Friday, April 30, 2010

I believe in miracles.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced a miracle.
I know I can’t see you (I haven’t totally lost it!) But raise your hand anyway!

In case you are wondering, I am indeed raising my hand.

I have experienced many miracles. So many in fact, I am a bit afraid I may not have noticed them all. My miracles have been varied, some seemingly more miraculous than others, but all were miracles just the same. No doubt you are already aware of the miracle I am experiencing in my life presently; Miss Amelia, my angel baby.

My miracles “small” and “large” include:
3 pregnancies, Noah, surviving 1 major car accident, my son’s baptism (and my own), finding Tim (he would joke that the fact that I love him is a miracle), there are a few plants that have survived my care, I have met an angel while she was here on earth…^Morgan^, and I have felt God’s hand in the prevention of so many catastrophes…there really are to many to list.

In many ways, I feel as if “my” miracles have served as reality checks. They remind me that my hope is justified, that there is never a cause to give up and that our God is an AWESOME God. What saddens me is how easily I forget to believe in miracles. How quickly I can lose touch of the childlike faith to which I cling. We live in a sad and cynical world that can easily overcome us, consume us and keep us from noticing the miracles that are happening all around us everyday.

So here’s what I would ask of you.
Send me a miracle, one of your miracles.

I won’t publish them here (at least not without asking)
They don’t need to be “big,” to anyone but you
Just a few, itty bitty miracles to help us all remember to believe.

I can’t wait to read them…

Miracle - An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God

Webster’s defines a miracle as: 1. an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs 2. an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing or accomplishment.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

borrowed words.

There is a custom with shepherds in the Alps. In the summertime when the grass in the lower valleys withers and dries up, the shepherds seek to lead their sheep up a winding, thorny, and stony pathway to the high grazing lands.

The sheep, reluctant to take the difficult pathway infested with dangers and hardships, turn back and will not follow.

The shepherd then must reach into the flock and take a little lamb and place it under his arm, then reach in again and grab a lamb and place it under his other arm. Then he starts up the precipitous pathway. Soon the mother sheep start to follow and afterward the entire flock.

At last they ascend the torturous trail to green pastures.

J. Vernon McGee

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Safe in the Harbor

19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
Hebrews 6:19

text from
“My Soul Is Anchored In The Lord”

Though the storms keep on raging in my life
And sometimes it's hard to tell the night from day
Still that hope that lies within is reassured
as I keep my eyes upon the distant shore
I know He'll lead me safely to that blessed place He has prepared
But if the storm don't cease and if the winds keep on blowing in my life
My soul has been anchored in the Lord.
… in this life, we're gonna’ be tossed be the waves
and the currents that seem so fierce
But in the Word of God - I've got an anchor, yes I do,
and it keeps me steadfast, unmovable, despite the tide
But if the storm don't cease and if the winds keep on blowing in my life
My soul has been anchored in the Lord

I have come to learn, in the early days of the church the anchor was a symbol of hope. Growing up in the midwest my knowledge of oceans, boats, anchors, waves etc is limited. None the less, the image of the anchor cross and the power of Hebrews 6:19 is not lost on me. My aunt Kay emailed me a thought found in a devotion she read recently that struck a chord with me. She shared,
“Boats are safe in the harbor, but is that the purpose for which boats were made?”


There is a song that plays on Amelia's blog that speaks to Praising God in the storm...maybe you know it. God intends to send us out, not just look pretty in the harbor (or the pews for that matter!). God doesn't promise us calm waters, but he does promise to sail with us - he will never fail us.

text from
Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Today I pray for those lost in the storm who cannot hear his voice. I pray for those who, in their pain, believe God has turned his back on them - left them. I pray that you find the truth that awaits you. The truth that God has not and will not leave you. Maybe you have forgotten how to pray. Maybe you have lost hope in prayer. I pray that you fall to your knees today. God will hear you, he is with you.

All you have to say is, Lord, help me. Bring me back.

He loves you, I promise. More importantly, HE PROMISES.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Amelia & Mommy

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Dearest Amelia,

Today's letter will be a short one, but I promise you, there will be more. There are so many things I want to share with you and our time together, it seems, is far too brief. There is only one message I want you to hear today...

