Monday, May 31, 2010

Got Underwear?

Will was baptized yesterday.  It was something for us to look forward to after Anna's birthday.  We had never actually seen a baptism at our new church because we are always  5 minutes late,  but we did get a letter explaining the process and what we needed to bring.  Well, apparently I didn't pay enough attention to those instructions.  Richard took Will to the mens dressing room before the service to change clothes.  After donning his robe, Will and Richard were standing on one side of the water and I was standing on the other side so that I could take pictures.  Richard mouthed the words, "Where are his underwear?"  Oops!  I had forgotten to put an extra pair in his bag.  I quickly realized the implications and  started gesturing and whispering, "Take the ones he is wearing off!  Take them off!  They are going to get wet!"  There was some confusion until Richard finally interpreted my frantic waving/sign language.  He whisked Will away during the opening song and got him back just in time.  He still had his white baseball pants on and as you know, he's used to wearing those without underwear.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Birthday Photo Montage

Playing with her Dora sprinkler

Playing in the hospital playroom--the kitchen and dollhouse were her favorites.  She didn't let little things like IV poles stop her.

3rd Birthday with Goofy cake.  

She loved our day at the ranch.  They let her name one of the foals.  It is now registered as "Anna's Brightest Star."

A true "girlie-girl"

Leading the 4th of July boat parade.

Making a wish on a "Wish flower"

Nov. 2006 Anna sang a solo in church.  She insisted on wearing black boots with her formal dress.

She wanted hair so her sister gave her some--complete with bangs and a bow.

5th and last birthday

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end,
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again 

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, 

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

(Steven Curtis Chapman, With Hope)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Birthday Blood

I donated blood tonight in honor of Anna's birthday this Saturday.  I didn't know if the the blood bank was open on the weekend and our church was having a blood drive tonight so I went ahead and did it early.  I didn't tell the girl taking my blood why I was there.  She saw the tears and thought maybe I was feeling sick.  I wasn't sick...just feeling...and letting go.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let her go

Jesus said to them "Take off the grave clothes and let him go".  (John 11:44)
Those are the words Jesus spoke after he raised Lazarus from the dead.  But this week he spoke those words to me..."Take off the grave clothes and let her go."
"What do you mean Lord?  You took her from me.  She's dead.  How can I let her go?"
"Yes, I took her.  Now I want you to take off the grave clothes and let her go."
How can I let her go when everything in me wants her back?  My grief is all I have.  It fills the empty space she left.   I can't imagine NOT mourning her death.  I can't imagine a life without sadness.  It's a part of me.
But, Luke 20:38 says,
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, FOR TO HIM ALL ARE ALIVE.
Anna is dead to me, but alive to Christ.  Today  I kept repeating that phrase over and over again..."To Him all are alive...To Him all are alive...To Him all are alive."
She is alive to Him.   I have to stop thinking of her as dead and remember that she is alive.
Jesus also said,
If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father.  (John 14:28)
Jesus knew that where he was going was better than where he was.  Can I stop feeling sorry for myself?  Can I surrender my identity of grieving mother?  Can I exchange my sadness for gladness?
Do I love Anna enough to be glad that she is with the Father?  
Do I love her enough to let her go?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Today was the "graduation" ceremony for the counseling class I've been taking.  Everyone had a part and my assignment was do a meditation on "The Present".  Here's what I said...

Dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Phil 3:13-14)

Forgetting the past is hard.  There are things we can't forget and there are things we don't want to forget.  How can we forget the pain, suffering, and grief we carry with us from our past?  How can we forget the joy, the innocence, the "good old days" to which we long to return?  The past is behind us.  We can't change it.  We must learn to live with it, but not in it.

The future on the other hand, is something to look forward to.  In Christ we have the hope of eternity.  We wait for the unseen eternal to be revealed in a place where there is no more suffering, no more tears, and no more goodbyes.  We long to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.  And yet here we are--May 20, 2010.

So what does it mean to live in the present?

It means loving the person in front of us instead of the person we miss.
It's noticing the rosebuds on our neighbor's bushes.
It's taking the time to stop and smell them.
It's using our good china with our family instead of saving it for company.
It's being thankful for what we have instead of thinking about what we don't have.
It's singing along.
It's joining the game.
It's acknowledging that God's grace is sufficient for this day.
It's loving people before they are perfect.
It's running the race.
It's enduring.
It's pressing on.

The past is over.  The future is not yet.  Today is all we have.  So think about the past, anticipate the future, but live today.

This is a day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24) 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Play Ball!

