Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Sun is finally shining here in Oklahoma

Anna and Nigel (what the kids named him:), another roaming neighborhood dog.

Well I literally decided this morning that we, the kids and I that is, will hit the road tomorrow morning to head up to Wisconsin to visit family and friends. So needless to say, it has been a busy day getting us all packed and ready to go. Actually I think I like the spur of the moment travel. I am a planner so it is kind of nice to just fly by the seat of your pants and just try to pull it all together quick. The kids were a huge help, we even got the house cleaned... I can't stand coming home to a messy house. We will see how Greg does while we are gone. So we will be off to the frozen tundra tomorrow. I have been needing the physical presence of people... and you know my husband does have a job to go to:) So it is time to head north and be with my loved ones. I can't wait to just hang out and be me with those who love me in the good, bad and the ugly times:) It will be nice. My dad just called me last night to remind me that we will make it through this together. He is becoming more of a softie as he gets older... Such a sweet man.
We will be stopping in St. Louis on the way to visit with friends from the sem. Our dear friends the Bogg's are willing to house us for the night, very last minute I might add. So it will be a party, the 8 of the them and the 5 of us in their 750 sq. ft. seminary apartment. We are so grateful for their generosity. I am not sure how long we will get to stay up north. We may need to head back the middle of next week. That was the main reason I wasn't sure about or planning on going. But I decided I needed to go that bad, that it is definitely worth the 12 hour trip even if we only stay for 5 days.
The funeral service was rough. They seem to be holding it together well. I think God just puts your body into a state of shock so that you can function and attend to all of the tasks and decisions that need to be made quickly in those first few days when a death occurs. Their daughter was precious. It was so hard to see them and their grief, all too fresh for us. We were able to greet them and let them know we are here for them, and know just how they feel. Our hearts just ache for them.
So I am not sure if I will get the chance to blog. My parents literally just entered the 21st century by purchasing a computer just this past month. Who knows, Louis will probably be teaching them how to use it:)
So it is goodbye Oklahoma, hello WISCONSIN. Ahhhhh HOME! We are looking forward to the cold weather and maybe some snow... More importantly looking forward to being loved on by all of our loved ones! Praise God for family and friends.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My mommy heart is aching today. My arms physically ache today for my baby. It is the strangest feeling to know that I no longer carry my baby inside of me...(I miss his presence there so greatly) yet I don't carry my baby in my arms either. He should be in my arms. I still sometimes get phantom movements where I honestly think I feel him kick. I wonder how long that will go on. I miss my sweet boy more and more with each passing day.
Today while at the Doctor's office the nurse was asking JOJO about the cowboy boots he was wearing. She asked if he was going to need a new pair soon. He went on to explain that when he gets too big for these boots Samuel will get to wear them. The nurse then asked if Samuel was Jo's little brother. So I had to explain to her and him that I don't think Samuel needs those cowboy boots in Heaven. Weird, Jojo knows where Samuel is, yet I am not sure he completely gets that he will never be here with us.
I was so blessed by my time away with my 2 girlfriends Mary and Lula. During worship on Friday evening they literally surrounded me, held me and cried with me as we sang. Being with good friends is so precious to me. How I thank the Lord for them. I got to meet some of Mary's friends from Houston. What sweet ladies and sisters in Christ. They were not afraid to come up to me and talk to me about my loss. It was so refreshing to have complete strangers come up and mention my son. They have been praying for me since October when Mary brought back the picture of Samuel from the memorial service. One of the gals had her baby there. She even said I could hold her baby if I thought that might help me heal in some way. I just said that I couldn't yet at this point. I am not sure when I will be able to hold a little one.
Anyone who knows me knows I am ALL about babies. I gravitate to them. Greg always has to tell me to not stare or approach a mom with a newborn because I might freak them out:) I am so different now. I literally have to go the long way around Walmart, so that I don't go near the baby section. I can't really even look at a newborn. It isn't a good feeling... so not me.
I continue to wait on the Lord's timing for healing. I am clinging to the fact that He will heal me bit by bit, and trusting that He will bring it in His time. Is it still normal to cry every single day 4 days out from my loss? I guess you can't put a time table on grief, it is different for each person. I prayed for that baby for 2 1/2 years, I guess 4 months isn't long when you consider that. When I called my dad today in tears... poor guy... he prayed with me and tried to cheer me up. I know it hurts him to see me in pain. He even said he feels that there is a hole in his heart because of the loss of Samuel. For some reason that made me feel good. I talked with my sister 3 times today, I told her is was such a treat. She said it was almost as if we were neighbors, just calling to ask a question or two... what I wouldn't give to have my little sister closer than Massachusetts.
We will be heading to the funeral service for the little baby that was still born this past weekend. I know it may be hard to be there... at the same time I want that women to know that she is not alone. I want her to know that there is someone who completely understands how she feels right now, how she may feel a month from now, how she may feel in the middle of the night, how it feels to have your milk come in and have no baby to nurse, how it feels to lose a child, and how it feels to have her mommy heart broken. I want to be available to her in the next months... whenever, however she may need it. Please continue to pray for them.