First, foremost and forever; I want you to know that I love you. I love you more than I even knew it was possible to love. I love you so deeply that I am sure that only a select few have experienced it in their lifetime. Every love poem I've ever been touched by in the deepest most secret place of my heart has been written about you, for you, I am sure of it.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: Where “I” does not exist, nor “You”, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. - Pablo Neruda

Precious angel baby, oh how you are loved!


Monday, April 26, 2010

God's Lent Child

I'll lend you for a little while a child of mine, God said,
For you to love her while she lives, and mourn for when she's dead.
It may be six or seven years, or forty-two or three;
But will you, till I call her back, take good care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you, and should her stay be brief,
You'll have the lovely memories as a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from earth return;
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I've searched the whole world over, for teachers kind and true;
And from the throngs that crowd life's lane I have chosen you...
Now will you give her all your love? Nor think the labor pain? Nor hate me should the angels call, to take this child back again?
To which the parents did reply...Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joys thy child will bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter her with tenderness,We'll love her while we may...
for all the love this child will bring, forever grateful we will stay.
But should the Angels call for her, much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Use me.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Some days the words just don't come as easily as others. Today is one of those days. I often find myself paging through the bible verses I have begun to collect in search of comfort. Each day I have found a verse that gave me hope, comfort or understanding. God has never failed me.

I have heard before that is it when we are at our lowest, our weakest, that God uses us to do his work.

I pray daily,
Lord if it is not your will to take this pain from me
then I pray, use it for your glory.
Use me Lord. Use Amelia. Use our family.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love Amelia.

Excerpts from Matthew 18

The Greatest in the Kingdom
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."

“Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father."

Parable of the Lost Sheep
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish."


I suppose I will always shudder when I think back on those first days following Amelia's diagnosis.
Not because of the weight of her diagnosis and not because of the shock of facing my daughter’s impending death, but because I considered, seriously considered, ending Amelia's life. I can hardly stand to type it without feeling my throat tighten and the burn of oncoming tears.
Before Amelia I'd say, although I never thought abortion would be an option for me, I could see instances in which, legally speaking, I felt there was value in protecting a woman's right to choose. I have often become infuriated at the tactics used by the extreme pro-life groups, but yet never felt fully comfortable with any type of legalized abortion.
For those of you who don't know, I double majored at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. One of my majors was Women's Studies. Yes, I do consider myself a feminist; a title that holds varied meaning for people. I typically do not have a problem choosing a side or making a stand on varied issues. This issue, I believe, is one of the most heated, emotional charged and unsettling of any of the political issues of our time. I feel I am now ready, where I have in the past hesitated, to take a stand.
I am Pro-Love.
I will fight for my unborn daughter and I will trust my Lord's plan.
I love my daughter. My husband loves our daughter. We loved her before we were pregnant, we loved her at the moment we found out we were pregnant and ABSOLUTELY we loved her when we were told that she had a fatal birth defect. We are her parents. We have been given the responsibility to care for, protect and love her. I would do anything for my daughter.

That's it, that's all there is to it. It is that simple. I love Amelia.
But there is one LOVE that I know that is deeper, eternal love. God's love. He is the only person who loves Amelia; loves each and every child conceived, more than I do.
He is the leader of the Pro-Love movement, and I will follow him anywhere.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

when I can't find the words...

...I can always find a song
thanks Martina! ;)

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see
how happy she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

As my closest friends know,
I have been known to change the words of a song I love...
I have taken the liberty of re-writing the final verse of this song
for Miss Amelia:

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll go and for heavn' leave
Always in our family

When she's gone I hope you see
how happy she made me
For she'll be there

In her mother's eyes

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What can I do? I don't want to say the wrong thing...

I posted a blog titled 'comfort' earlier this month that brought up many good thoughts/questions/concerns about what to say, do, not say, not do...

I liked the thoughts on this site.
Tips on supporting the bereaved

Hope it helps some of you that confessed to me that you were struggling.

special baby gifts

Amelia received these gifts this weekend.

The socks are from my dear friend Jill
and the bracelet is from my Aunt Shirley.
Pure love.

Monday, April 19, 2010

when sadness creeps in...

Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,“Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my Savior and my God!

Psalm 42:3-6 (New Living Translation)

25 weeks pregnant as of Sunday. 25 weeks. 175 days. 4,200 hours. Amelia’s life so far has spanned such a short amount of time.

