Sunday, November 28, 2010

4 Months - New Flowers

(click on this image to enlarge)

With some help from one of my floral accounts,
I made this cross for Amelia's grave.
Although by now, they know me quite well,
I don't think they have many customers who come in for flowers
and insist on arranging the flowers themselves.
Bless their hearts they showed me the ropes
and let me fumble through on this one.

My original intention was to have something different for her
for this Christmas
but I might just leave this for awhile,
I'm not sure yet.

On Thanksgiving morning
between putting the turkey on the smoker
and our 10am service
Tim, Noah and I took this new cross to Amelia's grave.
It was a bitter cold November morning at the cemetery
so we spent most of our time there just sitting in the car
looking out onto her spot
amongst the other babies who left to soon.
I couldn't help but think of the mother's of those children
whose names are engraved on my on heart.
I said a little prayer for them;
that their holiday would be gentle one.

Though it might seem a difficult Thanksgiving for us
it was filled with much joy and celebration.
We hosted both our families at our little house.
The turkey was a bit dry
and I made 3x's the amount of potatoes we needed,
(better to many than to our family not enough potatoes is a serious offense. :))
but it was wonderful, precious time spent as a family.

There were some very special people absent from our table.
But we rejoice with thankful hearts
when we remember at whose table they are now seated.
There is much to be Thankful for.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

17 Weeks - Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving nears, Amelia Grace
remains foremost in my mind and on my heart.
God has given Tim & I such blessings in our children!
This morning I have no cute story to share or grief to release.
All I have is gratitude.

Gratitude for the lives of my children.
Gratitude for my husband & best friend Tim.
Gratitude for those God has brought into our lives in the past year.
Gratitude that God chose me to carry his saint, Amelia Grace.
I thank my God every time I remember you...
Gratitude to our Lord for His blessings and His compassion;
His direction and His peace.

God is good ALL THE TIME!

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:30

Then Hannah prayed:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Precious in His Sight: Created to be Loved

I just had to share this recent post from a site dedicated to a baby girl named Anastasha, who like our Amelia Grace, passed away shortly after her birth due to Anencephaly.

Her family has moved me greatly as we walk the road laid out before us.

This blog entry linked below is breath taking.
Please read it if you have a moment.

Precious in His Sight: Created to be Loved: "A dear friend of mine from medical school emailed me a portion of his journal from the day of Anastasha's birth. It rings of truth and ble..."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Letter 2009

I work at a small town newspaper.
It's a newspaper that still does cute things
like run letters to Santa in the paper the week before Christmas.

Yesterday, while I plugged away on a couple projects at my desk,
I stumbled across a copy of last year's Santa letters.
The paper was conveniently folded to the page
containing Noah's Santa letter from last year.

When I read it
I was reminded of where we were at this time last year.

Oh, the tears at Jesus feet...

Dear Santa,
My Mom asked me to write this.
She said I should ask for a baby sister for Christmas.
She said it wouldn't come with my other toys
and that I'd have to wait.
Do you make deliveries in July?
Oh, and I am supposed to ask that she be a Red Sox fan.
Give your reindeer a hug from me!

How different I thought this holiday would be...
Some days I wish I could go back in time, and just stay there
in those days of hope, anticipation and excitement,
the days before we knew
Amelia would not be coming home with us.

Posted by Picasa(click this image to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

16 Weeks - When the words don't come

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26

Sometimes I think I made a mistake
only committing myself to blogging on Wednesday (Amelia's day).
It's gotten harder, as the days pass, to blog here.
Not because of a lack of material mind you...
I could talk/write about Amelia all day long.
She is on my mind & heart constantly.

It's just -
when I try to sum up a week without her in one blog entry
I just can't do it.
I lack focus on any particular part of my grief or joy,
I start to type and just hope that some little jewel emerges
from my ramblings.

So I guess I will just dig in.

On the 13th I
(with the help of 2 other chicas, besties, BB Members, etc.)
threw a baby shower for my dear friend Jillian.
I have been planning Jill's baby shower,
 in my head, for the past 2 years. (maybe longer I can't be sure)
However, I had not been planning
to be planning her shower after I lost my own child.
I was scared at how it would be...I cannot lie.
I had nightmares about breaking down in tears
as she opened her gifts.
I was sooo afraid of my grief interfering with her happy day.
I could not live with myself if I ruined it for her.

It went just fine, by the way.
No tears...only pure joy
at the sight of my gorgeous, glowing, perfectly preggo Jilly Bean.
I am so happy for her and Jeremy
there is little cause for self pity.
I think it helps that Jillian and I are so close
and that she was such a comfort to me while I carried Amelia.
Her joy is my joy.
Now, strangers screaming
at their cart of kiddos at WalMart...totally different story. :)

As some of you reading this may know,
I often claim to be a bit of a psychic...
believe it or not,
not to long before I found out I was pregnant with Amelia,
I had a vision about Jillian's baby shower.
At the shower we were both pregnant.