Monday, February 23, 2009


My heart is heavy. On Saturday night I received an email from the director of CPO the Crisis Pregnancy Center that we may adopt through. One of the director's assistants was due to have her baby girl any day. She found out that afternoon that the baby had died in the womb due to a cord accident.

Oh, I know all too well, the pain they are feeling today as they leave the hospital empty handed when they had anticipated leaving with their arm's full and hearts overflowing with joy and love. I know the range of emotions and grief that they will experience over the next months and my heart is broken for them. Knowing where I am at just 4 months later and how raw my heart still feels I grieve for them.

Please pray for the Johnson family that the Lord would wrap His arms around them and fill them with an immeasurable peace right now. Pray that the Lord would send just the right people to minister to them during this difficult, heartbreaking time.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


He provides food for those who love him, He remembers His
covenant forever. Psalm 111:5

This is the verse we are memorizing this week. We have seen Him provide and we are clinging to the promise that He remembers His covenant forever.

Our God is our provider. This is our 2nd family Ebenezer. Do you remember Samuel raising the Ebenezer in 1 Samuel 5:12 saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."? Oh how I wish our Samuel were here to raise our family Ebenezers with the rest of us.

When we first started talking about our Ebenezers we asked the kids what are some ways the Lord has helped us so far in our life? Every single person had to mention how the Lord has provided for our family. We have seen his provision so clearly during the past 2 years at the Seminary. When we stepped out in faith moving there, basically jobless so Greg could attend classes, we knew the Lord would provide. But WOW, how he provided was amazing.

He provided food from the seminary food bank, inexpensive clothes and things for the kids at the seminary re-sell it shop, better friendships than I could have ever imagined, so many playmates for the kids, a wonderful place to live on campus (700 square feet was tight, but we had some of the best times for our family in that cozy apartment:), and He provided financially for us. Both Greg and I were able to work part time while there, me teaching my childbirth classes and doing doula work, and Greg by using his culinary:) skills in the campus kitchen. We wondered how would we balance all we had to do to make it work with out a "real job" or income during those 2 years. God used so many family member, churches and even strangers to provide for us. It was so neat to see the hands and feet of Christ in our lives through all of those people. God was so faithful to provide all we needed and so much more... abundantly.

I remember when we were first married and had Louis. We decided I would stay home with Louis and take care of some other children before and after the school day. When we figured out the finances it seemed like we would be $200 short each month from what we thought we would need. Right around that time Greg and I had gotten up in church and given a sort of testimony during the service. Just a month later we received a check from some members of church that we really barely knew. They could have had no idea what amount of money we were going to be short each month...we didn't say anything to anyone. Their check covered that $200 each month and even had a little extra in the end. They had seen our testimony in church and knew that I had stopped teaching at the school and that Greg was also working for the church. The Lord had laid us on their hearts. That was one of of the first times that God visibly laid His financial blessings in our lap. We were amazed and so grateful. And similar situations have happened over and over again in our life.

