Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week and remember our blessings.  It is so good to see all that has happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. puddle jumping 

I am thankful for sunny days after the rain, for new-found (again) winter boots, for puddles to jump in and for friends to jump with after school.

2. birthday surprises

It was my birthday this past weekend and we had no plans for any special celebration. (which is strange for me) We had a birthday party to get Bryn to though, so while he was swimming, my husband drove myself and the two Youngers around for a few errands. As we were heading home, I accepted a phone call on my husband's cell from his mother asking if we could help our brother in law, since he had a flat tire. I agreed, so off we drove up to Walnut Grove. 

My husband pulled into the parking lot of Old Spaghetti Factory, saying that he would just call to find out where exactly our BIL was. I didn't think anything of it. Bryn then says that he sees his Grandma Lynn's vehicle, so I correct him to say that no, she wasn't going to be there, since she couldn't, and that's why we were. My loving, sneaky husband turns to me and says, "no, actually she is. We're here for a dinner for you!"

What? !!!   I was slightly shocked. I may have looked at him quite confused and stunned because I did ask, "what?" a few times! haha. I can't recall the last time he has shocked me like this! It was a nice surprise to have him plan an early dinner out with family for me!

3. youth retreats

We have joined a new church that is closer to our home and have been going since September. We're really enjoying it, and the kids are happy and we're feeling comfortable, even though we don't really know anyone yet. The Olders have joined the youth group and are trying to settle in, which is such a relief to see.

This past weekend was their Youth Retreat up at Camp Kawkawa for two nights. I am so thankful that the two got to go on that trip, and that they were safe and had a good time.

4. forge

My smart and clever and skilled husband has started up his own mini forge in our back workshop over the summer. He's always wanted to learn more blacksmithing.  Conveniently, this season a show called Forged In Fire started up, where four blacksmiths compete to build swords for a huge monetary prize. Not only have we been watching it, but our neice has been really into it. So for her birthday, my husband had her over to teach her how to forge her own item!

It was a pretty cool afternoon! Bryn joined her as well and they made a fancy coat hook. They were pleased with themselves.

I am thankful for creative husbands, for skills that are still important being taught, and for an afternoon to play (safely)!

5. cuzzie leaf jumping

After forging coat hooks, the cousins piled up our leaves and jumped in them! Isn't that the best part of Autumn?

Sadly, none of these leaves actually made it into the compost bin, but I am still thankful that they could run and jump and play. I am thankful that we have large trees and a yard with our house.

6. safe driving

Driving home from our dr apt on the 99 and we had come to a slow trickle. Instead of it being an hour drive home, it took 2.5hrs; all traffic on every major roadway was being diverted due to a big accident.  A police officer had to direct four lanes off of the freeway (one being driven from the opposite direction. You know it's not good when they have traffic on the wrong side of the road) and onto the 91, which was also crazy busy. Ugh! At one time, I was driving with no clue where I was going or how I'd make it back home! Something like that would normally make me all anxious since I get lost easy, but I am so thankful for His Spirit of Peace upon me. It was a crazy drive home, but oddly enough, not a terrible one. Rhys and I even made it to a gas station in time for gas and the bathroom! :)

7. drs appointments

This is Rhys' "I don't want to be here" pouty face. It makes me laugh.

We had a good specialist appointment, which I'll update on soon. Once I find time. Blah!
I am thankful for good doctors and appointments that go better than expected.

8. the cutest cowgirl

Eden had Western Dress Up Day in preschool, so I bought her a hat and bandana in her favourite colour, which she was so excited about. We happened to be out shopping before her class began and she found this big stuffed horse in a Christmas section for $3 and had to have it. I didn't realize until we got to her class that she wanted it for her cowgirl costume! How clever is that?

9. lunch dates

Since it has been so crazy busy lately, I feel like I haven't connected with my usual "old" friends in a long time. That saddens me.  I was so thankful to be able to visit with a good friend of mine this week and have her over for lunch. Yay for friendships that still survive and thrive despite busy lives.