I have tried to focus on making the most of Amelia’s short life rather than dwelling on what she will miss out on. She is going to miss her first birthday, her first tooth, her first steps, her first boyfriend, her confirmation, her high school graduation…but she will be somewhere better.

I recently read bits of one father’s story about his son Chase that moved me, and echoed some (not all) of the thoughts I have had in regards to honoring, protecting and sharing Amelia’s life as a gift of God.
I refuse to waste her life.

You can read more about Chase and his parents’ story at
I hope they don’t mind me using their words here to relay thoughts about our angel baby’s life:

We will waste Amelia’s life if we do not believe that our suffering is allowed by God for our good and His glory.

We will waste Amelia’s life if in our time of affliction we distance ourselves from God instead of drawing near to Him.

We will waste Amelia's life if we are more aware of how difficult this trial is instead of being focused Christ and His all-sufficient grace.

We will waste Amelia’s life if we saturate our minds with thoughts of self, or this birth defect instead of the Christ exalting, faith producing, heart transforming, Word of God.

Will Waste Amelia's Life If We Grieve as Those Who Have No Hope.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Gift.

"And He took them in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them."
Mark 10:16
"I Knew You" and was done by artist Shannon Wirrenga

Friday, April 16, 2010

I am Jesus Little Lamb

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (New Living Translation)

When I was young and preparing for my confirmation, our entire class shared a common enemy - memory work! I could not understand why I needed to memorize bible verses when all I had to do was look them up if I wanted to read them. I think I may have even been young and brave enough to ask pastor why we had to memorize!!!

Well kids, let me tell you why it is so important to memorize bible verses and creeds and hymns. Because there will come a time when you will be going about your day to day life and then…WHAM! From out of no where; tragedy strikes. In that moment, and there will be at least one in your life, those verses will come to you. They will play in your head clear and true, and they will bring you comfort when nothing else can.

Today when I needed it most, an old hymn came to me and I stopped and sang it, out loud, to my baby girl.

I Am Jesus Little Lamb

I am Jesus' little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need, and well provides me,
Loves me every day the same,
Even calls me by my name.

Day by day, at home, away,
Jesus is my Staff and Stay.
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
Into pleasant pastures leads me;
When I thirst, He bids me go
Where the quiet waters flow.

Who so happy as I am,
Even now the Shepherd's lamb?
And when my short life is ended,
By His angel host attended,
He shall fold me to His breast,
There within His arms to rest.

The Lutheran Hymnal Hymn #648
Henriette L. von Hayn

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The first Sunday after we received Amelia’s diagnosis a sweet woman from our church stopped me for a hug and shared with me that she had been praying for our little baby; praying that God would heal her. I’m not sure what I said in response other than thanking her, but I do remember being left unsettled by the conversation. I hadn’t really prayed for God to heal her…

In the days following, I tossed about the conflict that I felt in asking God to heal Amelia. I did not feel that praying for that kind of miracle was appropriate. Hadn’t God already made up his mind? Wasn’t her life already written in his book? Was I a bad mother not to pray for her to be healed?

God doesn’t make mistakes-does he?

God doesn’t make mistakes. Amelia is not a mistake. Her condition has a purpose in God’s greater plan. Her life has great purpose. To ask for God to heal her is to bold of a prayer for me. Who am I to ask this! Do I believe that God could heal her if he chose to do so? Absolutely. Do I believe that he will heal her and let her stay here with us on earth? No, I don’t.

It hurts. It is so very hard. But we have to trust in God.

Forget about "why?" and fix your eyes on "who."

But I am trusting you, O Lord saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Psalm 31:14-15

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I seem to recall learning at some point growing up that the actual name of God was Yahweh (no idea on the spelling in Hebrew or English) which means "I AM".

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them? "God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV)

I am going to need to have a conversation or two with my pastor about this and do a follow up post...
..None the less I wanted to share what I feel is a daily, gentle reminder to me of our LORD’s presence in my life through Amelia.

When I type her name (I try to type it as many times as possible in day because it makes me happy) I often type slower than my brain can tell my fingers to type. More times than not, I am on the second letter of her name before I take my finger off the shift key resulting in this typo...AMelia.

It always makes me smile. I am reminded that God is with us and that he is in control. Coincidence you say? I think not.

and I quote...

