11 Years: Lesson #2

11 Years: Lesson #2

I love projects.  I love to make Christmas gifts.  I love to sew simple projects (key word: simple).  I love planning events, sometimes even weddings.

I love when something needs to be done and I can contribute to the completion of that project.

I love looking at that finished sewing project or cleaning up after a successful wedding.  That feeling of a job well done is wonderful!

I think I looked at motherhood as another one of these projects.  Like I would have all these babies and be their mother and it would be so fun to look back on the finished product.

To see our little offsprings.  (Yes, I know that is not a word, but I do love to pluralize words that shouldn’t be…it’s drives my English-minor husband crazy.  He loves me!)

All in color-coordinated outfits.

Then I had this son, who couldn’t breath on his own.  Who didn’t open his eyes.  Who never moved a limb.

I wanted him to cry even if it was all night long.  I wanted him to flail his arms and legs even if it busted my upper lip.  I wanted him to run and jump and play (even if it might have been in the mud)!  I wouldn’t even have minded if he practiced his aim while I was changing diapers…

I just wanted him.

And I couldn’t complete this project like I wanted.  I could not get the end results no matter how hard I tried.   I would never have a wonderful feeling of having done this job well…

That’s when lesson #2 became a reality:

Lesson #2: There are things I cannot do and there are times when I need to do nothing.

Besides being unable to help my son live physically, there were so many things I realized that I could not do.

I could no longer think clearly or straight.  My brain went into a foggy mode and it was hard to do anything.  My thoughts all revolved around this little boy and his sister who I probably hugged too tightly and too much, but I would argue that is not even possible.  Too many hugs?

Nope.  Not for my children.

I no longer looked at a project and thought, “Oh how awesome, I would love to do that!”  It would be years before I felt ready to take on another new project.

And in the subsequent years when I had my youngest two daughters, I will tell you that my confidence level was so low.  I was so afraid of losing another child.  Of all the unknowns.  Life just wasn’t fair anymore.

And in my lack of confidence, the Lord gently reminded me of what is true.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

I don’t have to perform for his approval.

Those feelings of a job well-done were self-centered…and I needed to turn myself upward and see that it was always Him doing things through me…not me.  If He hadn’t given me the gifts He did, I could not do the jobs He gives me to do well.

I don’t have to be the best.  Though I should give everything my best effort.

I don’t have to have the best.  Though I should be wise with my investments and the care thereof.

I don’t have to be busy all the time.  Though God will give me the strength I need when He calls me to a busy season.

What I do have to be is in tune with the Lord as He leads me each and every day.  And many times, He will say, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Or My grace is sufficient for you.”  “Do not worry about tomorrow.”  “Seek my kingdom first.”

And it is in being still and not being overly busy/productive that I am able to rest in the arms of the Savior who loves me and made me.

Scripture never tells us that God’s love is conditional on our performance.  He loves us for who we are…His Creation.

And that is enough.  I cannot do it all.  Nor was I meant to do it all.  I was meant to be a reflection of the One who made me.  And in order to reflect Him, I must be near Him at all times.

Reflect on these promises today and let yourself relax in the presence of a Holy and loving God.

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:8

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts and I am helped…” Psalm 28:7

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 35:17-18

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”  Proverbs 3:5-8

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11 Years: Lesson #1

11 Years: Lesson #1

Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the day when sweet Daniel was lifted from my womb into a world full of medical providers who would monitor him closely for the 36 hours he lived on earth.

Eleven years ago, January 26th was on a Friday.  And today, being a Friday seems hard to walk through my normal activities without remembering exactly where I was and who was with me on that day.   ELEVEN YEARS AGO!

Here is a picture of me about this same time (3pm on that Friday):

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The first time I saw and touched Daniel.

While time has/does heal all wounds, there are some scars that you never can forget the story to.  I am not the same person that I was eleven years and one day ago.  And praise God that I have grown closer to Him and understand more fully His love and grace today than my 27 year-old self ever did.

Yes, I just told you my age.

And even though I have been an absent blogger for, oh say, the last three months, I want to share eleven things that I have learned in the last eleven years thanks to the heartache of my son’s home being in heaven and thanks to a Heavenly Father who never gave up on me or my emotions or my broken heart.

So for those of you who are subscribed to this blog, you will get a notification for the next ten days because here is number one:

Lesson #1: Life is a gift.

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How’s your class going?

How’s your class going?

Someone asked me about the class I was in the other Sunday at church saying, “How’s your class going?”

I looked at her startled…I didn’t know I was in school again?  (Other than my normal homeschooling duties where I am learning much!)

Then she reminded me that we are helping facilitate a group for parents who have experienced a baby/infant loss.

Oh, that class…

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Since then many others have asked so I thought I would give you an update:

The class (from my perspective) has been wonderful.  It is the perfect size to be safe for folks to share their hurts and I truly believe that healing is taking place for many of the people in our group.

It’s like we have said so many times (and will say again), you will never get over your loss (or under it or around it), but you will get through it.  And having the support of a group of people who have experienced the loss of a baby/infant is wonderful.

