Tag Archives: death

The beauty of dying.

8 Oct

If marriage and motherhood have taught me anything about myself it’s that I’m extremely SELFISH.

In so many ways, I’ve had to get over myself and step up to the plate.

I absolutely NEVER, EVER feel like doing laundry, making supper, doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, washing down beds after a night-time accident, carrying a child who doesn’t feel like walking anymore, or giving baths and brushing teeth for anyone other than myself.

But – I do it. Every single day.  Multiple times a day.  No vacations.  I just suck it up and do it. I have to.

And then there are other areas where I secretly wish I could overcome my selfishness, but I relish my own desires too much to do get over myself.

And because it deals highly with my children and I’m their boss — there is nothing they can do about it and I’m in total control.

Is that the reality of life?  When you’re a child you are forced to listen to, obey and tolerate the desires and behaviors of those in charge of you, but then when you’re an adult you can unleash the chains, spread your wings and do everything however you want, only to get married and have children and shackle them in the chains of obeying you? (and your selfishness?)

There is this mom who has four children and they are awfully similar in age to my four children.  She has two at home during the school year just as I do.  This year, she’s doing preschool at home.  Everyday on Facebook she posts an arts and crafts project, story, song, the whole shebang and it’s always incredible.

When I look at her stuff, I bounce back and forth between feeling like she’s an inspiration and like she might be one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met.  (Entirely from jealousy of course.)

I can do everything she is every single day.  Except for this one thing.  Selfishness.

I don’t want to have that much patience.  I don’t want to give up my computer time.  I don’t want to do play with them all day long and then do laundry, dishes and other chores in the evening when I feel like lounging on the couch doing nothing after the kids are in bed.

However —

This morning I did take the time to look at the beauty of Autumn around us with them.  This is what we found.

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And I talked to them about why everything is changing colors and that God created everything in all it’s beauty.

And it hit me.

I’m feeling like the reality of my selfishness is disturbing.  And I remember the beauty of Autumn comes solely from the dying process.

And I know, it’s time to enjoy the beauty of dying to self.

Practical Application –

Accept the reality of how detestable our sin is – be it selfishness (or whatever you’re struggling with — pride/addiction/idolatry/etc.)

And I know, it’s time to be flooded by the beauty that comes from dying. The realization, confession,  steps to laying it down, forgiveness, and freedom is oh so beautiful in the eyes of our Lord and in the way we can finally look at ourselves.

I need a dying makeover. I need to feel beautiful again. You?

Real life, after a miscarriage.

27 Oct

Since the day my husband and I were married, we wanted to have children.  We were young.  Totally unprepared in every way to have a child.  But none-the-less, we wanted to be parents! We decided not to use birth control of any form for a number of reasons but mostly because we were just flat-out ready to start a family.

After a year of trying, there was a lot of talk about possible infertility, would we ever some day be able to adopt as expensive as it is, would we be OK emotionally if we were never able to have children of our own?  Some times we would go a few months without even talking about it at all because it was too hard and too emotional to get into a deep discussion.

We were married 23 months when I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant.  Looking back now, I’m thankful God is so sovereign.  We really wouldn’t have been ready for a baby before then.  And Jayden, he was worth the wait!  He was the best baby EVER! He never cried, he was ALWAYS content, he started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks.  He was perfect!

When he was 9 months old, we started trying for another baby.  It only took 2 months and we were pregnant!  And I was totally banking on a girl.  I thought we were so lucky to get a son first.  There are numerous girls on both sides of our families, so I was definitely afraid we would have all girls and no boys.  And I only wanted two children.

Guess what?  Baby number two – BOY!  I was so glad he was healthy.  I found out his gender alone in a room at 6 AM having an ultrasound before an emergency ERCP to remove stones all inside my body and then emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder at 18 weeks gestation.

However, I was a little disappointed too.  I really did want a daughter. And still thought we’d only have the two kids.

Lincoln was a touch more difficult, however, when he was 11 months old, we decided to try one more time for a girl.  I got pregnant the first month.  But this time, it was different.  I knew right away, something wasn’t right.  I asked for an ultrasound at 6 1/2 weeks.  And things didn’t look good.  At 7 1/2 weeks, things looked a touch better, but still not what things should look like at that far along.  And then at 9 weeks, no baby. And I was scheduled immediately to have a DNC because the placenta was still attached and growing.

