Our baby is 3!

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We’ve been pretty busy since I last posted. Mainly with school and Andrew’s basketball. We also missed a week of school after Thanksgiving because everyone was recovering from a cold virus.

Here are some Christmas pictures I’ve taken:

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The girls and I went downtown to the Old State House.

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Celia sang a small solo in church.

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We celebrated Jacob’s birthday early (something I don’t like to do when they’re young) simply because I want to spread out the time between birthday and Christmas presents.

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He did great this year with opening presents. And he even managed to share his toys without too many tantrums.

Thomas the train cake.

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He didn’t know what to think when everyone sang.

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But he never has a problem eating dessert!

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Field Trip #3: Hi, ho; Hi, ho…

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…it’s off to dig we go! We finished our study of Arkansas history this week and took a trip to Murfreesboro.

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We surveyed the field

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and chose a spot to dig. Or, just really shovel dirt from side to side.

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After two hours of work, this was our haul.

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Buckets full of rocks. The brown and non-expensive kind. And hopefully they came home with great memories and an appreciation for the only public diamond mine in North America!

Capture Your Grief–Day 19. Give

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Tonight I’ll be taking a meal to a friend who had a death in her family this week. It’s something new for me  to do. Now, I’ve taken meals to others before,but it’s always been part of a group effort. Someone organized  a meal rotation and I took part.  But this time, I took initiative. I didn’t wait for a sign up sheet before I gave. For me, this is a big step. I don’t like going out on my own. But I have learned that part of the way we can comfort the grieving is to voluntarily provide for their needs. Don’t wait, just do it.

I didn’t realize that by volunteering to help them, I would be opening myself  to pain. It was through recalling our first  week after Cora’s death that I realized this friend needed some help. I remember the sheer exhaustion of grieving. I remember almost burning myself on a pot of boiling water. I remember how helpless I felt to  control anything and how grateful I was for those meals. My thoughts were consumed with what I needed  to do in the next few moments; I couldn’t plan even hours ahead. Nothing seemed to matter now that my baby was gone.

It was painful to watch them at church this morning. Attending church was difficult for me after both my losses. While the promise of heaven gives us hope, hearing references to heaven just  reminded me that I was here and my baby was there. It was hard.  And this morning I was again aware of all the references we casually make to life, death and heaven. But in the words from one of my favorite songs,”Pain’s the path to blessing.” Because of the  pain I feel, I can bless others. My pain does have a purpose. Cora’s legacy lives on.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

 

Capture Your Grief–Day 18. Gratitude

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Grief is really about focusing on what you don’t have. We cry because we no longer have that person we love with us. And  I think it’s normal and healthy to grieve. But God doesn’t want us to stay in the shadow of grief. The object of our grief shouldn’t become our life’s focus. Since “every good and perfect gift is from above,” today I will focus on the gifts God gives me each day. Some are serious, some not so much. Here’s an incomplete list, in random order.

1. My children

2.  My husband

3. Family living in town

4. Staying home

5. Being able to read

6. Listening to music

7. Coffee maker

8.  Internet access

9. Kid DVDs

10. A camera

11. Indoor plumbing

12. An insulated house

13. Hygiene products

14. Libraries

15. City, State and National Parks

16. Radar

17. Hospitals

18. Christian doctors

19. Soft bed

20. BSF

21. Flowers

22. Freedom to go to church

23. Electricity

24. my Bible

25. Medicines

26. Baby dolls, stuffed animals, and watching my children mother them

27. Owning a piano

28. Variety in weather

29. Changing seasons

30. A car

31. Mercies new every morning

Capture Your Grief–Day 15. Community

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Today we’re supposed to talk about how we feel about the community of bereaved parents. Carly Marie asks, “Where would you be without it?” My first thought was, it’s not the shared experience of pregnancy loss that has helped me wade through grief.  It was the Holy Spirit’s ministering through those women who understood. It was the Holy Spirit’s ministering through those who didn’t understand what I was going through. It was the Holy Spirit moving through the prayers of those who didn’t get to hug my neck. It was the community of believers who helped us.

Satan so wants us (or is it just me) to believe that we can’t minister to others if we haven’t experienced what they have. But God can use you if you’re willing. I think of the support from my childless friend, the couple we only see at church once a week, the women who bought us meals, the Facebook messages. Cherished memories of loving support. God wants to use all of us to help each other, period. There are no conditions.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;bearing with one another…. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Col. 3:12-14

Tonight at 7 p.m. in local time zones all around the world, families will be burning a candle in memory of their child. It’s called a Wave of Light and means a continuous light burning for 24 hours in remembrance of pregnancy and infant loss.

I bought a small pink candle and I’ll burn it next to her picture.

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But as I burn it, I won’t just be thinking of Cora. I’ll be thinking of others’ lights, who shone God’s love and grace when we needed it most, but whose lights are still a dim reflection of the Light of the World.