Sunday, January 31, 2010

Keep going

Last night we were watching "Facing the Giants" and we got to  the "death crawl".  In this scene, one of the football players is blindfolded and has to carry another player on his back while he crawls down the field.  The player keeps yelling, "It hurts!"  and the coach is right there in his ear, "I know it hurts!  Keep going!  I know it hurts!  Don't quit!"
I started bawling.
Because it does hurt.
Losing a daughter hurts.
Unpacking Anna's things and then packing them back up and taking them to the attic hurts.
Moving away from friends and family hurts.
Watching my kids struggle to fit in hurts.
Life hurts.
And I want to scream "It hurts!"
And I want to quit.
And God is right there beside me saying, "I know it hurts.  Keep going.  I know it hurts.  Don't quit."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowed In....Again!

It is snowing here in RVA.  Audra and Will have enjoyed playing in it and set up a Snow Restaurant.  Their motto is "Our food's delicious...sno joke!"  They even had delivery service so I ordered a Dr. Pepper slushy.

Jacob wanted to walk to his friend's house which is about a mile away.  Richard ended up taking him in the car and got stuck in front of our house.  It was a good way to meet the neighbor who came out to help him :-0

Friday, January 29, 2010

Can you hear Him?

I was reading in Exodus chapter 6 this week and saw this verse...

"I am the Lord...I will free you...I will redeem you...I will take you as my own...I will be your God...I will bring you to the land I promised...and I will give it to you..."

Doesn't that sound great?  Wouldn't you be thrilled to hear God say those things to you?  I would like to think that I would say, "YES Lord!  Thank you Lord!  I will trust you!  You will do what you say!  Hallelujah!"

But the next verse says,

"Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listed to him because of their discouragement"

Wow.  They were too discouraged to listen.  Too discouraged to hear the good news.  Too discouraged to trust God that things could get better.

I've been there.  I've been hopeless.  I haven't listened when God says there is hope for the future.  I'm doing better, but there are still days when I get discouraged and forget his promises.

Are you listening to what He is saying?  Can you?

"I falter sometimes when I try to say, 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted.'  But I can now and then catch a glimpse of the truth of it."
"The sense of loss abides with us.  That we cannot change or cease to feel.  But the love of God can be felt too... To look from the earthly years upward to the heavenly is to rejoice, even through the tears."
(Selections from "Consolation" by Mrs. Charles Cowman, c. 1944)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Long Sea Monkeys

Will got a sea monkey kit  a long time ago.  I know I have moved it twice and the monkeys never made it out of the box.  FINALLY this was the week.  He and his daddy prepped the water for 24 hours and then put the eggs in.  You have to wait 5 days for them to hatch.  Today was supposed to be THE day.  Yesterday Will had his little friend over after school.  She was here for no more than 5 minutes when Will came down the stairs saying, "The sea monkeys spilled!"  So now the sea monkeys are in the carpet never to be seen again.  This same little friend was confused by the fact that we don't currently have a microwave.  She kept asking questions, "Why don't you have a microwave?  How do you cook without a microwave?  Have you ever had a microwave?"  Finally she looked around and said, "Well, at least you have a refrigerator."

Since we are all bracing for another snow storm, I thought I would show you some pictures from the last storm.  These were taken on our trip from VA to KS.  I didn't get a picture of the sign that said "Avoid travel.  Seek Shelter."

Which way do we go?  I can't see the lines on the road!

These were the poor people who tried to outrun the storm on Friday,  which I had suggested, but my wise husband said no.

We were stuck in the middle of hundreds of trucks for HOURS as we creeped along at 20mph.

At the end of the day we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.  You can't see these in VA because of all the trees.  If you will look closely, you can see the cross at the bottom of the picture.  When I see beauty like this, I imagine that this is what Anna sees all the time.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I know our moms are wanting pictures of the new house.  If these are boring to you, just skip this post!

This is the entryway.  You can see the butterfly tree.  The plate says "Welcome home Salamy family!"  It's a dry-erase plate so I can change what is says.  If you come to see us, it will say, "Welcome______!"

This is the mantle.  You can see Anna's painting and the Dum Dum tree  a friend gave us (made of Dum Dums.)

This is the master bath.  I got the shower curtain at Target and I had the butterflies left-over from Audra's room in OKC.  They are peel and stick wall art and the colors match perfectly.

This is my bedside table.  The picture was taken at Art With a Heart.  The books are my favorite devotional books written by Mrs. Charles Cowman.  The little figure is of a mama angel holding a little girl.

Jacob's room.  He needs a bed, but says he likes the mattress on the floor.

Will's room.  The furniture was Richard's when he was a child.  All our kids have used it.  It's Will's turn now.

Will's closet.  Clean for now!

The formal living room.  The furniture was Richard's parents.  The lace curtains were hand-me-downs from my MIT leader.

Another view of the formal living area.  Ooops, I need another curtain!

We still have lots to unpack.  I am glad we have an attic.  If I can't find a place for something, I box it up and take it up there.

Dining room/rabbit room.  I'm hoping to use this old entertainment center for a china cabinet.