So now we come to such a different place in our lives. We know God had the power to make our situation with Samuel so different last October. Honestly that is a struggle at times. He is all powerful, He easily could have allowed that cord to be the continuous source of life for my son, and not what caused his death. I have always known that ultimately my children are Gods... on loan to us for a time. I just never anticipated having to give one of them back to him so much earlier than expected. I still pray to the Lord as I check on the kids before I go to bed each night, and place them back in His care while I sleep. I know they are always in His care, but I verbalize it every night.

When I think of how God is providing for my son now, I am jealous. How I long to be in His presence with Samuel. I am homesick for my eternal home. But until I am there with him, I know He will provide for me and my family here on earth. He has proven it over and over again.

This week He provided :

My MEND support group, a place where I feel free to share honestly about my grief and I know people completely understand.

A dear sweet young mother at church who came and hugged me and cried with me while a song was played that we had chosen for Samuel's memorial service. Oh to have the physical touch of someone who cares. It was a blessing.

A get away for me this coming weekend to spend time with 2 dear, lovely, longtime, Christian friends.

A call for Greg to continue serving here at our church permanently. (Now we just need to pray for the Lord to make His will and plan clear to us.)

A great lunch with the director at CPO, the Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, who we may adopt through. We are excited to see how God may use us to parent a child who needs a loving, Christian home.

Sometimes God provides for a need before you even know you have it. Now that always feels so good. And Greg and I have talked lately how sometimes it feels like He provides things for you in the 11th hour, when you are hanging on by a thread. That doesn't always feel as good. But today we are thanking God for being our PROVIDER early, what feels late to us, in the past, today, and in the future.


People who know me well will get a kick out of our life here in the country. I guess we really don't live that far in the country, but it feels and looks like country living and we like that.

The day we closed on our house here last June, our new neighbor introduced himself to us as we unpacked a carload before heading back to St. Louis. Our neighbor is a great guy, but one of the first things he said to us when he met us was, " I hope you like dogs." The crazy thing is, I have never liked dogs. I didn't tell him that of course.

Now I don't want to offend any of you dog lovers, my husband is one of you. I know most people like dogs or at least don't mind them. But when you grow up in a home where your mother is HIGHLY allergic to dogs there is no possibility of having a dog as a pet. I grew up in the suburbs, but strangely, having pets like a chicken, and many ducks that we hatched. I think we did end up with some mice when my oldest brother let hundreds of them go at school as a Senior prank... and my next oldest brother caught some and brought them home. I don't remember those mice lasting too long:)

Anyways, after seeing old family movies of me growing up Greg claims he knows why I don't like dogs. There was one movie where I am at the petting zoo feeding the goats. I was probably 4 years old. They were jumping all over me and I was crying hysterically. I know it is silly but I am just afraid of dogs, all dogs... Big, small, it doesn't matter. In my mind, all dogs have teeth, and all dogs can bite. I used to map out my runs, knowing where all of the neighborhood dogs were are and avoiding them at all costs, weaving up and down streets. Crazy, I know.

Well, back to our country living. The above picture shows what our home is like here. The neighbors 2 dogs like to hang out here during the day because there is a fair amount of action here with the kids. Doofus, as we like to call him, the black dog lives outside of the neighborhood but hangs out here everyday. And the newest hairy beast, Nigel, as the kids have affectionately named him, the big brown dog, joined the crew last week. He must have a home, but he hasn't left since he arrived last week. We even had a puppy that we think was dumped off near our home just before Christmas. We took him to a vet to try to find him a home. You would think one roamer might be it, but come on, 4-5 dogs in our yard... just hanging out on a daily basis?? It is crazy.