I was really devastated.  But, I knew that miscarriages were sometimes a part of life.  I still felt like God was sovereign and even though I was terribly sad, I didn’t feel despair.

Four months later, I peed on a stick at 28 days since my last period and there was a very, very faint line.  You see, I’ve peed on probably 100’s of sticks.  When you try for two years and then try after a miscarriage… you check every month, from sheer hope.  And I know that I saw that line there, barely, but there… it was still early.  I’d seen so many negative tests, and this wasn’t a negative.  Two days later when I checked to see if the line was much darker like it should be, there was no line.  And the next morning, I started bleeding.

The very next month, I was pregnant again.  At 5 1/2 weeks, the doctor decided to check my HCG levels to make sure they were rising.  First number came back on the low-end, but still in range.  Second number two days later, only up 30 (should have doubled and been up by 300) and then two days later, up 1.  The nurse said, prepare yourself, you’re going to miscarry.  And two days later, I was bleeding in my 6th week.

Those were some really dark days.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t capable of carrying girls.  That had to be what was going on.  We had two perfectly healthy boys, and then three miscarriages. Nothing else made sense.  And I mourned so deeply because I really wanted another baby, and I wanted a daughter.

During that season, God was working on my character in grave detail.  I was learning I couldn’t control life, I had to trust Him.  I was understanding mercy in a way I never had before.  I began to have compassion for people who I previously felt nothing for.  It was not a wasted season.

After the third miscarriage, it was 8 months of negative tests, in which time I had a garage sale to rid our house of anything baby that I couldn’t store away and not look at in sheer desperation to end the disappointment, which failed to heal my heart like I hoped.

On January 1st, 2009 I had another positive test.  I was too afraid to be happy.  I cried out of fear, not out of joy, on my husbands shoulder.  I told him, “I can’t lose another baby, I seriously can’t.”  And at 9 weeks, and three ultrasounds later,  the doctor I saw for ultrasounds assured us, everything was perfect!

For some reason, my regular doctor was convinced that instead of the ultrasound at 20 weeks, they wanted you to be 28 weeks now for better pictures (I had to go to another office as my office didn’t do the ultrasounds.)  At 25 weeks I told her I didn’t want to wait any longer, I didn’t care about the pictures.  So I went, and we were having a third BOY!

I was relieved he was healthy, and I loved my sons, I knew he’d fit into our family without any trouble.  But I’ll  never forget sitting around a bonfire that night feeling like, it was true.  I couldn’t carry girls.  And I wanted a daughter SO much.  My husband said to me that night, “Kayla, there are not many godly men in the world today, and God has given us three boys because He must trust us to do a good job raising them.”  And I felt confidence and joy that we would do the best we could with the three sons we had.

When Jaxon was 6 months old, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant (which was a SHOCK, and I do mean SHOCK!!!!!!) At 18 weeks, the doctor told us we were having a daughter!  WHAT???!!!! I couldn’t believe it.  In fact, I went in 4 weeks later for another ultrasound just to be sure because I couldn’t live with that kind of hope and him have been wrong.  He wasn’t wrong.  WE HAD A LITTLE GIRL!!!!  I felt complete.  I felt like I wasn’t broken.  I felt like our family was healed.

And life moved on.

And then last night, we watched October Baby.  Have you seen it?  You should.  It was good.

And I started thinking about the babies that we lost.  It isn’t that I never think about them ever, but I don’t talk about them often.

Here is the flood of thoughts.

~ Were they real?  Since the conception wasn’t right from the very beginning, did they create life?

~ Were they boys or girls?

~ What would they have looked like? We have three blonde kids, and one with dark hair.  He looks odd.  Would the others have all been blonde too?

~ Was the second one truly a positive test, or did I get the one test a year in all the billions of tests that was a faulty test and I just started my period a couple of days late, which isn’t impossible especially with stress?

~ What would we have named them? I feel like if we had laid eyes on them, or they made it to even 18 weeks gestation and we knew the gender, we would have named them.  We just don’t like unisex names (even though all these women are naming their girls what we feel is a boy name, like our first son Jayden.)

