Saturday, October 12, 2013

Use ME

Yesterday while I was in the shower, I was praying.  Just a simple prayer.  "Lord, use me". Whatever that looks like, I want to be used for your glory.  I want to be a friend to people who may not have too many, I want to share my testimony of infertility, of loss and more importantly, of HIS faithfulness.  I want to learn more about Him.  I was thinking more about this as I drove home from a massage last night.  I was super sore, but...feeling blessed.  Sometimes, it's the little things.  It may be just listening while your co-worker shares with you struggles she is facing....or choosing to go out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone you don't know.  I've learned that listening to my Jesus is SO important and really so easy.  Friends, Jesus gives me strength.  Without him I would be a puddle, literally, a dirty mud puddle on the ground.  He was the one who picked me up and sustained me through infertility, the loss of my Dad and four babies.  He is still carrying me and will all the days of my life.

September, October and November could well be the most important months of the year for our family.  Halle's birthday is September 26, Elliott's birthday is October 13, Halle joined our family on November 20, and my Dad passed away on November 25.  Then we have Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Ironically, I love these months.  Through all the heartache.  I feel joy.  Sometimes, I need to choose to feel it,'s always there. Would I change the path of the journey I've been on?  Absolutely not.  Would I change the outcome?  Yes.  I would love nothing more than to have my Dad here to see Halle and spend time with her.  To pray me through the loss of Elliott.  I would love to be hugging my son, playing cars with him and teaching him to throw a ball.  To see if he has red hair or brown eyes.  To see if he looks just like his Daddy.  Tomorrow we'll celebrate Elliott's second birthday without him here with us.  We are choosing to celebrate his life.  And more importantly, our Jesus and HIS Faithfulness.

I will sing to the maker of heaven and earth.  God you reign forever and your love will endure. Faithful and true is the name of the Lord.  You are FAITHFUL God!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sharing with You All

This evening I popped on over to one of my very favorite blogs.  Raechel Myers has inspired me from the very first time I read a post on "Finding my Feet".  She, like me, struggles with carrying a baby.  And....they lost their baby girl Evie only hours after she was born.  Just a few weeks ago, she found herself unexpectedly pregnant.  Like me, pregnancy does not bring her joy.  It brings fear.  It should not be like this, but...I so know where she is coming from.  You can read her post here in it's entirety.  I identify with so very many of her feelings.  On Sunday, we'll celebrate Elliott's second birthday without him here on this earth.  The pain is getting a little less, but the memories, oh...they are still so very fresh.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013


WOW!  I really don't feel as if I should even have to explain myself but I will.  To the "anonymous" comment poster:

Do you know my family?  Do you know our financial situation?  And that we have prayed about our situation many, many times and know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what our Jesus wants us to do?  That we choose to use the agency we do because of the reputation it has.  One of integrity and respect.  They are knowledgeable beyond a doubt. We are not choosing to adopt through an agency because of the "Lynden" stigma.  Trust me we are FAR from being part of that and really we don't even live there.  Can I just address that as well?  We have many, many friends at our church who have adopted their children through agencies.  Not because they are wanting to "fit in" or be apart of what others are doing.  They have prayerfully considered their options and chosen to fully live out James 1:27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."  Wow.  My husband and I have always felt adopting through the state, though more reasonable in price, is not for us.  We have suffered through four pregnancy losses.  One being at 19 weeks.  We have watched our friends struggle through state adoption situations that have dragged on for years.  This is not for us.