As crazy as this sounds, the dogs are actually growing on me... I never thought I would say that. They all trail me on my runs and it actually keeps me company. They are all really nice dogs, they don't jump on you or bark much. The best part is they aren't ours... the kids can play with them, but we don't have to feed or take care of them. And usually they go home at night:)

Kind of a random post... signing off and hitting the hay.

Loving my four kids here with me but missing my sweet Samuel in Heaven.


Friday, February 13, 2009


Sorry about the crazy pictures... that is what happens when you crop your pictures and then try to scan them... I thought you still might enjoy them.
What would I do with out my valentine this year? Today I am so thankful to God for my wonderful husband. I have to admit that I am 100% more in love with Greg today than I was 15+ years ago when I married him. He has proven that He is loyal and will stick by me through the beautiful moments as well as the really ugly ones. I don't know anyone who would have been able to be by my side so patiently, the way that he has for the last 3 months. I know it has been really hard on him to see me during the really low times. I am sure he has wondered if he will ever get his wife back. Thanks for sticking with me Greg... for better or for worse.
The bottom picture up above, (does that even makes sense?) was taken the night we got engaged, October 3rd, 1992. I am really disappointed that you can't see the full mullet Greg was sporting. He was so handsome:) We look so young, my Houston and I. I haven't called him that in probably 17 years.
The funny thing is, we had been friends for 2 years after we met in speech class my freshman year of college. Everyone called him Houston, so that is what I had always called him. Then when we were dating he told me that he would like me to call him Greg. I think he thought that would be special because no one in college called him Greg. Now I kind of miss calling him Houston... now, everyone calls him Greg, except for my sister-in-law Jane. I may have to pick up the old nick name again:)

We had a really nice day. A wonderful couple from church volunteered to watch the kids for us. It was such a treat to have free babysitting and a date. We went out to lunch at this really cheap Chinese Restaurant with the best food. A beautiful family came in after us with 5 children. It was like staring at what our family would have been like a few years from now. They had 2 sons, then a daughter, then 2 more sons. The littlest had dark hair just like Samuel might have had. I just cried right in the middle of the restaurant. So many what might have been thoughts run through my head. I am sure there will be many of those till the Lord calls me home.

Then we headed to Old Navy to spend some of my gift cards... on Greg and Louis:) Actually, it was great. Greg didn't have one pair of jeans, so we found a few pairs for $3.49 each. I love a good deal and rarely go shopping so it was sort of fun. Then we rounded off the evening with Sloppy Jo's and hunkered down on the couch to watch the movie Enchanted, myself, the kids and HOUSTON:)

Love is Patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love NEVER fails. ... Now these 3 remain, faith, HOPE, and love, but the greatest of these is LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 & 13


The waves of grief are upon me. Some are smaller and gently roll in just lapping at my feet. Others are larger, but still manageable to swim against. And then others are more like tidal waves threatening to overtake me. I has been a tidal wave kind of week for me. Most times the waves come and go. This week it has just been like one huge wave after another. I usually can tell what has set me off, but not this time. Grief is so interesting that way. Sometimes I can see it coming, other times it blindsides me.

I won't get into all of the details or I kind of doubt you'd ever come back:) But let me just say once again my husband has been so supportive. I honestly don't know what I would do here without him. I am so thankful I have the Lord to cry out to, a few special gals to call up, but there are times I really need someone in the physical presence. I think that holding your wife for 2 hours in the middle of the night while she is over the edge in despair , praying for peace over and over again, while she begs for something completely different, is way more than this man bargained for 15 + years ago.

My wonderful Christian counselor, who herself has had a stillborn son, said that the ups and downs are all a natural part of grief. As time passes, she said the downs shouldn't be as deep as the previous downs. She was a bit concerned that my lows, when they do come, seem to be just as low as before. I am praying that will change as we move forward one step at a times. I usually pride myself in being the glue that holds our family together, but that hasn't been the case lately... Greg definitely gets that prize. Today when he was giving me a hug, he actually said he was so so thankful to have me in his life, he even repeated it. I had to laugh that he could even say that with the kind of week I have had. Wow, how did I get so blessed to have him as my husband.