"He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body that gets sick and a heart that grows weak. He saw you in your own garden of gnarled trees and sleeping friends. He saw you staring into the pit of your own failures and the mouth of your own grave. He saw you in your own garden of Gethsemane and he didn't want you to be alone ... He would rather go to hell for you than to heaven without you." Max Lucado

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
Job 2:11-13

I have to admit that I am not the greatest comforter to those facing hardship or loss. I NEVER know what to say. When I do have some sentiment to share with those I love who are in pain, I can rarely work up to courage to offer up those words. I often have found myself wishing there was something I could do, but always keep my distance justifying it with thoughts like, I shouldn’t bother them right now or they really don’t need me, we aren’t that close, I don’t know what to say

I am learning everyday that I am wrong more often than I am right.

When you are hurting, silence can be immensely painful and discouraging.

I have never been more grateful to be “bothered” with someone’s emails or words of encouragement or their tears. I received some insight on this by the Mommy’s I have met who have carried and cared for a child knowing that their baby’s time on earth was limited. What I have heard, and felt myself, is that often they have felt avoided or as if they were the elephant in the room. Grief and pain is uncomfortable for everyone: this I now understand intimately.

It is difficult for me to share my pain with others. I hate the thought of burdening someone with the pain I carry and on the flip side, I worry that they might be uncomfortable with the joy I have in Amelia. It is a strange position to be in. Questions wiz through my mind in anticipation of conversation with each person I greet… do they know about my sweet baby, will I have to explain, how much do they really want to hear…

That being said, I LOVE to talk about my baby Amelia and I love it when people ask about her! Tim and I have appreciated DEEPLY each card, phone call, email, prayer, blog comment, hug, hand shake, kind gesture, gift and thought. Every time I see an email in my inbox that mentions Amelia I smile, ear to ear. We know how difficult it can be to reach out. Know that your effort and actions have brightened our day.

I cannot resist mentioning a few of the things people have done that have left a mark on my heart:

Joe (and sweet Mary) – for making time to talk to me everyday about Amelia, for planning a blood drive in her honor, reading her blog faithfully

Ash – your phone calls, hat hunting, tears, devotion to your babies (in and out of the belly)…

Brian – talking me through final planning, calling my Gigi, reading Gigi entries from her great-granddaughter’s blog

My Lolo – who lives and fights-I know where Amelia gets her strength, calling my Gigi and my mommy, talking with me about my angel baby

Jean – How come you didn’t go into nursing? Can anyone love through service like you?!?!?

Gigi – showing us all what the name “Mother” means, you are a gift from God and I treasure you.

Angee – there is no room to list the half of it! Answering questions, finding the answers to questions, being my baby’s advocate, the comfort I feel knowing that you will be there when she arrives...

Jill – your prayers, your phone calls, your faith, your mother

Leslie – your tears and anger

Kate and ^Morgan^ – for listening, sharing, inspiring…you will never know

Stephanie P – for the two little preemie outfits for our angel baby, for your questions and virtual belly rubs ;)

Amy V – your thoughtful comments on Amelia’s bog, and prayers

The Aunts (and uncles) – no one has a family like ours! You are the glue. I love you.

Pastor Jank – a true Shepherd, your prayers, kind words, gift of music, bible study topics, sermons and smile.

Steve & Sara – for agreeing to photograph Amelia. Priceless treasures.

Dr. Kirsch, Dr. Barsoom & JoAnna – You will never know how the gift of medicine and compassion that God has given you has CHANGED the lives the people you serve.

My pregnant friends (sisters really) whose joy is my joy.

Ohhh, I never should have started listing-this could be the longest blog entry ever!!!

EVERYONE who has sent a card or email, and keeps sending them!

EVERYONE who has spoke with me on the phone, and keeps calling!

EVERYONE who has reached out to my parents

All the mommies who have shared their story and their precious babies lives’ with me.
Forever in my heart...
Renee & ^Amanda^, Julie & ^Lyndan^, Elena & ^Lilly^

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sent out.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." John 20:19-21

Sunday’s sermon included this story of Jesus appearing to the disciples. It is a story I have heard many, many times before. I have to say I related to this story a bit differently than I had previously.

When we first got the news of Amelia’s condition, my first reactions included wanting to lock myself away for the length of the pregnancy. I was afraid to face people, afraid to face the usual pregnancy comments and questions even complete strangers commonly ask. “When are you due?” “What are you having?” Not the same fear that the disciples had, but an overwhelming urge to hide away until the storm has passed. It is much easier to do God’s work in your own home or church than it is to do God’s work out in the world.