10. online love

I know that many of the messages may have only been because FB reminded them, but I still love reading all of the posts that friends and aquaintances left to wish me well on my birthday!  I love that I still get surprised when I receive some of them. You know how you have a few friends that are there just because they're family or you know them just briefly through church, school or work? I was pleased to see that some took the time to say HBD. I love the love you feel online sometimes!

So that's my week in a nutshell. How about you? What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week and remember our blessings.  It is so good to see all that has happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. Everyone loves Eden

 Sometimes this girl is so ridiculously cute.

I was snuggling with Eden when she tells me that she loves me. I respond that I love her too and add that God loves her and holds her in His hands. She tosses her hair confidently and sighs, "I know. Everyone loves me!"

I am thankful for her spunky and fun personality. I am also thankful that she does not seem to have any problems with self esteem! :)

2. Rhys being helpful (and truthful sisters)

As I'm sweeping the floors, Rhys starts to pick up the Lego and says, " Mom, what I'm doing is Helping." I smile and say, "yes, thank you, Rhys." Then Eden pipes up from the couch she's laying on, "What I'm doing is Not Helping!" I just shake my head.

I am thankful for my sweet little helper. ...and my silly girl.

3. new buddies

We had friends over for dinner and Rhys made a new friend in their oldest daughter, who is in gr 10. She was so sweet and even played Lego with him. She is now his favourite!

I am so thankful for this family of friends who shared a meal with us. I am thankful for this girl who didn't have to spend time with my boy, who is half her age, but she chose to on her own. I love it when people show compassion and interest and attention to my children!

4. B cross country

Bryn joined the Cross Country team at school this year! I'm so impressed with him! He loves to run, so this fits, but it's just incredible for me to think of! After all, his father and I aren't runners (I hated PE class!) and his two older siblings tried to avoid things like this too (having asthma does put a damper on things though), so to have a child who actually loves to run and wants to do it for an extra curricular event is crazy!  I am so proud of him!

The Cross Country team consists of gr 4-6 students in our school and they had been running every week this month, finishing off with the big Christian School Bear Creek Run. (several local schools meet together at Bear Creek Park for a huge race between the grades. I hated going as a kid! haha) 

I love that this boy was excited about this event! I'm sad that I missed the big run in the end though, but hopefully next year I can cheer him on in person.

5. surpassing goals and fun teachers

This year, the elementary school made a goal of raising $2000 for the annual Terry Fox run. If the students made the goal, the vice principal Mr V would get duct taped to the wall. If they made over $2000, the principal Mrs D would be added.  In the end, they raised over $2300, so not only were the two teachers duct taped, but the lovely teacher librarian Mrs dG volunteered as well! What a fun group of leaders we have at the school!

 I loved that the teachers made this fun! I love that the kids were so excited too!

6. Optimistically Hopeful

Okay, I'll be totally honest here: the recent elections results in Canada this week were not what I was expecting or hoping for. But after the shock and fear wore off, I decided to be positive about it and change my thinking. So for now, I am remaining Cautiously Optimistic. Sometimes change is good.

7. Good Laughs

Laughter is good medicine. When I read this, I had to share it!

In case you don't get it, it references the song Safety Dance by Men Without Hats, a great 80's tune I love!

It's been a crazy busy two months here and some of it where I just got through by laughter, a few moments to catch my breath and lots of prayer! I am so thankful for those things!

8. Friendships and opportunities

We drive home two school friends of Abi and Rhys' (who happen to be siblings as well) twice a week and so that's been making things a bit busier and carries it's own set of struggles, but I am so thankful for this opportunity to not only build up the friendship between Rhys and this boy, but also the chance for us as a family to offer help selflessly to a family who needs it. We have been blessed in so many ways! How hard is it for us to just offer a blessing to another?

9. Late Start Friday

Seriously, our school starts late every Friday, which means that we get to sleep in an extra half hour! What's not to like? I am very thankful for Fridays!