I am a pretty honest and open person. Sometimes I wonder how far to go with how I am really feeling. In the end I want people to be able to glorify God for the great healing he will have done in me and our family. One thing I have realized through this is that many people have NO idea how to deal with grief or grieving people. I have had plenty of people who used to talk to me all the time when I was pregnant with Samuel, who haven't said more than 5 words to me since. I have had people see me, huge belly and all, just days before delivery, who have yet to speak of my son and our loss. I just want to shout it from the rooftops, that I still had my child, a son. His name was Samuel Mark and he was perfect. I held his soft, sweet, precious body in my arms for 5 hours. He just didn't live. That doesn't make him any less of a person, or any less my child. I just want to beg people to acknowledge his life. I know it counted, I know no one in this family will ever forget his short time with us. We think about it all the time. He is a part of daily conversation for us. But it hurts when others can't even acknowledge his existence. It hurts even more to know that as time passes he will be thought of even less by others, so mentioned even less. I don't know if that makes sense to others, but it is what is at the heart of why I share.

I know before I lost Samuel that I had lost loved ones, grandparents. Though I grieved that loss it was different. I had a pretty good idea that they would pass away before me. I had faced the possibility of death with Greg when he had his cancer 17 years ago. But that was different too, even though he was sick and it was serious, he was still alive and there was so much hope that the Lord would heal him... and Praise God He did. This is different, it is so final right from the start. Don't think that I didn't pray for a miracle and even beg God to breathe life into my son when I first held him. Death is death and it is final, there is no getting around that, unfortunately.

I always wondered what to say to people who had a loss so difficult. I always just felt such sadness for them deep in my heart. Now I know, is isn't what you say... sometimes you don't need to say anything. Just be there for them. Hug them, cry with them, let them know they are not alone. Acknowledge the life of their loved one, no matter how short it may have been. Say that loved ones name. I can't tell you how much it means to me when someone actually has the guts and grace to mention my son Samuel, by name. To take the the time to ask how I am REALLY doing. It shows me they care.

When I look at how the last 3 1/2 months have gone it amazes me, what a process. At the very beginning after Samuel died, I was so thankful for how the Lord had worked out some of the details during those days. I really felt like if God had allowed something like this to happen to our family that He was going to work something great out of it. I felt He would move BIG and FAST, I just knew it. Now I realize that He will still move, but at the time I was in total shock. The reality of my loss hadn't even begun to set in. Now, I know my time table and God's are clearly different. I know He says in His word, and many have quoted Romans 8:28 to me, that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Honestly, I am struggling to see the good. It doesn't look good, and it certainly doesn't feel good. Some probably laugh thinking... Yeah, give God some time. But when you experience the waves that I have, each moment or day can feel like such a longggg time. I have always thought time moved so quickly... the last few months time has moved at a crawl many days. Until you have walked a mile in my shoes you just may not be able to understand. And that is ok, I wouldn't expect you to.

Over 2 years ago the Lord led to the blog of a Christian woman who had just lost her 7 mo. old son. I now know one of the reasons the Lord had me stumble upon Noah Steven's blog. He was preparing me for my own trial. She is an amazingly strong woman and continues to teach me things. Today on her blog she was talking about identity theft. John 10:10 talks about how the enemy, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. But the Lord has come so that we may have life and have it to the fullest.

How often over the last few months have I told Greg I want to have joy, sincere joy again. I know God says he wants to give me life and a full life. Will that be the full life I have in mind? I don't know that answer. I have to keep reminding myself that the devil is the one trying to destroy me, my husband, our marriage, and our family through this. He could win big by taking down a full time church worker and his family. I want to claim that full life God has for me... and my family. So I will continue to trust that God has come to give me life. I refuse to let the devil steal my identity. I am a child of the King. He has bought my life, and redeemed my soul, at the huge cost of His Son. Now I just wait on Him to restore my life and heal my heart in the here and now.