I have removed your comments from my blog and ask that your refrain from sharing them here.  I find it wounding and very disrespectful.  Use your words carefully.  I know that only our Jesus should be the one to judge.  Shame on you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Officially Waiting

My heart is full of anticipation.  I can say right now I have not one bit of uneasiness at all about our adoption.  It's true.  Praise the Lord for this.  I know, that I know, that I know....our Jesus is in control.  Is it easy to give up our control?  Absolutely not.  Is it a struggle for me, daily?  Yes.  Have I learned over the last almost two years that He will always be in control.  Abso-stinkin'-lutely.  He is the Almighty, the Great I am...the Redeemer.  AND...His grace is sufficient for me.  As of about three weeks ago, all our paperwork has been turned in to our adoption agency and we are officially "waiting" for that very special Birth Mother to choose us.  Doesn't that make you just giddy??  It does me.  Sometimes, I try to be very nonchalant about it.  Oh, it's no big deal.  We're just waiting to add another member to our family.  One that our Jesus has picked out just for us.  My goodness.  Some say waiting is the hardest part, and you know what, it well could be.  But, I have resolved that it's not going to be.  So, I press in to Jesus because I know He is the giver of our gift.  Would you please pray for a few things for us??

  • HIS timeline.  That's right.  We have been told this process may take anywhere from 18-24 months.  That is a quite a bit longer than we waited for Halle.  But, we know that He is control and truly He knows best which child is right for us and when that said child will become a part of our family.
  • The Birth Mother.  For wisdom, guidance and His grace.  That she would feel loved and appreciated and know that she is sacrificing so much, but giving us the "Best Gift Ever".
  • Financing.  We have applied for a grant and it may be up to ten weeks before we hear back from then.  We know that our Jesus will provide, never hurts to have the extra prayers.
  • For our Halle.  She is super, duper beyond excited to be a BIG sister.  In her almost 5 years she has been a part of a lot emotionally.  She has watched her Mommy carry her little brother and not bring that same brother home from the hospital.  She knows where he is and has a greater understanding of Heaven.  But, bringing a new little person to her home may put a wrench in to her seemingly "I'm the only child" attitude.  We plan on taking Halle with us to meet her new brother/sister.  We would love to visit with her Foster family as well as maybe her Birth Mother (if she is willing).  Pray for our sensitive little girl's heart.  This may be a lot for her to take in.  
  • Our stay in Texas  We have to wait for some paperwork to be filed and approved after the baby is placed with us.  This can go super fast (it was less than a week with Halle) or super slow.  We'd like the quicker route, pretty please.  Aaron only has so much time off and would love to be there with us.    

I know for some, you may think this premature.  We haven't been matched yet and we just turned our paperwork in.  Nope.  That baby is growing in our hearts and it's never too early to share with others your needs and how to pray for them.  And I know that He is faithful!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tee Ball!!

 Batting for the first time!!  Not bad!
 Paige gets in on the action while Halle demonstrates "ready" position!
 Cutest little cheerleader, Payton!
The fearless "Coach Lisa".  Seriously, this woman is a Saint.  And so, so good with these kids.  Thank you Jesus for blessing us with her!!  

Tee Ball 2013

My Girl

This is my sweet, silly, sassy, sensitive little girl  And her cousin, Sophie.  The is is a rare shot of Halle while she's somewhat still.  That happens never.  Well, almost never.  A few Saturday's ago we celebrated my Grandma Carla's life.  Halle and Sophie's Great Grandma. These two cooked up some trouble, but....mostly fun at the potluck after the service.  When I list the above qualities of Halle, they fit her to a "T"...or should I say "S"??  Either way.  She keeps us moving, disciplining and often times hiding our laughter.  She can be so sassy (I'm sure she did not get that from me!) yet so sensitive.  She is an impeccable judge of what a person is like, even at her young age of 4 1/2. Her Nana mentioned this to me this weekend and I had to agree.  I believe she will hear from Jesus at a young age.  She has learned more about heaven in the last 2 years than I had known by the time I was in my twenties.  It's been a challenge for us lately as Halle repeatedly "misses" her Grampie (My Dad who she never met), Elliott & most recently her Birth Mother.  She is sad when we leave her cousins, Nana & Papa, Aunties, Uncles & Grammie.  On more than one occasion she has been crying over my Dad because he is in heaven.  I know Halle Grace, your Grampie would have LOVED you.  Each time we explain that Grampie is in heaven and that only way to get there is to ask Jesus in your heart to live forever.  I don't think she fully grasps that yet.  But, friends, she will.  This weekend she again exclaimed, "I miss Elliott".  We do too sweet girl!  "He's in my heart"...she said.  I added..."That's right, you can always carry him in your heart!"......with so much sincerity she says "But, I want to carry him in my arms!" I whole heartedly agreed. Then I look at Elliott's picture on our living room wall and again, I'm thankful. For what his life stands for.  For our Jesus who blessed us with that sweet little boy who fit in my hand perfectly. And for his big sister,  Halle Grace and her sweet sensitivity.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A GREAT gift...and a much needed Update

