Monday, June 22, 2009

Things Hoped For

Hebrews 11:1, 39 & 40 Now faith is being sure of things hoped for and
certain of things unseen. This is what the ancients were commended
for. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received
what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only
together with us would they be made perfect.

In honor of Faith Petra Joy I re-read this chapter in Hebrews today. It was such a blessing to me at the time I was carrying her. It still is a blessing, but more than that, it's an inspiration. Oh, to be included in what some call the "hall of faith". Men and women who believed God enough that they let go of what the world values and obeyed him regardless. They required no road map, not even a destination. There was no earthly plan, but they didn't need an earthly plan for they understood the heavenly plan and fully trusted the Planner.

I heard a woman pray just weeks ago, "Thank you Father for entrusting us with this suffering." That pierced to the core of my heart. What a privilege to be chosen to suffer for Christ. I used to think that suffering for Christ meant direct martyrdom. In this moment I'm coming to understand that all suffering can be for Christ. Everyone has the opportunity to see Christ in you when you suffer or face hardships, if you allow Him to be seen. In suffering you are powerless, weak.
1 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more
gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is
why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ten years ago I hoped for a healed and healthy baby to raise here on earth. Shortly after I delivered her stillborn I realized that she had been made perfect and that I will meet her in heaven one day when I am made perfect as well. With a clear, eternal perspective I am at peace with the understanding that I'm just living here on earth for a short while but we'll be together, forever one day. That is the time that counts, and that is covered for me. The price was paid for my sin when Jesus Christ died on the cross.

Lord Jesus, God my Father, continue to loosen my grip on the things that this world values. I desire to be a woman that keeps her gaze fixed on you. Thank you for holding Faith for me all these years until I can see her again. Thank you for the suffering you allowed me to bear and the dependence on you that it caused me to experience. You did not fail me. Each tiny step of faith landed on solid, trustworthy ground. I know I can trust you completely. I appreciate the glimpse of how great a sacrifice your beloved son's death on the cross was. Thank you for your perfect plan and that because of Jesus I can approach the throne of grace with confidence. In Jesus name I pray! AMEN!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ten Years

The phrase, "ten years" has been repeating in my head over and over again recently. Like a mantra, taunting me, telling me that I've aged, things have changed, life went on, and she's not hear. On Tuesday it will be ten years since I received my answer from God, that Faith would not be healed and we would have to go on without her. I'm remember that time right now, and for some reason, this year, ten years later, emotions are running very high. Oddly there's been a lot of reminders this year: I've supported a friend through a similar situation and met with her and another friend who also experienced the loss of a baby. I've run into the doctor who delivered Faith and some gals who were in our original Baby Loss group, and just yesterday I bumped into a nurse who was a particular blessing all those years ago. Ten years later, the grief has a different feel, but there's a piece of it still there. I've had days of many tears after years of no tears at all.
Because of my friend's situation I've been pouring over old emails and letters I typed up at the time. It's been wonderful to look back and remember the insights God gave me and how blessed and loved we were. To hear myself share from the perspective of a 23 year old I can't help but feel proud of what God did through me, how I was used, and how my faith grew at such a young age.
I've also had anxiety over how to honor Faith this year. It feels like a significant anniversary date and that I should experience it as that. I've thought of buying 10 bouquets of flowers to give away, releasing 10 balloons, hosting an evening of worship, ordering a headstone so that when I die hers will be all ready to be beside me and I will have picked it out. For some reason I've been putting off actually putting these ideas into action. I hope that by Tuesday I will have at least some wheels in motion.
Recently I was reading a blog from a man that is suffering and praying for God's healing touch. The thought crossed my mind that I didn't get God's healing touch, but I know I caught his eye. He knew my pain ten years ago, he knows what I'm feeling now, he loves me!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Camera Fun

Just thought I'd post some pictures of the kids and I playing around. I discovered the "self portrait" feature on my camera which allows you to capture yourself at a close distance (arms length) clearly. A big part of me didn't want to share them because of all the CLUTTER in the background. But, believe me, it could have been worse and how often do I actually get pictures of myself with the kids.
So, here's my boy and I. I love Josiah so much. I'm glad he's had this year of homeschooling to allow him to really get a good sense of who he is. It's been so fun to see glimpses of him becoming a man. He is really getting some convictions that are his own and he sticks by them. He is very at home in the country as he reminds me constantly.

And here's Mia and I with her latest puppy. I love her so much. She has a wonderful "get 'er done" attitude that will serve her well. She's a fun person and is definitely "farm hearted". I don't think there is anything she can't do... unless she doesn't want to, in which case I have my job cut out for me.

And then we have Sierra and I with one of her babies, Meredith. I love her so much. Sierra is my only child that has ever declared, "I'm an inside girl." Josiah and Mia both tell me all the time they're outside kids. She is very mothering both to her babies and her baby sister. She's a cuddler and a cryer. Many times she'll come up to me, completely broken hearted, eyes all full of tears, and say she misses her long lost toy pup "Ruff". He's been gone for months, we've since replaced him, but she remembers, and it breaks her heart.

And finally, Eliza and I. I love her so much. Eliza is so full of spunk. She's learning to crawl and sit and is ready to take on the world. I can't believe how quickly she's growing up. She's got a great, infectious laugh and beautiful, gummy smile. I am, however, considering a shorter hairstyle as the ponytails, buns and braids are not staying in these days. OUCH!

Finally, here is a video I made of her "crawling". You'll have to excuse the screaming, roaring siblings in the background and the constant coaxing from me. I suppose it's just a glimpse of how some days go. *sigh*

Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff