Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zoe at 8 Months

Our 8-month-old Zoe is a busy little girl that is content whether she is playing with her toys, exploring the house, or having a snuggle. She is very busy sprouting teeth right now and has her two bottom ones and three of the top incisors. I think the fourth top incisor won't be long in its appearance.

I think Zoe and Nicholas have the same peaceful happy temperament, which is a blessing considering Sabrina is about 3 kids rolled into one, and Olivia was looking like she would follow in her big sister's footsteps. Zoe is mobile by scooting on her bottom and reaching and pulling for things. If you put her on her tummy she will push herself backwards. If you put her on her hands and knees, she rocks and rocks and looks like she is thinking about crawling. My prediction is she will start crawling just in time to pull down the Christmas tree. I think she is able to crawl and pull herself up but is taking her time because she enjoys wherever she's at.

Zoe was quite taken with the volume and sound of her own shrieking for a while but has now moved on to singing and saying "ma ma". I'm going to choose to believe that she's actually saying the word. Just like when she was smiling at only two weeks. Zoe also eats quite a few solids and is an enthusiastic eater, which is a lot of fun.

I can't say it enough - what a blessed time we are having with our baby Zoe! In conversation recently with Sabrina, even she said, so matter-of-fact, "Everyone loves Zoe!" She is so proud of her baby sister.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Remembering Nicholas

It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years already since we spent a cold November afternoon saying goodbye to our son. It's been an amazing journey full of unspeakable sorrow and unexpected healing.

Nicholas, I love that we lit a candle for each day you were with us. Whenever I light a candle on a cold winter evening, I think of you and know that you are in a much better place than we can even imagine. But I still miss you like crazy. I would have liked to be a mother to you much longer than I had. And then I remind myself that I just need to be patient and wait for that day when we will all be together again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Journey

This journey has not at all been what I've expected. I'm surprised at where I've ended up. And I look forward with eager anticipation to what is still to come.

I am well. I am happy! I can stand before you today and tell you that I am the happiest I have have ever been. And that is because of God's goodness.

I can't explain to you why my son was here for only a short time. I can't tell you why his twin sister had to leave just after he did. But I can tell you that God is good. And that He heals the brokenhearted. And that it's true that mourning does turn into dancing in its time.

And that it's OK.

I was hesitant to write this post. I was fearful of being judged for being a bad mother for flourishing after the deaths of her children. But where's the gift in that? Where's the hope in that? Truth is, I know that this story is not finished yet. It's like not reading the third part of the Lord of the Rings. If you end at Frodo and Sam's desolate journey into Mordor, you would think it was a horrible story. But we who have read to the end know that because of their desolate journey, there is great reward.

I have a Book that tells me the end of this journey. It is beautiful! And I get to see my little boy and little girl again. I believe it with all my heart.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Food for Thought

I came across this excerpt from Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb on a new blog I've discovered and I think it's very timely, considering that November is such a time of remembrance.

We Christians are an impatient lot. We insist on gathering grain before it grows. We want to see flowers before spring and fruit before fall. When a brother or sister is going through a tough time, we insist that the Spirit’s work be obvious. Unless they speak of their trials from a spiritual perspective, we tend to apply pressure more than we dispense grace. We rarely believe that life is hidden in the barren tree. Let a friend express his exasperation with a four-letter word, and immediately we’re more concerned with his language than with his agony.

No farmer goes to the orchard in winter to pick apples. Christians do it all the time. And when the fruit isn’t there, we walk off in disgust. The good farmer patiently waits with his basket, knowing he will soon fill it with delicious fruit. …

Two unwritten rules eventually surface in our response to one who hurts. First, mourning has a time limit. … At some point, we insist on victory. Second, we think there’s a proper way to mourn. Ugly battles should remain out of sight. … Church is too often a place of pretense and therefore a place without hope. When brokenness is disdained, where the real story is never told, the power of God is not felt. Where brokenness is invited and received with grace, the gospel comes alive with hope.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiates 3:11

I am so aware lately of the passing of time. Sabrina has just turned 8 and Zoe is 7 months old! The twins would have been 3 by now. On a quiet, rainy morning recently, playing with who may be the happiest baby ever, I asked my husband if we could have another one. He promptly said "NO" and then what I thought was quite wise, "It's time now for us to move on as a family." I asked him what that meant, and he replied that it was time for us to go out and travel and do things together. Without being tied to an infant's demanding schedule.

I'm like Peter, when on the mountaintop with Jesus and Moses and Elijah, wanted to set up camp and stay like that as long as he could. Please let my babies stay babies, and my kids stay kids, and my skin stay young and firm. (ha!) Haven't we all wanted to build tents and camp out in those places we want to last forever? I'm starting to realize that we live in a constant state of grieving what was and being thrust into what's next, only some things are much harder to grieve than others. We as a culture have been sold the illusion that you can hold on to what you have as long as you want, but we all know that's unnatural.

Is this the acceptance stage of grieving? When you are so past the way things were that to stay there is unnatural? Where you can say, that's how it was, but this is how it is now, and it is good. And don't even ask me about what it is going to be like, because who knows? And when I have my moments where I sorrow for what was, I am grateful that I can now tenderly embrace it and then gently put it back where it belongs. In my heart.