Adoption is a gift....given straight to us by our Jesus.  As we delve into this process again we have been reminded of His faithfulness and promises yet again.  I shouldn't be surprised.  God is molding and shaping us as a family.  Yesterday He reminded us, ever so gently, that He is in control.  And unfortunately, we are not.  When we first initiated contact with our Adoption Agency, almost 11/2 years ago the wait for a child was less than a year.  We took our time readying ourselves emotionally to bring another baby into our home.  We were grieving our sweet Elliott and needed the extra time to heal.  We have now finished most of our paperwork and just need some time to clean out the baby's room.  The next step? Welcoming our Social Worker into our house for the home visit part of our home study.

The Agency is only asking we write a letter to the prospective Birth Mother and prepare a Profile (a photo album of sorts).  Yesterday I e-mailed our contact at the Agency and asked for specifics on the Profile and letter....I needed to make sure the requirements were the same as they had been when we prepared one for Halle's adoption.  I was surprised and a little bit disappointed, when she answered back with the specifics and then gently informed us that the wait time for a child had changed from 9-12 months to now 18-24 months.  Margaret (our contact) had told us that more and more Mom's are choosing to parent their children.  That initially sounds great.  We want Mom's to keep their babies...if they are fit and willing to do so.  It also breaks our hearts to think of all these children who may end up in the Foster care system because their Mommy's end up being unable to care for them.  I panicked a little.  Ok...maybe more than that.  Thoughts swirling in my head...I quickly forwarded the e-mail to Aaron and kept him in the loop. We could do two things in this situation.  Panic more.  Or press in to our Jesus.  We chose the second option.  Aaron reminded me that this doesn't change our situation at all.  We still are not in control.  Only HE is.  You would think through all we've been through I would remember this.  Um.  Not so much, I guess.  He knows who our next child will be.  He will knit that child together in it's Birth Mother's womb, before it arrives here and becomes part of our "Forever Family".  Only He knows that timeline.  More patience.  More faith.  More of His story to tell.

This morning I woke up hopeful, excited.  Because, more than anything, I know Jesus knows.  He has a plan, even if doesn't fit into ours. Maybe, the timeline will change.  Maybe it won't.  It doesn't matter.  We're here.  Waiting...ready and willing to do what our Jesus wants us to do.  I know without a shadow of a doubt, He will use this to grow us more.  And more. And more.  Bringing us closer to Him.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Quilt

Yes.  The quilt.  This is Elliott's.  It was given to us by our church at his Memorial Service.  It is so special and one of the only tangible things I have that is his alone.  It sat in a hidden place for about a year or so.....when I took it out I was having a particularly hard day.  One where the tears wouldn't stop and thoughts of my sweet boy were so vivid and clear.  Really, I don't know why I waited so long.  I remember when Pastor Kurt handed that quilt to me at the service.  Explaining that when we had a hard day we should wrap this around us and let His love hold us.  It worked.  I really just wanted to hold something that was his.  In my arms.  Tight.  The blanket smelled a little musty like that hidden closet and I washed it later that day. it stays under my pillow.  I know it's there and somehow it makes me feel just a little bit closer to my boy.  The one who's picture hangs on my living room wall and fills my heart with joy.....knowing that when I get to Heaven one day.  He'll be there.  March 3 passed a few weeks ago and you know what?  I made it.  I chose JOY over sorrow knowing that Elliott was with the one who created him and holds everything in His hands.  He is faithful friends.  I know that this journey has not been an easy one, but...I wouldn't change it.  Yes, I would change the outcome, more than anything I wish he was here with us.  But, Jesus is molding me through all of this.