Sorry for the novel, I can get to rambling.... when I speak from the heart:)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So our sweet little Samuel just had one swirl. This might not be anything most people notice. But I am one of those moms that loves to take in all of the detail of her babies. When Louis was a baby our pediatrician told me that Louis had a double swirl...meaning 2 on the back of his head. Then I was told that only 5% of people have a double swirl. The funny thing is Jojo has a double swirl too. So 40% of our kids have it. The beautiful, wonderful, crazy part of having the double swirl is that when you have your hair cut super short and you let it grow out, it come to the point where it sticks straight up in the air for at least a good month until it grows long enough to lay flat. Maybe I will be able to find some good pictures of Jojo or Louis' crazy hair to post. I am sure they hope I will refrain from doing that. So that is just another tid bit I noticed about our Samuel in the precious 5 hours we spent with him.
What I wouldn't give for 5 more... or 5,000 more:)
Ok, so when we were at the hospital on October 29th after they finally gave us some answers about our baby... nothing like making you wait over an hour and a half to get an ultrasound to confirm what you already know in your heart. And even then the ultrasound techs not being able to tell us anything that they are seeing or aren't seeing. Once I was induced I was blessed with very sensitive, caring nurses, but prior to that point it wasn't pretty. You would think that if they HIGHLY suspect a baby has died in utero that they would get someone in there who can do the ultrasound and read it right then and there and give the parents some answers not just more waiting.... anyways, I can get revved up just thinking about it. Sorry!
My main point is this, once Greg and I knew, then we had to tell the kids. They were worried in the morning but felt reassured after we went to the Dr. and thought they had heard Samuel's heartbeat (which was really mine). So Greg gracefully told Louis, Caleb, Anna, and Jojo that the baby was already in Heaven. Of course they were all so sad and we just sat on the bed and cried. It is amazing how you can remember the details of all that happened that day and the next so clearly. Yet when I think about the weeks that followed it is almost a complete blur, so hazy. I think I lived in a fog that first month... sometimes I still feel like I am in the fog.
So one of the first things that Caleb, our baby lover (who am I kidding, they are all baby lovers:) said was, " Can we please have another baby or can we adopt one?" In no way was he forgetting about Samuel, it was just so disappointing for all of us to not experience all that we had planned to experience with him. Especially our 3 older kids couldn't wait to hold, feed, play with, snuggle with that new little one.
Just the other night, when I was in bed with a migraine my oldest crawled in bed and just started crying. That was one of the things I really grieved in the hospital was just the loss of innocence and joy for my children. I knew at that point they would be different too from the experience of losing a brother. Louis recalled that morning in October in my room kneeling and praying and asking God for the baby to be ok. What a precious boy he is. He said he just missed Samuel so much.
So back to Caleb's question... Can we have another baby or adopt one? Greg and I have had adoption on our heart for a long while. I won't ever forget talking to him again about it shortly after we moved here last summer. He said, "You're pregnant, lets take it one at a time:)" Little did we know at that time that the sweet baby I was carrying wasn't going to stay here with us. We have dear friends from the seminary...The Boggs Bunch... that have a beautiful family with 3 biological children and 3 adopted children. Their youngest is our godson, Asher... just a precious little guy. Being around them just kind of pushed adoption to the forefront of our minds. (Thanks Boggs Bunch:)
We would love to have another child biologically, now this may be too much information for some of you, but that just doesn't happen easily for us. Many people are shocked to find that out and think that it must be easy for us since we have had 5 children, but that is definitely not the case. We prayed for little Samuel for 15 months before I was finally pregnant. It was pretty much the same or worse with the rest of the kids. I won't get into the details of it all. Caleb was the only one that came quickly. Now that we know him, we laugh, he was destined to be here, one way or another he was going to make it here... that tough, little, persistent fella.
So we have decided to open the door to adoption. There is one thing that has been made abundantly clear in the last 3 months. That is, that our plans are certainly not always the same as the Lords. So we are opening that door and we will see what the Lord does with it. We have been accepted by Crisis Pregnancy Outreach here in town. They are amazing and really want to give the girls who choose life for their baby some options. We know it will have to take just the right girl to choose us for her child being that we already have 4 kids. But this family is so ready to shower a little one with lots of love and care. I have a real sense of peace about it. If it doesn't work out this way then this is not the way God has in store for us to grow our family. But, we are excited about the possibilities.
So we have our home study interview tomorrow and then we meet with the director on Thursday for lunch. After that, they could place a baby with us. When I asked the director how long it could take... she said between 2 months and 2 years. I guess it partially depends on the birth mom and partially on what we are looking for. The funny thing is that when Greg and I talked about adopting we initially thought we would do an international adoption, so we never pictured our adopted child to really look like us. So we are open to see what the Lord has for us down this road.
I am sure some people will think that it is too soon. But Greg and I talked about it right away in the hospital, we just knew that we couldn't end our childbearing years with such a tragedy. No new child, however that child may come to us, could EVER replace Samuel. He will always be our fifth child, precious, celebrated, prayed for and longed for. He was uniquely himself, no other child will ever be like him. He is our seminary baby. When I think of how God knit him together in my womb with everything from his single swirl to having his father's toes, I am in awe of God's perfect creation in making Samuel. We will always miss him. We will always imagine what he would be like or be doing at this stage or that. We will always have a place in each of our hearts uniquely for Samuel and no one else.
At the same time we are excited to see what the Lord will do. I remember last year going down to the planned parenthood in St. Louis with my good friends Becky and Leigh and praying for the girls and the workers. I will never forget a very young girl coming in, she must have been around 14 years old. My heart broke for her. Her parents drove her there. I just wanted to yell out to her that I would take her baby. I have especially been convicted lately, especially with the FOCA (freedom of Choice Act) that President Obama wants to pass, that as Christians if we are Pro-Life we need to do something. Precious babies lives are at stake. If we don't want women to choose abortion we need to give them some other options and support them in that. Greg and I are excited to get involved with Crisis Pregnancy Outreach and their efforts here in Tulsa.
So we have added the birth mother and her baby, whoever she may be, to our family prayer board. Please pray with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Caleb and Samuel