On the way to the ball park last night Will kept saying, "I don't have on any underwear."  I just ignored him because he's always saying silly things and really, how can you forget to put on underwear?    Finally I said, "Are you serious?"  "YES, I don't have on any underwear!"  We had to turn around and go home because I stopped carrying extra underwear a long time ago.  (Evidently it got left off when he was putting on his athletic "equipment".)  THEN when he came back to the car, his pants were on inside out.  I was thankful for the good laugh.  Here are some pictures of him at the game--with underwear.
Will at bat.

He got a hit!

Will's on first.

Stealing 2nd base.

Waiting for a chance to run home.

Run Will run!

I didn't get a picture of him crossing home plate, but he did score and his team won the game 7-0.  There is not much better than watching little league ball on a spring day.

PS. After I wrote this entry, I tried to view my blog and the NetNanny filter we installed wouldn't let me see it because it had the forbidden category of "lingerie."  I hope this entry was not offensive to anyone--except NetNanny.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Run hard

I was reading a book this week called "Things Unseen".  In chapter 10 the author relates a story told by Charles Spurgeon about a trip he had taken to the Palace of Versailles.  The upper galleries were full of portraits of famous people.  He noticed that the visitors would stop and study the first couple of the paintings, but then tended to move quickly through the rest of the gallery without giving the remaining paintings a second glance.  When he visited the lower galleries it was different.  He saw that the visitors were intently studying the paintings and spending much more time at each one.  What was the difference?  The paintings in the lower galleries were of people doing things--fighting battles, making speeches, riding horses, etc.  They were much more interesting than the posed portraits.
Spurgeon commented,
Not the people but their actions engross attention.  Portraits have no charm when scenes of stirring interest are set in rivalry with them... If we would impress we must act.  The dignity of standing still will never win the prize; we must run for it.
It's the same with our Christian life.  Faith calls us to action.  If we stand still and look good, we may get some attention at first, but to maintain our influence we must act.

This thought is confirmed in Hebrew 12:1,
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
And in 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (The Message),
Pursue a righteous life--a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy.  Run hard and fast in the faith.  Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
If we fail to live in certain hope of what God has promised, we get afraid and cling to our lives or our possessions.  We don't run.
Don't be afraid.  And don't be content to just sit and look good.  Run for it.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Sometimes moments are a struggle.  Sometimes days are a struggle.  Sometimes weeks are a struggle.  Sometimes months are a struggle.  And sometimes I wonder if life will always be a struggle.  
A struggle to get out of bed.  A struggle to be productive.  A struggle to hold back the tears.  A struggle to care.  

Yesterday Richard gave me a CD he made me for Mother's Day.  
He knows the cry of my heart as we approach Anna's birthday this month...

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why--I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

(Homesick, Mercy Me)

He also knows the words I need to hear...

Have you ever heard a love song that
Set your spirit free
Have you ever watched a sunrise and
Felt you could not breathe
What if it's Him
What if it's God speaking

Have you ever cried a tear that
You could not explain
Have you ever met a stranger
Who already knew your name
What if it's Him
What if it's God speaking

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

Have you ever lost a loved one
Who you thought should still be here
Do you know what it feels like
To be tangled up in fear
What if He's somehow involved
What if He's speaking through it all

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

His ways are higher
His ways are better
Though sometimes strange
What could be stranger
Than God in a manger

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
Who knows how He'll get a hold of you
Get your attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

God is speaking
"I love you"

(God Speaking, Mandisa)

He also got me this colander.... 
but the CD made up for that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hunting wabbit

Audra got a bunny for Christmas.  He spent the first couple of months in our dining room, which made our house smell like a barn.  When the weather warmed up, we moved his cage to the screened in porch.  This was better, but it was still a mess.  We thought we would have to clean the cage less often he would be happier in a hutch in the yard.  I tried to find one on Craigslist, but wasn't having any luck.  So my parents ended up bringing a hutch all the way from Kansas and then spent a couple of hours setting it up while they were here.  I was happy.  Audra was happy.  We thought the rabbit was happy.  BUT,  the day after my parents left--before they even got all the way to Wichita--the rabbit dug a hole and escaped.  "No one tell Grammy and Papa!"  What they didn't know wouldn't make them mad hurt them.  About a week after his escape, I sent out an email to the neighbors.  Two days later we got a phone call that our rabbit was down the street in the neighbors azaleas.  We took three kids and a laundry basket to the rescue.  Audra spotted him and I reached in the bushes, grabbed him and held on tight.  It was like he wasn't happy to come home.  It was almost as if he was enjoying hopping around the neighborhood eating people's flowers.  So today poor Chip is back home in his deluxe two-story hutch... dreaming about the time he almost got away.