10. New Friends

Both of my older boys made new friends this year...whether it was with a new student to the school or just a new-er one (new the year before but hadn't known our family before).... and it's been so great to see them extend themselves and create new friendships. I am thankful that they have been able to spend time with new friends and that it has worked out with get togethers. 

This is just a brief list even though I have so much to be thankful for. It's been a busy Fall so far with so many  new things going on. Our family is still adjusting, but hopefully soon we'll feel more relaxed and find time again for our usual things. (like my TT lists)

What about you?  If things have been incredibly different, or stressful, or busy lately, take a few moments and just start a list of things that you are thankful for right now. It's amazing how freeing it is! It changes your perspective just a bit and turns that stress into moments of peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Beautiful Reminder

Just when you didn't know you needed it, you read something that brings tears to your eyes and reminds you of something incredible.

I am His.

He calls me by name.

His Beloved.

I am so grateful for Ann Voskamp's words tonight on FB:

Ann Voskamp

Lord, when I don't like me,
You still love me, You still like me, You still lavish me with acceptance.
When I am fed up with me, You invite me to Your feast,
When I am done -- with me, with life, with everything,
You whisper, "Hang on -- I am making *all things* -- *you* -- new." (Rev21:5)
And when I want to quit, You cup my face: "This great work I started in you? I won't stop that beautiful work until you are fully, completely, gloriously beautiful" (Phil1:6, 1Cor2:7) 

So this becomes our brave & broken-hearted hallelujah, the one we sing into the dark, even when it's hard to believe:
I am His Beloved, His Beloved, His Beloved... and even now I will be held.
In the name of the only One who loved us to death & back to the real & forever life... Amen.

Friday, October 16, 2015

remembering, broken hearts and hard truths

I'm not exactly too sure how to start this post off, to be honest. But it's been percolating in my mind for a week now. Just jumbled thoughts and emotions, but no concrete words. So bear with me.

Today is October 15th, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I lit my three candles for #WaveofLight in memory of my babies.

It's been an incredible journey, one that I never thought I'd be on. But I am so grateful for the friends that I made through this, and for the love and support I received as I had my two ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage. (You can read about my stories HERE)

We still don't talk about baby loss, or pregnancy loss yet, but we're getting better. I still think it is such a personal thing, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. It's not something that we advertise.  But I have met many others with their own stories, so it's a common heartbreak. But maybe that's why we don't talk about it. It seems... "common". When really it isn't. Having your heart break into pieces, having a part of you somewhere else, having a child you loved and wanted so dearly not with can that be "common"? Even if it has happened to many of us.

I don't know if you saw the amazing photo that DMX Photography had posted on FB a few weeks ago. It was done to support and recognize a family who had lost many babies, and it was just beautiful.  I hope it is okay, but I copy/pasted the photo and what they wrote (because I'm Old Skool like that!):|

My dear and gorgeous friend Kathryn of LittleB Memories came to me with a special request for her family portrait. She and her husband longed for a family picture that showed their whole family of eight, preserving the precious memories of the five babies they'd lost due to miscarriage. This is the final image I put together for her. It took me a few days, this image weighed heavy on my heart, I can only imagine the suffering they endure on a day to day basis. My heart breaks for her and her family.

October is national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. 1 in 4 is such a heartbreaking statistic...Please take a moment for Kathryn, her family, and ALL families who are suffering the loss of their children. Send them all your good thoughts and well wishes, your hugs and encouragement. They shouldn't have to suffer alone.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world.”
-Ronald Reagan

Can you think of anything more beautiful and touching to have on your wall? I really had no words. Just incredible. Touching.

I had got stuck in a conversation on a friend's FB wall where she had shared a photo that said that "abortion is more about escaping consequences than "choice"... it takes away the choices of another human being." Harsh words, but true. For the most part, those who commented were in agreement. Many were sympathetic and carried no condemnation, but generally, they felt that those words were honest. But this one woman commented on how it wasn't "that easy", and that it was very judgmental, and how it felt like an attack on women who can be the only one making the decisions regarding their own body. And her comments were very much what the world wants to keep saying.