He has brought people into my life when I needed them most.  My friend Trisha and I share the bond of having lost our children too soon. Both in the same month, as Megan and Elliott have birthdays just one day apart.  She and I did not grow up together, attend the same church when young or even go to the same school.  Yes, we do go to the same church now.  But, we have a bond and our friendship is growing...and I love it.  She is one of the people that really, truly understands me and what I have been through.  Our Jesus blesses us when we are together.  And, our girls, both age four love to play together.  Well, most times.  They have very similar personalities and sometimes that doesn't mix well.  But, they too are learning and sharing...and growing.  Together.  And you know what?  That blesses me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Pioneer Woman....Oh How I love THEE.

If I could, and believed in this silly sort of stuff....I would be Ree Drummond in my next life. That's right.  The Pioneer Woman for those of you who don't know.  AND....if you don't, you are seriously missing out.  She is seriously the best....from her red hair (yes, I'm very partial) to her swing tops and so cute cowboy boots.  And...she lives on a ranch in Oklahoma in the middle of no where.  We call my In-Law's house "The Ranch" and my Father-in-Law has a handful of horses....will that work??  This girl can cook....let me tell you.  Her recipes are more than loved at our house.  She makes great comfort food.....some fancy stuff too, and every.single.thing. that I have tried has been a hit with my lovely husband.  Her  Meatloaf, wrapped in bacon and covered in a spicy ketchup sauce, her Sloppy Joes (sorry Mom, I like hers better!), Chicken spaghetti, Salisbury Steak & Beef with Snow Peas.  Just typing all of this makes me so hungry.  Do you like stew?  I really normally don't, but....her Stew with Beer & Paprika rocked my socks off.  It renewed my love of stew....and my husband could not be more happy with that.  Check out her website/blog and by all means, buy yourself not just one, but...both of her cookbooks. Watch her show on Saturday mornings on the Food Network. And as I told my friend Jess, "Cook this stew and your husband will want to marry you all over again!"  Yes,'s seriously that good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

March is Coming....Again.....

That's right.  It is.  March is right around the corner.  With that comes spring (hopefully!), new life, hope.  But for me March is not a happy time.  It should have been.  That was when our sweet baby was due.  March 3 will be forever blazed in my memory.  I should have been planning a nursery, filling it with trucks and tractors and lots and lots of guitars.  Placing the rocking chair just so....washing little blue clothes.  Cuddling with my sweet Elliott as he slept in my arms.  Instead....last March was when my life started taking a downward spiral.  I began sinking right around my due date and really didn't surface until this October.  I needed help from my Doctor and my family and certainly from my Jesus.  That being said.  I'd like to think I'm well now.  And, really I am.  But, in the back of my mind....I know that March is coming....and I'll need extra support then.  I've already told Aaron that.  It is important to let others know how to support you when you go through the valleys.  It's important to have friends around you who understand and sometimes, just listen...maybe even cry with you.  Losing a child is something I wish never happened to anyone ever again.  It's horrible.  But, I know that our Jesus carried us through this time.

Last week, my cousin Lisa sent me this video.  It really speaks my heart.  Unfortunately, her cousin Duane and his wife, Abbie are featured in this video.  They now have two sweet little girls Paige & Quinn who was just born this December.  You may want your kleenex handy. Don't say I didn't warn you.  If you have walked through this or know someone close to you that has.....just know Jesus knows.  He cares for you. He is holding your sweet little person close.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

God's Best

Last week I found this picture on our computer.  I SO love it.  I know it's not the best quality, it's a bit blurry and pixelated.....and is over 9 years old.  But it shows so much.  Aaron's Auntie Joy snapped this picture as we were leaving the church on our wedding night.  Heading home to our little duplex together for the first time as husband and wife.  I have never been more sure of anything in my whole life. Aaron is God's Best for me. Do you see the unspeakable joy on our faces?  The anticipation?  WOW.  We were 28 and 29....ready to take on the world as a married couple.  Ready to serve our Jesus together as husband and wife.  Ready to start a family......and love each other forever. All of those things are still true.  Why?  Because I married God's Best.  I never would have guessed we would have been through all we have now.  Infertility, three miscarriages, the loss of my Dad and our son Elliott, anxiety and fear.....the adoption of our sweet Halle Grace.  Now we are stronger than ever.  Marriage is super hard work.  Without hesitation, I would be the first to tell you that. With Jesus our marriage has survived while others around us have fallen and crumbled.  That hurts my heart.  It makes me so sad to see how many marriages around me have led to divorce.  I'm so sad and frustrated by the choices some people make.  I have watched my Sister and some very close friends go through divorce.  It stinks and  it's really hard for me to put myself in their shoes.  I think I would have never made those choices in the first place.  But, is that the truth?

When I was in my twenties I dated a man I thought I would marry.  He and his family were my life.  Let me be clear in writing this.  I know they may read this and I have no hurt feelings towards Luke and his family at all.  After dating for 1 1/2 years our relationship ended.  It really was for the best, but I didn't think that at the time.  That relationship made me grow into the woman I am today.  I had to rely on Jesus and my identity in Christ not in my boyfriend and his family.  It was then I learned who I really was.  Believe it or not, this is how I  became the independent redhead I am today.  You can thank for me that later, Aaron.  Choosing to serve on the Youth Staff at my then church caused me to grow spiritually under the guidance of our Youth Pastor Jon & his wife Stacey.  Through this experience I gained lifelong friends who still guide me today.  During this time I also moved back home after living with a roommate for four years.  I lost my job....and my new one didn't pay as much as I was accustomed to.  Because of this, I took on a second job on Saturday's to supplement my income, working with my friend Candace.  She was the one who set Aaron and I up on our first date.  And...I am forever grateful. In our house we don't use the term "God's Best" loosely.  I only know that Jesus is the one who brought my husband to me and having Him in your marriage is the only way to keep the marriage healthy and whole.  Praying together, honoring each other and continually striving to make it work as God intended marriage to be.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ALL things Musical

It was evident very early on that our girl LOVES all things musical.  That has only grown as she's gotten older.  She is passionate about music.  And when I say that what I really mean is she is utterly, crazy, wild about it.  Any kind. Any beat.  She does not stop singing ever. Her Daddy also loves music and grew up in a very musical family.  He plays and even builds guitars, sings and so does Halle's Nana. Aaron has done an incredible job teaching our girl about instruments and what they sound like.  Our music library is very eclectic.  If you sort through iTunes on our computer you'll find everything from Elvis to BB King and then Jason Aldean, Keith Urban & Sugarland. Lots of worship music and plenty of classic rock too.  Music speaks to us sometimes when others can't.  From early in our relationship Aaron has made me soundtracks from our life.  I have at least four "April Mix" CD's and the first one titled "Songs that Make me Think of April" for when we were dating.  We have a CD from my Dad's funeral and one for sweet Elliott. And....recently I found the soundtrack to our wedding titled "A Winter Wonderland".  That is when Halle discovered her love of Elvis.  It's pretty funny to hear your four year old from the back seat asking to listen to Elvis.  And it makes me smile.  BIG.  She is so her Daddy's daughter.  She's usually right when you ask her what instrument is playing.  And I recently asked her "Does your body just start moving when you hear music?" She nodded her head a resounding yes.  Sometimes I feel like asking her not to dance is like asking you or I not to breathe.  "Twirly" skirts and dresses are a huge favorite in our house right now.  They allow for a lot of spinning.  Especially while watching "Annie".  Her new favorite dancing movie.  I can't tell you how many times we had to fast-backward (for all you that don't know that means rewind, in Halle terms) the scene where Annie brings Sandy home to the orphanage and they all dance.  Halle longs to do "flip-overs" and practice all the moves.  And the scene where she goes to stay with Daddy Warbucks and they go to the goodness.  I have seen that so many times I can probably recite it verbatim.  I'm sure our Jesus has BIG plans for this little girl and her huge love of music.  I can't wait to see what they are.  Until then, we'll keep dancing and twirling....pouring into her.