The Americana/Music/Rec room.  It looks like we need a computer chair.  The bean bag makes my knees hurt.

I hope you (and our moms) have enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Welcome Home Salamy Family!

We are moved in to our new house and we now have phone, TV, and internet so we can stay connected with the rest of the world.

We had hoped we would find a neighborhood with kids.  On Monday we had two 5th grade girls come by with their mothers to welcome us.  This morning Jacob rode the bus for the first time and there were 10 middle school boys at his bus stop (which happens to be right in front of our house).

We have had three different neighbors bring us brownies, cookies, and banana bread.  One of them told us that our house had been used for several neighborhood functions because of the large deck in the back.  I hope we will be able to continue using it for that.  We are praying that this house will be a place of hope and peace.  I set the butterfly tree  up yesterday in our entryway so it will be the first thing people see when they come in.

Will and Audra are now car riders since we moved out of their school district.  Will said he likes getting to stay in the classroom a little later.  He told me that yesterday he was playing football with a couple of kids after school.  He said, "One of the boys jumped over a desk and the teacher doesn't even care if you do that after school.  So I jumped over a desk too.  And it felt like freedom Mom."

Hope you feel free to jump today!

Monday, January 18, 2010


We moved into the new house a couple of days ago and we don't have anything hooked up yet--TV, phone, or computer.  That gives us lots of time to unpack.  Well, it gives ME lots of time.  The kids are staying busy practicing on Will's new drums (which seems to be making the new bunny very nervous).  Audra likes unpacking all of her "stuff" and looking at it, but isn't thrilled with putting it away. Jacob had three friends over all day Saturday to "jam".  We were thrilled to have our first dinner guests and look forward to many friends coming over.  The guest room is full of boxes, but it will be ready soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Introducing Chip

We have a new member of the family---introducing Butterscotch "Chip" Salamy.  Born November 14, 2009. Adopted January 9, 2010.  We drove to Eden Farms yesterday and chose Chip from literally HUNDREDS of bunnies.  He is very cuddly with long golden hair and blue eyes.  Audra is very happy to finally get her Christmas present.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Rock

Yesterday I was in a group of ladies.  The leader asked us if we had  any recent "God Sightings".  I was so excited to share the story from Tuesday's post.  I told them about the cemetery, the song, the movie...everything.  I said that I knew God was the God who sees.   When I was finished, the lady next to me just broke down sobbing uncontrollably.  She somehow managed to choke out, "I couldn't do it.  Losing my daughter is the worst thing that could ever happen to me.  I couldn't do it."
I couldn't do it either.  It's the worst thing that I can imagine too.  I continue to struggle with questions and despair, but I am still standing.  How?
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."  (Matt. 7:24-25)
I did not fall when Anna died because my foundation is on the rock--not on my abilities, my circumstances, my bank account, my education, my family, or other people.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said--
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.

  1. (How Firm a Foundation, John Keith 1787)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Every Season

I've posted the words to my favorite song before.  It's all about embracing change.  When Richard and I went to  see Anna's marker in OKC it was cold and covered with snow.  The part of the song that kept going through my mind was, "Even now in death you open doors for life to enter.  You are winter."  When we got back to the car, I found the song on the ipod and played it.  We didn't make it to the gate before we were both sobbing.
A week later when we got back to Richmond I volunteered to go to the store to get milk.  When I got in the car, I turned on the radio and the first song that played was "Every Season".    The first time I heard that song was at a funeral, then I bought the CD, then we played it at Anna's funeral.   I have NEVER heard it on the radio.  Hearing it at that moment gave me the same feeling I had  when we were first in the hospital with Anna and I walked down to the playroom and found my favorite movie stuck on the shelf with a few beat up board books.   It's not a kids movie and it was made in the 1970's, but it was THERE.  I knew that God knew EXACTLY where I was.  He knows me!  He sees me!  He loves me and every now and then he reminds me by playing my favorite song at the end of a long day.

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what's to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

(Every Season, by Nichole Nordeman)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Let Go

He makes all things new.
Today I drove by a tree that still had all of its leaves.  Those leaves had hung on through a blizzard with 50mph winds and blowing snow and ice.  They were brown, but they were there.  I want to hang on too.  I don't want to submit to a new season of life.  I want things to stay the same. 
But they don't. 
After the tree, I drove by the library where Anna and I used to check out books.  I mourned the loss of that season of my life.  I want to hang on to what I had.  I want things to be like they used to be. 
But they aren't. 
Just like the tree has to shed it's leaves to make way for new life, I have to let go of the past to make way for the future. 
I don't want to. 
I have to. 
BUT the future is something to look forward to!  If I can let go of the past and embrace what's ahead I can grow...and change.  But change is hard.  New cities are hard.  New schools are hard.  New houses are hard.  Making new friends is hard. 
Lord help me look ahead to what you have in store for us in this life and for eternity.  Help me to hold on to your truth and let go of the past.
"How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name... the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in his unfailing love...
Sing to the Lord a new song" (Ps. 147:1,3,4,11;149:1)