I have had a few people call, or email me regarding our news so I figured I better post somewhat soon about it as to not leave you all hanging... but I will get to that in a bit... or maybe not.

How am I feeling? That is a great question. I guess tonight I am all over the map. I don't think in my life I have ever felt such a crazy combination of emotions all at once. Is it possible to be angry, sad, distraught, hopeless, and hopeful at the same time. We had church tonight... again a hard night. I am not trying to beat a dead horse... but just being real. I am curious if anyone else who has suffered a loss had such a hard time at church, and how did you cope with that? I know my counselor, who also suffered the stillbirth of a child said across the board she hears the same thing from women after women, church is one of the most difficult places to be.

Is it all of the pregnant moms, all the babies the same age Samuel would be, all of the talk about How Great God Is and how He works all for our good? Wow, church is such a feel good kind of place. What about when you aren't feeling good? What about when you don't see any good from your trial? What about the times when you are crying out to that same all loving, compassionate God for peace, relief from your despair... and you don't get it... or it takes hours or days to get it. I have never experienced anything like that before in my life before now. You know I can accept that he doesn't relieve any of my pain at times, I can accept that, that is who God is at times. I have spoken with some who just can't agree with me that He is that way at times. I don't understand what His purpose is in those times to not come to my aid. What I do know is that I am in the company of many in the Bible who said... Why have you forsaken me, Lord, why are you so far from me? I continue to wait on the Lord to bring me out of the pit, when those times do come. And those times do still come. Sorry, I know many wish that I didn't still feel that way at times, but it is the truth. Anyone who knows me, knows I am pretty open and honest about my feelings.