At the time of this "vision"
Jillian was trying to conceive after a miscarriage.
It was, as you can imagine, a very tough time for her.
I called her right away and told her of my premonition.
I knew she was going to be pregnant soon.
Actually, I knew we were both going to be pregnant soon.

The outcome was a bit different than I had imagined.
I thought we would be raising our girls together.
As it turns out, my vision was not meant to be.

And still, the joys far outweigh the sorrows.
God is so good -- ALL the time.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

just what I needed...

Raise your hand if you love Google.

This morning I needed a little help.
(a personal assistant is probably more accurate)
I thought to don't need help, you need a little Grace.
And I do, every single day.
Some days I think, I just need Amelia Grace.   sigh
But I know it is His grace that I need more than any other.

Like I said, this morning I needed a bit more grace.
So I Googled it.
I actually typed in the words,
"More Grace"

Google found this:

He Giveth More Grace Annie J. Flint

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Thank you Jesus,
I love you...
and I love Google.

a little more grace courtesy of The Bible...

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

15 Weeks - there were photographs I wanted to take...

Noah at 3 1/2 Months

As the weeks before Christmas pass by,
I have been faced with the annual task
of piecing together our Christmas letter to our friends and family.
Typically we take a new family picture about now to include in that letter.
This year we will not take a new family photo.

As painful as it is,
this morning I allowed myself to ponder
one of the many "what ifs"
I push aside daily
in order to get through the day without her.
I allowed myself to imagine
what our family photo might have been like
this Christmas if she were here.

I often wonder, what would she look like?
I looked back at photos of Noah
at the age she would be now...
Unfortunately, she did not look like Noah as a baby.
She far more resembled her daddy. :)

No, this November we do not need a new family photo.
And although they were taken in July -
this year we already have
the most priceless family pictures we may ever have.

Truth is,
it's next year's Christmas card I'm worried about.
I just can't stand the thought
of Amelia not being in the picture.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Happy Birthday?

I continue to be caught unaware by things that trigger my grief.
There are the obvious Wednesday things,
Baby's First Christmas things,
Baby's First Thanksgiving things,
just straight up baby, so many things.

But this morning I woke up and found myself again at a loss.
Today is a milestone in my life.
Today I turn 30.
I could blame my feelings of angst and agony at the day
on the roll over from my twenties
to my thirties...
but the blame would be misplaced.
Today I am heartbroken --correction remain heartbroken.

Today is not the Happy Birthday of my youth,
it's just another day without Amelia.

And still, the joy and sorrow cannot be separated.
Today I will laugh and cry, lots.
There is so much to be thankful for today.
Not the least of these,
today I am one day closer to her and to Him.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

14 Weeks - In The Word.

(click this image to enlarge)

Thank you so much to Shannon Brooks
for making this sweet pumpkin for our Amelia Grace.
You can see it featured in Amelia's Name Gallery too!
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This past weekend I had the privilege
of speaking our daughter's name out loud.

I was asked to speak at an LWML Retreat in Mapleton, IA
at beautiful Mission Central.
At first I was hesitant.
(I'm not a super experienced public speaker)
But then I felt the tug.

As I have experienced so many times
since learning of Amelia's condition,
I was brought to the realization, once again,
that there is NO LIMIT
to what our God can do with even the least of these.

So I shared our story,
our journey,
and our perfect daughter.

It felt good to say her name and to tell others
about the blessings,
sorrows and joys,
that she brought to this world-
how she left her footprints here.

I am still in awe of the ways in which our Lord
used our little baby, who lived just 2 hours on this earth,
to impact so many people in so many places.
She brought the love of Christ to hundreds
without ever saying a word.
My little missionary...
I have some seriously big baby booties to fill in my life.

But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
Jeremiah 20:9

Monday, November 01, 2010

already there.

"They say that time in heaven
is compared to 'the blink of an eye'
for us on this earth.

Sometimes it helps me
to think of my child running ahead of me
through a beautiful field
of wildflowers and butterflies;
so happy and completely caught up
in what she is doing
that when she looks behind her,
I'll already be there."

~Author Unknown

Saw this quote on a fellow "Baby Loss Mama Blogger's" post (Brooke - Briar's Mommy) and just had to post it here. This is EXACTLY what I pray heaven is like for my sweet little Amelia.
Lots of tears at Jesus feet today when I read this.
just lovely.