~ It’s hard to mourn and remember something that you never saw, don’t know the gender, doesn’t have a grave, doesn’t have a name, and was real to us for only 5 weeks,  only 2 days, and only 2 weeks.

~ If they had actually grown to be our children, I could never just forget them and move on with life if something had happened to them.  Part of me wishes it wasn’t so easy to do with a miscarriage once healing of a healthy child has come.  It makes me feel like a bad mom.

~ If we had any of those three, the possibilities of us having the two children we’ve had since the miscarriages wouldn’t be very probable.  And I love Jaxon and Marisa.  And I need them.  They complete us.

~ How can I feel like I need children I wouldn’t have had if my others had lived?  Does that mean I’m OK that they didn’t live so I could hold children I desperately need and love today?

~ Should we try to name them now?

~ How different would my life be with any of them in it?

~ Should I say I actually have 7 kids, three that I won’t meet this side of Heaven, or just say we have 4 kids like I normally do?

~ Does God give and take life by miscarriage, or is miscarriage just a result of the fall and death in the world?

~ Was Satan asking God permission to take our children?  Like in Job when Satan asks God if Job loves him for nothing, and then he kills his children to test Job’s faithfulness to God.  Did Satan think we’d turn on God if we lost three babies?  And if I never got to have a girl?

~ Would I be whole today if I didn’t ever have a girl?

~ Do our children in Heaven know that we were their parents?

~Will we meet them as our children since we won’t even be married anymore once we get to Heaven?

Some of these questions can be answered, some cannot.  The biggest question now if what am I going to do with all these thoughts and questions?

Practical Application –

Above all, trust that God is sovereign.  He has everything under control, and He has all the answers, even if I don’t or never will.

Answer the questions with  my husband that we can answer.  (Like if we want to name them now.)

Release myself of the guilt of moving on so easily now that we have healthy children since the miscarriages.  We weren’t created for death, so there is no right way to handle it.  And God doesn’t ever want us to be controlled by emotions.  We lose our effectiveness in the Kindgom if we get wrapped up and held back by our feelings.  They can’t be trusted.  But God CAN be trusted.  And everything that happens is filtered through His hands, so we should always move on with confidence that He is working all things together for good.

The beautiful part.

1 Oct

I was fortunate enough to take a trip all by myself yesterday to the grocery store.  If you’ve ever been a mom with little kids, I can hear you saying through the computer “good for you!” Seriously friends, it’s the little things.

The drive to the particular store I wanted to shop at is a 30 minute or so country drive.  As I was driving along, singing ridiculously loudly to the radio (because who doesn’t when no one else is in the car to hear you miss notes and crack on the high parts?!), I was hardly able to take in all the beauty outside.

I LOVE the changing colors of the leaves.

And then I had a little light bulb moment and a conversation with the Lord.

We all know about photosynthesis and chlorophyll making the leaves green by taking in water to produce sugar, blah blah blah, sorry to any science geeks who read this but I can’t bore myself or anyone else for too long on that stuff.

In simple terms, the leaves die.

Spring is wonderful when new life comes and it in necessary for each organism to function as it was created to function, however, it isn’t nearly as pretty as autumn.

 

So I start thinking about my life and what I’m working on.  Truly, I’m in a place of dying to even more hidden yet recently revealed sin in my life. At the rate I seem to keep discovering how wretched I truly am, I might always be dying to something my whole life, but what I feel like the Lord was able to show me yesterday is that the beautiful part, is the death.

When we walk in freedom from sin, we are obediently serving Christ and living to the potential we were created to live.  There is no doubt that is an amazing sight and opportunity for celebration!!

But, the dying process, where we surrender ourselves, the blinders come off, the heart is emptied, Christ comes in for cleaning, we gain the wisdom we need to see the faults in our ways, we confess our ugliness and desire for righteousness….. that friends, THAT IS THE BEAUTIFUL PART!

THAT is when we’re changing colors and the world stands back in amazement!

Practical Application:

Stop looking at your broken-ness as ugly and humiliating.  Start owning the beauty in death and stand in praise for the glory being done in your dying process.

The world is watching.