We still have three weeks of meeting and sharing and loving on each other and I have to say…I am excited.  This has been a group that we all felt we needed and the people attending have been brave enough to open up about their griefs.  To be able to be real and to share with others is truly a gift from God.

So thank you to all who have been praying for our group, please continue to do so.  We will meet three more times before Thanksgiving.  I am excited to see what God will do in and through it all!

 

Infant Loss Awareness 2017

Infant Loss Awareness 2017

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All across the United States there will be families gathering together tomorrow, Saturday, October 14th to remember their babies in heaven.

For some folks, they want to keep the memory of their baby alive.

For others, they want to find hope in the midst of their sorrow.

For all of them, they find comfort in the community of bereaved parents.

If you know someone who has lost a child (baby or grown), I want to encourage you to reach out to them this month.  Send a card or instant message telling them that you remember their child and are praying for them.

Not to promote my book (but I did self-publish so now I still have copies to share!), but I have had some dear friends who have purchased books in memory of a friend’s baby and donated them to a local pregnancy center, funeral home, NICU and even a Christian radio station (when callers call in with prayer requests related to infant/baby loss, they mail them a book as well as pray with them!).  So if you would like to remember a child in this way and honor the parents, please contact me!  I would be happy to arrange the donation and will put a special bookplate in the front of the book!  I also send a letter to you and to the parents of the baby remembered.

And for this weekend, I am selling my books through my PayPal link for $12 (including shipping).  You can purchase one for yourself, or if you would like for me to mail it to someone else, put a bookplate in it, or donate it, I will be happy to do that.  This deal will be good through Sunday night.  And I will still offer free shipping for the rest of the month.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to share at a memorial event in Charlotte.  My prayers is that my words will bring comfort and hope to those who hear.  I would appreciate your prayers as well!

All for God’s glory!

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Go Ahead, Nominate Me for…

Go Ahead, Nominate Me for…

Blogger of the Year!!!

I never intended to be such a slacker of a blogger, but life has been wonderfully full lately.  I am so grateful for each thing the Lord is bringing into my life.

Just to give you a little heads up about what has been going on, here is a little list (I hope to blog more about some of these items soon!):

  1.  Broken H.A.R.T. class began in September.  This class is for folks who have experienced a baby/infant loss and is held at Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone.  The Lord has worked in such amazing ways each week…He is so good!
  2. School…we started back to school in August and it has been wonderful.  I thank God every day that we get to do school together at home…and I thank Him for these little ladies!
  3. Vacation…we tried to go on a family vacation, but Dustin’s gallbladder had other plans…let’s just say, we can recommend a nice satellite ER clinic in North Myrtle Beach should you ever need one.
  4. Reading…the Lord has blessed me with so many wonderful books lately…I could do many book reviews…but maybe I will just let you know what the best of the best have been for me lately…

But not today…I just wanted to drop by to say, “Hey!”  I’m still alive and I will be back soon with more writing and proclaiming how the Lord is working in our lives…He is so intimate!  And I am so grateful!

~Daphne 

B & D

B & D

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We have this little friend who I will call “B.”  He comes and hangs out with us two days a week or so.  He has since he was eight months old.  Now he will tell you he is a BIG boy at his four years of age.

And this little guy is awesome!  His favorite thing to do as of late is to help me with everything.

A few days ago “everything” include dusting with sock puppets and wrapping birthday presents and making sure the gift had lots of tissue “hair.”  (Isn’t that what everyone calls the extra tissue paper we feel obligated to put atop each gift bag?  If it has a name and you know it, let me know in the comments below.)

So in our cleaning with sock puppets (mine ate more dust than his), he came across a round box.  And being the fabulous little gent that he is, he asked if he could open the box before he removed the lid.

I gave him permission and watched him open Daniel’s box. It was given to us at the hospital when Daniel died.  In it I have put things that remind me of him over the years.

Blue knitted caps that were given to us.

Blue and white stones used in a flower arrangement at his funeral.

An ultrasound picture.

B was thoroughly confused when I told him that the ultrasound was a picture of my baby Daniel in my belly.

Lets be completely honest:  ultrasound pictures are not the clearest.  I remember thinking one of my children looked like a primitive dinosaur at one ultrasound…

Anyway, I could tell that B was a little confused and he always desires to understand everything in the world around him.

So I offered to show him Daniel’s baby book.  B absorbed every picture into his brain as I explained that Daniels’s body could not survive here on earth and he had to go to heaven to be healed.  And I reminded him that we would see Daniel in heaven one day!

But B kept looking at the ultrasound pictures asking if this was an eye and that a foot.

Then he looked at me with all the honesty of a little fellow trying to figure out this great big world around him and said, “When I was a baby, I was in….” and he looked like he could not find the words to articulate what he wanted to say.  He looked at me a few minutes longer and I realized he could not remember her name.  I said his birth mother’s name out loud.

He said, “Yes, I grew in her tummy.”

And I realized that there are two little boys in my life who live apart from their birth moms.

