Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another year ending. Seems like this one just began. Time feels to move faster as I get older. Maybe I don't feel as if I have an eternity of New Years left like I once I did. I don't want to be out bowling with friends. I don't want to go to a party or a lock-in. I want to be at home with my precious babies...for as long as I can. We always have fun together. We do projects and eat party food, play board games and try to stay awake. In the past, Layne and I would use the old Google services to find a video of another country ringing in the New Year and play it for the kids. They would think they made it all the way to 12:00 and then we would put them to bed. We would celebrate the New Year in quiet togetherness. The oldest ones have caught on to our shenanigans. They now insist it be for real...they even have watches now. Last year, 2 of our clan were out celebrating with friends so it was mommy and four kids. Only 2 made it to the new year awake. This year we have spent the day being lazy. We are sure that this year, my oldest son will finally, for the first time, be awake as the new year appears. 

But what does a new year bring? Nothing really. Another year...another number to write. The time itself doesn't really BRING anything. We bring the changes...or the sameness. We are the ones who decide to be healthier, read more books, volunteer more or just act nicer. And many times, we fail. We fail because we are trying to change ourselves.....ourselves. And it won't work. Eventually, we will get tired of trying to bear the burden and we will go back to our old ways. If a change is to be made and kept, the change must be for the Lord. We must make the conscious decision to put the Lord first. To always be prepared for what HE has planned. Once we put Him first....we change. We don't cling to our ways anymore. The Lord is the only way we can be free of our past sins...our old habits...the routines we shouldn't be in. Only He can deliver us. We must realize we need a Savior. We need Him. We can't decide to not be a sinner anymore and go to church and volunteer but leave out the Lord. We must love Him first only because He loved us. Then once we have given Him all of us, we change. 

I have many friends who don't want to change. "God made me this way"(you must have forgotten that we are now born with sinfilled hearts my friend)..... uhmmmm....ok...but honestly, if you knew me before I finally gave my all to God, you would hate me. I was mean, I was hateful...I didn't care about you or your feelings. I was out for me. I am and always will be thankful that God wanted a horrible, gutless, weirdo like me. I am more thankful that He changed me. I am NOT perfect...I am still changing. I am still weird. I have to hold my tongue...literally, many times I am biting it so I won't speak. Sometimes the words just come out and I feel immediately horrid for what I say...yet sometimes I walk away without apologizing. Sometimes I feel the Lord saying, "Share my Word with her" and I stand there and argue with God in my head, "What God??? No way. I am not. She could attack me with words and I can't hold my ground." and I walk away...never having told her about the Lord. 

And I have some friends who know they are living wrong and they call me to make sure I still pray. They struggle with sins that they feel are too big for God. I laugh and tell them I struggle with my sins...they are all equal....and God is bigger than them all. So this you decide to eat your vegetables and read more classics....also consider what I am attempting to do...Put God first always. Never make a decision without consulting Him. Pray each morning and be int he Word each day. Give Him the best of us. I am going to pray, read, and write. Hoping to be a changed person by the time 2017 rolls in...not because I made a resolution but because the Lord is my salvation. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This morning I sit here with my coffee, waiting for the rain to come and I listen. I hear my boys racing remote control cars. My oldest is most likely still in bed. Number 2 is watching the news because she is wrapped up in the idea that our city will flood soon(it won't) and my Ray of Sunshine is currently eating cereal. It is nice and cozy. Not quiet but cozy. My heart is with my friend as she tries to pull her life together after the loss of her little boy. For the next few weeks, my kids will be allowed to be a little louder, a bit clingier, stay up longer and be more messy. They just will be. Sad that it takes such a tragedy to make me realize my kids need to be kids longer.

Yet, today, I can't focus on the sad. I have to begin focusing on the positive. My friend won't need my saddness, her grief will be enough. I must focus on my Lord. He is the only Way out of this situation safely. I wish I could be more like my kids. I tell them about the baby, they are sad but then they are joyful because that baby is in heaven and will never deal with the nastiness of the world. My mind tends to think of personal value and ownership. That she needs those snuggles and hugs. She deserves a crying baby to love. That she did the work of all those months and those things belong to her.....but they don't. Our children are on loan to us from the Lord. He can call them Home when He deems necessary. It won't make me happy, but I can be joyous knowing that my kids love Him. Life.....not easy. Christian life....certainly harder. My children are not my own. My life is not my own.

Today the kids and I will focus on making memories. Playing games and spending time ensuring that 2015 goes out with a blast for us. We begin 2016 with a renewed Hope in Christ that He is ours and we are His.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Strength. A very thought provoking word really. What is strength? A show of muscular ability? How much you do? How much you can take? I think true strength lies in knowing how little you can actually handle. My friend showed enormous strength yesterday. She held her newborn baby for hours praying for God to breath life into him. She rocked and prayed. But the true strength came when she realized that God had her child, that He would hold him much tighter and much safer than she could. Her strength came in letting go of what she could see here and taking hold of the unseen. I know her heart is broken. Into a million tiny pieces that will NEVER go back together quite the same way. But she will persevere. Why? Because that is what the Lord commands of us. One day, she will be reunited with her little one. Most importantly, she and her little one and her Savior will all be together. May that circle never be unbroken.

But what next? If her child had been born with life, she would have 6 weeks off from work to get to know her baby and find a routine. People would give her time to figure out how to be a mom of a newborn again. People would offer advice and give gifts. In the south, we take food. What do you do for a mom who carried her baby full term and yet comes home with no little one to snuggle? Is 6 weeks enough time to get into the routine? What advice can be given? What gifts should we bring? We are in the south...we will still take food.

Do we visit and pretend nothing happened? Do we ask about the baby? Ask about the name?  Do we ask about labor? Do we ask to see pictures? I never carried a baby full term only to have no baby to carry home. But I have miscarried. It isn't the same. But I can remember the feeling. I can recall the first time I had to tell someone we lost our baby. I can remember the pain. I didn't want to cry but I did. I wanted life to continue, but I didn't want to forget. I talked about the baby, only to certain people. I miss my baby. He or she would have been 8 in November of this year. We lost our baby in March. I don't want our baby to be forgotten. I spent three months giggling over the fact that another baby was growing. I have spent 8 years trying to not be sad.

My friend spent almost 9 months preparing for a baby....6 weeks won't help her feel joyous. 6 years won't. For a mom, no amount of time will ever help you get past loosing a child, no matter how old they were when you lost them. But never pretend that child didn't exist. Because they did.

My friend has faith. Faith in the Lord. That is how she will survive this. Her faith. I have faith in that. It is all I have.