Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do you ever feel like you're flying in the fog?


Lately, I have had quite a few days of "flying in the fog" -- my heart is sometimes heavy, I am distracted, I look at Hazel, cuddle her and love her and I think of Natasha's empty arms and of how much she misses baby Case. If I can carry some of my sisters burden I want to. If it can ease hers at all, it is worth it.
Several years back my mother in law gave me a book by Max Lucado, Safe in the Shepherd's Arms. I was reading through a little of that book this morning.
We, as Christians, are sheep and the Lord is our shepherd. It is interesting to take a closer look at that if you haven't before. Sheep aren't smart. They are also helpless. They don't have claws or fangs, they aren't fast animals. Most of them don't have horns. The book talks about how they even tend to wander into running creeks for water, then their wool grows heavy and they drown.... they really need "someone to lead them on paths that are right" (Psalm 23:3).... they need a shepherd. We, like sheep, need guidance. We need a shepherd. Without one we are helpless and can quickly become lost.  God is leading us when we are flying through the fog, when we are sheep who have gone astray. He is the shepherd of the souls of men. (1 Peter 2:25)
During these days of trying to find my way in the fog, I have some blessings that are so sweet.
The past two mornings have started out so foggy, but today by 7am the sun is already burning off all that fog and is shining brightly into my windows.... and then I have these blessings to enjoy...

Merit ** Will** and Hazel Jane

Sunday, February 21, 2010

little sweet pea, Hazel Jane....the journey of faith

We had a good weekend. The weather has been beautiful! Lots of sunshine and about 50 degrees. The kids have the bikes and skateboard out. Our family of five went for a nice walk yesterday and then "the guys" spent the night in our little cabin. Today we did another walk, this time with Grandma Kris. We are all needing the fresh air. And it sure feels good to let Merit and Willem run off some energy. Friday afternoon I did this little photo shoot of Hazel.
Hazel is growing and interacting. The boys are enjoying her so much. I am so thankful for these children.
I am missing my brothers and sisters  LOTS. I think about them all so much. I went through some pictures this weekend and the boys watched some video footage from Christmas. Makes me think so much of Natasha, Reese and Lane... and little Case. When I see everyone happy and carefree, it so makes me want to go back to a more simple time...
I think of how so many get togethers for years after our mom died were empty and sad. I think because she passed away so suddenly, the reality of not having her anymore was something that took a long time to accept. And then different people grieved differently. I remember the feeling of being very frightened when I saw so many people go back to their own lives - their normal routine - and our family was stuck in a time of sadness. There were days that we couldn't see past that empty sad feeling. And then in the last while - before Case died - it seemed that everyone was feeling more happy again, a bit more carefree... we all still miss mom, but we were moving forward and finding joy in many things... once again.
Natasha has had more than her fair share of grief. But in this life, there is no "fair share".
Natasha's trust in God is getting her through this. She is looking to Him and I respect her so much for this.
But again, it makes me wish for a more simple time for our family, especially for Natasha, Reese and Lane.
The thing is, when life is very comfortable and carefree, sometimes we spend less time praying and soul searching. When things are easy it is pretty comfortable to just live without much character building, soul searching and prayer.... faith in God is a hard journey...but it pays off in the end.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday

Last night I think I was up 8 times during the night... maybe ten. Hazel needed her binky several times, Willem was coughing a lot and needed a drink of water. Then Will had some bad dreams and asked to crawl in bed with us... it was one of those mornings that when I heard the alarm I was just preparing to get a good chunk of sleep. Ugh. Now here I am drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee, blogging, while my laundry pile spills out of the laundry room.
I do get some things accomplished when I am up a lot in the night... I am offered many opportunities to pray - in a quiet house - I pray for God's comfort for Natasha and Reese. I pray that they will miss Case but not be without hope and that they will find joy in life. I ask that Lane will be joyful and not fearful. I pray that people will be kind and supportive. I thank God for all of the people praying for them. I pray for my children and protection over them. I pray for my husband. And I pray that I will get a good night's sleep tonight :)
Daily I am blessed by empathetic, faithful friends. And I try to teach my children to be empathetic, prayerful people. I don't think we need to protect our kids from all sadness. Merit and Willem know that I miss my mom very much and they know I hurt for Natasha Reese and Lane with their longing for their sweet baby boy. Also, our family misses Case too. Merit cries and prays for Natasha and her family. And although I want my children to be joyful and happy, it is good for them to be sensitive to the sadness and needs of others too.
Hold onto Jesus. He's holding onto you.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February Air

A little February yard clean up feels good and while we really get to looking we see there is soo much more to do! Oh well, it is a good way to get fresh air and exercise on the weekends especially.We have already started our pumpkin seeds - we have dreams of BIG PUMPKINS and LOTS of them, we'll see how we do. Willem likes to water them daily with his squirt bottle :)   Hazel soaks up the fresh air and loves watching her big brothers play outdoors. We are seeing little signs of spring
Spring is Vance's favorite season and I can see it when he is outside.
I am lacking order and organization inside... but I need to be ok with some of that.
I want to enjoy my family and I want to be a supportive sister to Natasha... and to my other siblings as well.
We enjoy getting outside on sunny days. Spring soccer starts up soon too and Merit is looking forward to this.
Please continue to pray for Natasha, Reese and Lane...

