Understanding and Grief of Miscarriage

People look at me like I’m some over-emotional wreck. After all, I only miscarried. It isn’t like it was an actual physical baby for crying out loud. I mean, really, I was only barely 6 weeks pregnant. Most people don’t even realize they are pregnant at that point. I’m grieving like I lost a child I’ve known, raised, and loved for years. What the heck is wrong with me?!

I’ll tell you what is wrong with me. I AM grieving a child I’ve longed for and loved before it was even in existence. I AM grieving a physical child. My baby may have died when she was just the size of an orange seed, but she was MINE. My baby.

People don’t seem to get that. They don’t get it until they actually experience it. I get why women are so damaged after abortions. It is traumatizing when your body does it naturally, I can’t imagine the grief over a decided…willed…planned abortion. And I will forever fight for those little ones. Forever.

My first miscarriage happened at 15 weeks gestation. I went to bed one night with a little tummy ache. No cramps. Just a tummy ache. In the early morning I woke John up and told him I was driving myself to the ER because I had cramps…they weren’t bad at that point, but I knew cramps were not a good sign during pregnancy. I got there. Of course they took their time admitting me. The waiting room was empty and it still took 45 minutes to get me in there. Anyway…
I got gowned up and was waiting for the doctor. At that point the cramps were regular and semi painful. I was worried. The doctor came in and I sat at the edge of the bed as he asked me questions about how I was feeling. Then there was the “popping” sound. You know, the one where your water breaks during labor. I didn’t even need to tell the doctor what I was feeling. He heard it. You know what he told me? “It is happening. Just lay back and relax. It may take a while.” And he walked out of the room.
Now fast forward to last Tuesday afternoon…
Everything was normal. I was feeling great. Going about my normal daily activities of hanging clothes on the line. I felt a little bit of wetness. Didn’t think anything of it. Then there was some more. I finished what I was doing and went into the bathroom. Blood. Lots and lots of blood. I began to sob. I cleaned myself up and went to tell John. More tears. Lots more tears. I went into the clinic where the doctor that I saw told me that it is most likely a miscarriage especially since it is so early and that I should go home and rest. “Just lay down and relax. It may take a few days. So try to rest and let your body work.” Hmmm.
“Just relax”… “Try to rest”… Sure. I’ll try to relax while my body rejects a baby. Sure. I can rest while I think about all the “tissue” coming out of me. My baby. My baby that was but is no longer. The life inside of me dead. How is a mother supposed to relax and rest while her body…her womb – which is supposed to be the safest place for a baby – rejects the life inside. How is an expectant mother supposed to just sit back and “let it happen”. You can’t even imagine how heart wrenching it is to sit there and be completely out of control of the situation and FEEL your child die. If you could imagine that, then maybe you’d understand the grief of a mother over a miscarried baby. I realize there are circumstances that I may never know or are completely out of my control that brought this on. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Someone told me that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage and most of the time the women don’t even realize they are pregnant. *here would be a great plug for NFP (natural family planning). Because I am almost certain that a large percentage of those cases are of women who are on the pill who miscarry. The pill – which is an abortifacient: it doesn’t prevent pregnancy…what it prevents is the attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall. Thus aborting an already fertilized egg (AKA a baby). But I won’t go into that at the moment.* Though I am sure that this person meant well, it really dug deep. Like I am supposed to find comfort in a fact like that. That’s like telling grieving parents of a son who was killed in a car accident that someone dies in a car accident every 45 seconds. Like because it is apparently so common it shouldn’t be so hard to experience. Not so. It was my baby that died in my womb 4 years ago. It was another one of my babies that died in my womb one week ago. And it was my brother who was killed in a car accident 4 years ago. Though the grief is a little bit different, the loss is the same. The loss of a life. The loss of a LOVED ONE. And though her life was very short, she was very much loved. She was very much wanted. I longed for a baby for more than a year before we even decided it was time to try again. And then it took 4 months before conceiving. She was loved. She was very loved. Our hearts were so ready for her. Our family was so ready to welcome another child. And for whatever reason, she was not meant to be ours for very long. There is some comfort in knowing she will be waiting with her brother and her uncle and grandparents…she is loved where she is just as she is loved where she isn’t.

Lyla Jayne Backowski – June 14, 2011
Rest In Peace Sweet Baby of Mine

Happy Father’s Day Stephen…will you take care of her for me? Love her and snuggle her and keep her smiling until I can hold her myself.

Today I Am Grateful

I am grateful for another morning. Another early morning long before the sun comes up. John and I shuffle through the kitchen making breakfast and enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the silence and darkness of the morning. I am grateful for another morning.

I am grateful for the rain. I think we needed it. ? It just seems like it has been a while since it rained. And the dark dreary clouds that graced the day yesterday will most likely stay today. Somehow they are motivating to me right now…a glimpse of how I feel inside yet with the hope of still be life giving, nourishing, comforting, calming, peaceful. I am grateful for the rain.

I am grateful for my husband. Almost 7 years have passed since we bound ourselves to each other in marriage. 7 years. It seems like we’ve been together forever yet things are still so fresh and new….love, passion, fiery glances, stolen kisses. I still stare at him thinking, “he chose ME?!…he’s given himself to ME?!” Wow. With all our life together has been through, he still chooses me. And that is something I am grateful for. He is strong and steady and faithful and hardworking and the most loving and compassionate man. I am grateful for my husband.

I am grateful for my babies….all 5 of them. Each one so incredibly unique. Each one holding my heart in their own way. Each one offering a different way to love, a different way to look at life, a different smile, a different view. Each one. Even my angel babies who have taught me to love and let go…to keep an eye on eternity…to trust…to hope. I am grateful for my children.

Today I am grateful for my life. A life that could have gone in so many different directions. A life riddled with mistakes and stupid decisions. But more than that, a life overflowing with amazing people…inspiring people. A life blessed with Love. Service. Compassion. Forgiveness. Generosity. Patience. I am so grateful to know these things, to experience these things.
I am grateful for my life……it is a good life.

Today I am grateful.