But God did send the disciples out into the world to do his work and asks the same of each of us.

God has a plan for Amelia, a plan for me and a plan for our family. I don’t need to know that plan in its entirety, but I do pray for the pain to have purpose, for God to use us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

for Amelia, love Noah

for my baby sister
by Noah Lorang

It's mostly green because that's my favorite color!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thank you.

Just now, while listening to Amelia's songs, it hit me like a ton of bricks (please excuse the tired cliché)

God chose me to carry Amelia.
He picked me to take care of her until he takes her home.
He picked me!
I am so blessed.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart dearest Jesus, for the gifts you have bestowed, especially for my sweet and perfect Amelia Grace.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

REJOICE in the LORD always.

So, I guess I am a bit uncertain what constitutes a bad day anymore? Today was the first day since we found out that our baby was “sick” that I have felt worked up or stressed at work. It’s funny to me how soon I can lose sight of the things that really matter and the power I have to choose whether this day, the LORD’S day, will be a “good” day or a “bad” day.

Everyday of my life I am trying to live with intention, purpose and joy. When I trust God I find that it is soooo much easier to do. God is in control of everything! It is by him, through him and with him that we live each day. There is no cause to worry, no reason to stress and no excuse to do anything other than REJOICE.

Watching my son, I have to admit I am a bit envious of his ability to trust in me and Tim to provide for all his needs and to protect and love him without question. He’s not worried he might trip and fall…Mom will catch him. If he wants to go somewhere, do something, he just asks Daddy and he knows he will take him. He is fearless in his love for his baby sister, and not worried that he won’t get to give her a kiss tomorrow; he just hugs her and kisses her today. I think I can live like that to, if I can learn to trust my Father like he trusts his.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:21-24

A response to my dear friend Stephanie's comment:
Have you always been so faith driven or has this helped you with that journey. I am always envious of those that feel the power of our lord and appear so comforted by it. I have not felt that in my life.

I grew up in a Christian (Lutheran) home for which I am forever grateful. My parents were diligent in insuring that I had a thorough education in my religious beliefs, we always prayed at dinner, went to church every Sunday, my parents were active in the church...all things that I can never thank them adequately for.

But, because I always had God, always had church; I was never forced to find God, to seek him out and to have an active relationship with him. I think I took it all for granted. When someone is always there, you can forget how special they really are. I didn't see or feel him daily in my life. But God is always there for each of us. He has always been there for me, but there were so many days I didn't notice; didn't feel his power. I think of it this way... Before Amelia, God was always holding my hand and now he is carrying me. I do feel him now, more than ever.

I'm sure each of has our vice. For me, lil’ miss type A, it is control. I gotta’ have it. It is when I am at my weakest and can control nothing that I feel God the most.

I laugh at Noah when he and Tim play Wii. Noah has to have a controller so that he can play too. He shakes it in the air yelling, “Go, Go, Go!” He cheers himself on when he does well and gets sad when he fails, all the while he has no idea that his controller isn’t plugged in. I think it’s hysterical that he still gets so worked up over the outcome of the game even though he isn’t really in control at all! And then I realize - I do the very same thing. My life, my controller…

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Words of Inspiration - Max Lucado

Counselors can comfort you in the storm,
but you need a God who can still the storm.
Philosophers can debate the meaning of life,
but you need a Lord who can declare the meaning of life.

God promises a lamp unto our feet,
not a crystal ball into the future.

Jesus doesn't give hope by changing the circumstances;
he restores our hope by giving us himself.
And he has promised to stay until the very end.

Don't measure the size of the mountain;
talk to the One who can move it.

God never said that the journey would be easy,
but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

oh my, this song says so much more than I have words for...

I Will Carry You  - Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that I am brave but I’m not
Truth is I’m barely hanging on
But there’s a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says…

I’ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen Me
To carry you

You can listen to this here on Amelia's blog...on the music player near the bottom of the page!

baby love.

Amelia is most active at night right before we go to sleep. It cracks me up because her big brother Noah was the exact same way. Most nights I just lay still and imagine her dancing in a little pink tutu or running the bases, stealing home…all of the dreams I had for her. I savor every movement as it reminds me of her strength and the miracle that she is. She has weight, her life means something, and she is here, very much alive and with us!