Cabin Cozy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!


This has been a fun week for our kids. Hazel can observe, interact and play a little more on her tummy.
She loves patty cake patty cake and she knows every word to This Little Light of Mine and Jesus Loves Me. She can't actually prove it quite yet, but I know she does.
Merit and Willem both had Valentine parties at school. Willem's pre-school class also decorated sugar cookies from what I can tell. Thursday afternoon, after his preschool Valentine party, we made sugar cookies at home. Once baked, Willem asked me if we were ready for the "cookie art" - must have been a term they used at school. I loved it.
Earlier this week Willem asked for a piece of wheat bread, naked. Naked means no crust, no butter, not toasted... simply naked. :) Willem's "ways" make me smile and laugh - often. When he gets in the car after preschool I give him a little squirt of hand sanitizer. After the sanitizer is rubbed in, he asks me if he may hold Hazel's little paw. He always refers to her hands as paws. Willem makes me smile even when my heart is sad.
Merit was soo excited for his Valentine breakfast at school! He also enjoyed exchanging Valentines with his classmates. His girlfriend is Cali. I know two things about her; she is an excellent reader and she can do lots of tricks while riding a horse.
I am wearing my glass is Half-Full t-shirt... I am trying.
I usually am the Wag More, Bark Less girl.
Usually the glass is Half-Full.
But it is hard to be so optimistic and sunny when Natasha, Reese and Lane are hurting so much.
I suppose I  will try to be full of sunshine and when the clouds overtake me, I'll just pray.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life...

Growing Hazel

Our boys love to bake. I find it funny that Merit finds it necessary to wear an apron even when he isn't wearing a shirt. I am sorry if he is violating some health code here. ;)
I love these girls. Lesha, Natasha, Lissa (our friend since I was five) and me --- Today and every day I thank God for placing them in my life.
 I love this sweet picture of Reese, Lane, Natasha and Case. When our family grows, we don't imagine a member will be taken away. We envision our kids learning and growing while enjoying them as they enter each new fun stage... it isn't in our human minds to continue on with one missing, taken away... Natasha, Reese and Lane have been asked to continue on with one missing. That breaks my heart every minute of every day. Praying God will be their guide.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If we learn how to follow God in the "light" He will be our guide through the "darkness"

I told myself I would excercise this morning right after getting Merit off to school and getting Will and Hazel situated, but my heart is heavy and my thoughts are spinning. Expressing myself and asking for prayer might be better than working out with Bob and Jillian. :)
Friday night I picked Natasha up at Seatac Airport. Vance, Merit and Will had a guys weekend at home and Hazel and I met up with Natasha. We spent the night in Bellevue. We talked and we cried, we worried about the toll this is taking on some and once again, Natasha's faith encouraged and inspired me. It still doesn't seem completely real that Case is gone. We still don't know why he is gone. But we have to trust God. God does comfort the broken hearted.
Natasha feels very misplaced. Every morning she brought Lane to school with Case in a front pack or in the stroller. She then went home to care for that sweet baby while her "big boy" was in kindergarten and her husband was at work. Caring for a baby is wonderful and consuming. It takes up so much of a mommy and a baby brings a mother such fulfillment.
Her days are now long and empty. It breaks me heart that she went from such joyful days to days of feeling so misplaced.
She isn't sure what to do with his clothes in the hamper that smell like him. She doesn't want to wash them because she doesn't want to lose that scent that reminds her of him and takes her back to holding him. She has rice cereal and baby food in the cupboard. Every part of her home reminds her of Case and how much she misses him, but she doesn't run from the pain. Pray that God will comfort them. Pray that God will place supportive people in their day to day life.
Reese, Lane and Natasha are all finding a new way without baby Case. People are getting back to their own lives and their routines yet Natasha, Reese and Lane can't really get back to life... they are still trying to find it and figure out what the new normal is. Natasha is misplaced but not lost - because God is her guide and she knows He is in control.We must know God well enough in the light to be able to follow Him through darkness.
Our weekend provided some healing and some laughter. Lesha and Lissa joined us Saturday at about noon. The five of us shopped Bellevue Square, we talked and talked... it felt so good to just be together. We all spent Saturday night and then yesterday had another good day of needed conversation. These girls are huge blessings to me.