Abortion is also a very private thing. I've never been put in a situation where I have felt that my pregnancies would be better off Not being. So it's easy for me to say that I'd never consider one, but to be honest, I don't know. (I do remember my friend telling me of her teen pregnancy that she thought of it for a bit. And I can totally understand why! 16 and pregnant? That's not something that many girls dream of for their high school years! Not the most ideal situation. She kept her baby and went through a lot of hard consequences, so it was definitely not an easy thing for her to go through with either. But I understand the difficulties of being in a hard place.)

What made the whole conversation hard was this statement: "Many abortions are performed for pregnancies that are very much wanted but something is very wrong (like an ectopic pregnancy). That woman is getting an abortion to save her life."

I had to stop and reread it a few times. Was she equating my ectopic pregnancies as to having an abortion???

That was difficult to read.

I didn't want to get emotional or spout off words that weren't true, but it stuck with me all night. I even did some google searching on the medication that they gave me in the hospital. I wanted to know what the medical field considered it. But that was a bad move too. Methotrexate is used to stop folate from growing. Does that mean that it stopped the baby's life? It was vague. So I went to bed heavy hearted and praying for the truth and for peace. (I was reminded that a Miscarriage is also considered a "spontaneous abortion" in the medical field, so searching for a clinical term wasn't helpful at all!)

I had no answers and that was hard. I wanted confirmation! I wanted something concrete. I wanted some release.

What I got was the reply my heart begged for.

"With all due respect and compassion, an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion at all! That pregnancy would never result in a live birth under any circumstances, and would kill the mother along with her baby who already has no chance of survival. That's a medically necessary life-saving procedure." I am withholding the author's name due to privacy, but I believe without a doubt that she spoke God's words to me in that comment. She was a blessing to me that night, and I shed many tears over that.

After two ectopic pregnancies that took two babies and my left tube, to even consider that I had an abortion to save my own life was very hard for me to read. I would give anything to have those babies back! (I can not think of ANY woman who have had ectopic pregnancies that they would consider their procedures an abortion! And I have talked with many!) I remember that when I first was given the shot of medication, that when my heart was breaking right there on that hospital bed, that I felt like I had just killed my baby. (I mentioned that feeling in my original post on my losses.)

But I was reminded that when I was having that powerful drug, and when they were preparing me for surgery, that those babies that I was supposed to carry, the dreams that I had held briefly, did not have heartbeats. That's what the problem was. They had ceased to live. They were just black masses in my broken tube, along with my broken heart, and that wasn't safe. My life was at risk and the medication was done to break down what wasn't a viable life anymore....not due to the medication, but due to the placement of the pregnancy. These babies had no chance. There was nothing wrong with them, but in where they ended up, but sadly there is no way to fix an ectopic pregnancy yet. Maybe one day they will be able to transplant the baby to the womb safely, wouldn't that be amazing!

But an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion at all!  I didn't chose my life over my baby's. My baby's had already ended. And an ectopic pregnancy is not like a miscarriage either. They are both handled differently and you go through different emotions regarding the loss. I grieved my miscarriage, and the baby that could have been. Somehow telling myself that there was "something wrong" with the pregnancy didn't make it feel any better. But my ectopics had more fear.

When I struggled through the whole memory of my EPs, I was surprised at how deeply it effected me. Deep inside I still ache over these losses. I am very much able to go through life without thinking of these things, and I don't spend a lot of time remembering, and I'm not dealing with depression over them anymore, and I recognize the many many ways that my life is fruitful. But this month, I have been brought back to tears and painful memories.

Strange to think that they would be almost 15, 11 and 5 years old. How different life would be! I look at the beautiful family I have now and I wouldn't trade in any of it! A bit less pain would be nice, but I can confidently say that God does give beauty from ashes! (Isaiah 61:3)

I am praying that if you have loss in your life that you do not feel alone, but that you feel and know that you are cared for and loved. I pray that your heart will heal as your body does, and that you find beauty amungst the pain eventually too. 

Powered by Blogger.