It is amazing all of the crazy things people say to you when you are grieving.... just one today. You seem like you are better. Ahhh, feeling better at times, yes. Better? Not really, will I ever be? I have had people tell me that their friends are in fear for their birth because of me... that felt good! I also have had the distinct feeling that some think I could have done something to prevent what happened to Samuel. It makes me feel like they think I am a bad mother. In my heart, I know there was nothing I could have done differently. I had just seen the midwife 5 days before and the Dr. 2 days before. He was moving around just like normal Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning when I woke up, nothing. You can't prevent a baby from tangling themselves up in the cord. I know it was just an accident that doesn't happen very often, thank God, but it did happen to my son. I have had people complain to me about their pregnancy symptoms...hey I would take ANY pregnancy symptom instead of the pain of my broken heart. I could go on and on, but I won't. I just wish people would think before they speak sometimes.

It also reminds me that I have probably said stupid things myself in the past. Oh how I have begged for forgiveness over my own mistakes. So I do forgive those who say things I wish they wouldn't have. But I still need to figure out how to react and not have it send me into the tailspin your reading about now. I am now able to recognize things or situations that kind of set me off to feeling worse. I need to figure out practically how to hear things like that and not let it burden me so much.

So any of you prayer warriors out there, please pray for me. I need an extra dose of the Lord's comfort tonight. I would also love prayers for my time at church. I just want to be able to go and worship. It is weird, but I feel like I want to have integrity through this all. If I can't sing it and mean it from my heart, I won't sing. I will not just go through the motions. I know God will put a new song in my heart at some point and you know I did have one Sunday a few weeks ago that I could honestly worship the Lord with joy in my heart. That felt so good.

My faith is strong, but let me tell you when God allows something like the death of your child, it rocks you to the core. I feel beaten down and broken, like my heart is shattered into a million pieces. How can He put that back together and make me whole again? I will never be whole again, like I used to be. My heart will be whole again, with a whole lot of scars or cracks in it. My heart will always have a Samuel shaped hole in it that can never be replaced by anything or anyone else. But maybe that hole won't be so jagged as it is now, but will have softer, smoother edges. To feel it won't hurt as much. I picture Him planting all of the pieces of my broken heart in the ground, and then growing a new plant or heart out of it all, a heart that looks different than the heart I had before. It will be a beautiful, more sincere, more compassionate, more devoted, heart than before because of losing our precious Samuel. How can you go through something like this and not end up coming out the other side looking completely different. I want God to use this pain to do something beautiful from it. What will it be Lord, show me a glimpse of it... or just come back quickly Lord! Hey, I will take the latter any day:)

Ok, now it is too late to post our news. But I will say this, no I am not pregnant... that was the question I got asked by a few people:) But it does have to do with why I posted a picture of Caleb and Samuel. It has to do with what Caleb said as soon as he knew that Samuel was already in Heaven. I will try to post tomorrow... Sorry to keep you hanging. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


One pair of blue jammies.... free from the neighbors
One pair of fleece jammies...a gift from Grandpa and Grandma
One set of bed sheets... a hand me down from the Cecils family:)
One stuffed animal (squished by the wall) ... $.50 from the Seminary Resell it Shop
One set of Bunk Beds (Now probably an unnecessary purchase since they sleep together in the same bed each and every night:)...$400


OK I caught them AGAIN! I will try not to post another picture of my precious kids holding hands in their sleep... but hey it is my blog:) and I can't help myself.
These days we are celebrating anything that makes us smile and treasure
the gift we are to each other.
I have some exciting news that I will share hopefully in the next week or so. I just need some time to get it all into words. Thanks for your continued prayers for our family. It is appreciated more than you know.