I discovered something new about Amelia last night. Often Tim will rest his hand on my belly as we lay in bed waiting for sleep to come. Lately she has halted her acrobatics when daddy lays his hand over her. She presses against his hand with her whole body. At first I thought she was complaining at his weight on her. But then I felt a change, a smoothness in her movements each time he moved his hand or took it away and then placed it back over her. She wasn’t complaining; she was trying to get closer! It is almost as if she was stretching her back so that his hand would be touching as much of her as possible.

I have been told my baby cannot see or hear. Yet somehow she knows the touch of her father even before she has met him. She can sense his love and loves him right back.

To her the name of father was another name for love. ~ Fanny Fern

Monday, April 05, 2010

The sweetest sound.


Yesterday was my daughter’s first and last Easter.

Much like any other Easter Sunday, we arose for worship service, ironed Noah and Daddy’s new outfits, scurried around the house preparing Noah’s breakfast, unloaded the dishwasher, did some last minute tiding up, put the ham in the oven, set the tables for Easter Dinner and off to church we went.

Maybe it was just one of those days, but it seemed that everywhere I turned I was reminded of the things my daughter and I will never do and reminded of the day that looms in our near future, the day of her death, the day of her funeral.

Sitting in the pews of Mount Olive, I juggled Noah and tried to find joy in a service that typically leaves me feeling renewed and full of hope. I heard parts of pastor’s sermon and then I heard a baby’s cry. It hit me in that moment that I might never hear her cry. I saw the cross process into the church and my eyes wandered to the girls in new dresses, spring shoes and little purses. And then as I stood at the front of the church in the seconds before the choir began to sing, I looked at Noah in his new Easter suit and wondered if I would need to get him something new or if his suit will still fit him for his sister’s funeral.

As we made our way out of church a women asked me when I was due. I told her the end of July, smiled politely and prayed that was as far as the conversation would take us, but then she said, “Do you know what your having?” again I smiled politely and said “it’s a girl.” “Oh, perfect," she said, "one of each!” All I could do was nod my head in reply.

The day bustled on filled with family, food, smells of coffee and the outside air. Noah ran circles around the rest of us, skipped his nap and finally crashed on my lap around 6pm. Normally I would ease him out of my arms and sneak away to take care of the stuff I can’t get seem to get done when he is awake. But I didn’t move, I just held my son, and my daughter, together on Amelia’s first and last Easter.

In the quiet of the early morning today, the tears finally came as I stood in the shower (one of the few places I can allow myself to cry). It was then that the words came to me, ‘woman why are you crying?’ And I finally felt the words I had heard on Sunday and found new comfort in them. He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A song for my baby girl.

...As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

Friday, April 02, 2010

The story of Amelia’s name

Amelia Grace was not supposed to be my daughter’s name.

In the weeks before our 20 week “gender” ultrasound; Tim and I (ok mostly me) collected, analyzed, and searched for the perfect name for our little baby. I had kept a running list of all the names Tim and I liked. The final short list consisted of 16 girl names and 33 boy names. Of this list, Tim and I had agreed on only one name, a girl’s name, Madilyn. I was desperately hoping for a girl, Tim had been hoping for another boy but had finally caved in the weeks prior, announcing that he now wanted a girl just so I would stop hounding him to choose a name.

For some reason having a name picked out before the ultrasound was really important to me. Our baby just had to have a name! Maybe it was because Noah was named at his 20 week ultrasound, maybe it was just my OCD, or maybe in some strange way I knew that our time with this child would be short and her name could not wait.

Then we got the news.

At some point after we left the hospital I remember turning to Tim and saying, “Madilyn isn’t her name.” It just didn't seem like the right name anymore. I wanted her name to mean more and to suit the little girl I was just beginning to know.

Shortly after we got home I hopped onto the net and began hunting for a new name. This time I tried a reverse search by meaning. I typed in the search words, gift and of the LORD, and up came 60 plus girls names. I scrolled through and read them off one by one, none of them seemed right. Then I saw Amelia; Work of the LORD, it was perfect, and the name had been on our list all along! And so our darling Amelia, a work of the LORD and God’s Grace, was named.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

How can you be so strong?

I have heard varied versions of this question/statement since we first shared the news about Amelia's condition.

there is a very simple answer; I am not strong, I am strengthened.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46