Daniel lives in heaven with Jesus.  And B lives with his aunt who is all he has ever known as a mother.

And in both cases it is good.  God’s plans don’t always make sense to us here on earth but we can trust that He is always at work and we are never alone on our journey.

I praise the Lord for providing shelter and protection to my little buddies B & D!

The Lord is the strength of his people;
    he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
    Be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:8-9

 

Our Day

Our Day

Today I found a new mission in life.  I had never even thought this would be on my radar, but alas, today I needed drugs and I had to travel far and wide to find them.

Yesterday, I woke up with my left eye a little irritated.  I got ready like normal and even put in my contact lenses, but soon discovered that my eye needed a break.  So I took them out and opted for my new glasses.  I thought I would just rest my eye for a day or two and all would be well.

This morning I looked at my eye and realized it was really red.   While it did not have a thick mucus like I had had at a younger age when I had the dreaded pink eye, it was not normal.  I read online and found that if you have a bacterial infection in your eye, it could clear itself up, but it could also cause permanent eye damage.

No, thank you!

I also read online some home remedies for pink eye or a bacterial infection.  Let me just amuse you with these.  If anyone has tried any of these, please let me know how it felt to do this home remedy and if it helped.  But I’ll be honest, as soon as I read these, my eye was hurting more than it had before.  Just read what the internet will tell you to try at home!:

HOME REMEDY #1:  Mix apple cider vinegar with distilled water and squeeze a soaked cotton ball on your eye.  

No way, Jose!  Not me.  I believe in all things with Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar…but only on my skin or in my tummy.  Lo siento, amigo.  

HOME REMEDY #2:  Mix baking soda with distilled water and apply to the eyelids.  

No, sir!  I will not be trying that at home!  

HOME REMEDY # 3:  Mix milk and honey and create an eye rinse.  

Really?!!??  Do I need raw milk or organic milk?  Should it be pasteurized?  Homogenized?  Will my eye stick together?  Do I follow-up this treatment with a warm water rinse?  

HOME REMEDY #4:  Brew a cup of chamomile tea and remove the tea bag.  Let cool and then apply to the eye.

I would be more willing to try this.  It seems almost like a normal idea 🙂  

HOME REMEDY #5:  Dilute fresh lemon juice with cold water and use as a rinse.  

If lemon juice on a cut hurts as much as it does, what would that feel like in my irritated eye?  Who wrote this list of home remedies?  Did they try them out?  

As you can tell, my internet research was not helpful.  If anything, I realized that if my eye had any bacteria in it, I could have some potential long-lasting effects so I called my eye doctor this morning and was so thankful that they had an appointment this morning!  I was praising the Lord all the way there!  (Sorry/not sorry for the comic…it made me laugh!)

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After he did all of his looking at my eye, the doctor determined that I had a bacterial infection and he would treat it with prescription eye drops.  His assistant verified our pharmacy and we headed there.

Upon arrival, I noticed a missed call from our pharmacy so I listened to the message only to find out that they did not have the drops in stock but could get them in a day or so.

Hmmm.

Then I pulled up to the drive-thru window to discuss my options with the pharmaceutical assistant.   She looked on the computer and said that they had at the drops at their other branch about thirty minutes away.

Here is where I will just confess my laziness:  there were four other (Maybe more) pharmacies within walking distance of our regular pharmacy, but because my insurance is on file with them and I don’t mind a little drive (and actually had another errand near the far away pharmacy), I just opted to go to the other same-brand pharmacy.  The assistant said she would transfer my prescription and call to make sure they had it ready for me.

How delightful, I thought!

When I arrived at the other pharmacy, the staff there looked at me like I had a third eyeball and quickly let me know that they did not have the eye drops in stock.  What?!?  How had that happened!?!  But this pharmacy offered to call all the other pharmacies in the county and see if anyone had them.

They did not.

So we tried one more pharmacy back in Boone and alas, they had them.  The only problem was that I had four children in tow who I had taken to Boone and then up to Ashe county and I was not about to make them ride back to Boone to get these drops.  I would just have to wait until Dustin was heading home for him to pick them up.

And he did.  Not only that, when he got home with them, he opened them and has been administering my eye drops so that I don’t have to try to navigate the eye drops in the eye without touching the eye scenario.  He knows me well.

But as I was thinking about all of this, I realized something.  I think we all are searching for something.  Running from place to place to find what we think we need.  Today I needed medication for my eye and I went all around the High Country to make sure I had what I needed.

But how often do we go out of our way and all around the town to get what we think we need.  Acceptance by a certain group.  Approval by that one person.  Love (in whatever love language you speak).

I am thankful that I got these eye drops today – my eye is feeling better already after two treatments!  But I hope that instead of running after personal gain all my days, I run after Jesus and seek Him because I need Him.  Every Hour.  Every Day.

Nothing else can fill the void left when we do not pursue Him.  I want to run after Him every day of my life and encourage you to seek Him and find Him!

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Deuteronomy 4:29

(And if you see me in the next two weeks, just remind me how nice my glasses look since that is all I can wear until my follow-up appointment!  Thanks!)