Thursday, April 30, 2009

This road called mourning...

Well there has been a lot going on with me this past week and I wanted to fill you all in. I want to be as open and honest as I can be as we walk down this road called mourning. As a disclaimer if our blog starts to depress you please stop reading it. Our intent is to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ in everything we do including mourning the loss of our girls. But if it's too much for you I completely understand.

Last Thursday it hit me all the sudden we hadn't picked out a head stone for the girls yet. I called the funeral home to get prices then I did a little looking online to get an idea of what I wanted. I found what I thought was the perfect headstone. It was upright and had one large heart with two doves. I thought that was really sweet because we had two babies with one heart (I know I was "reading" a lot into it.)

I decided I needed to go to the grave side and look it over and make sure it would be a perfect fit. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it in time because it was already getting dark so I was a little stressed driving over there. I did make it before it got dark then the hunt was on.

It was the first time I had gone back to the graveside since we had buried them and I had no clue where they were (Okay that's not true I had an idea of where they were, I just wasn't exactly sure.)

Once again our amazing photographer Margaret Lake saved the day. She came to the funeral to take pictures and she took a lot of pictures at the graveside. So I took the lap top to look through all the pictures until I found exactly where they were buried.





The place where they are buried is in area that all the children are buried, so all the graves are pretty close together. It just so happens that the child buried in front of them has an up right headstone. So here comes the problem if I got the up right one it would be blocked by the other headstone. Imagine if someone was standing about 3 feet in front of you, they would kinda be blocking you,... well, that's what it would be like.

So then I no longer wanted the upright one because you wouldn't really be ale to see it anyway. They make some that are slanted and I think we are going to go with one of those.

I'm sure this all sound so silly but it was such a big deal to me because this is really the only thing we are ever going to be able to buy our girls. Not that were into buying our kids crazy amounts of things but it's just hard knowing we never really need to buy them anything. I don't want to be crazy and spend a ton of money but I also don't want to regret not getting what I wanted.

It was a lot harder going to the grave side than I thought it was going to be. I wasn't sure if the grass would have grown over their grave, but it hasn't,... it was just really hard, compacted dirt which made me really sad. For some reason in my brain when I would picture going to their grave I always pictured myself running the dirt from their grave through my fingers. I know I think way too much. I was so sad that I wasn't going to be able to do that because I had waited too long.

So I started to break up the dirt with my fingers and I was able to run the dirt through my fingers just like I had always pictured doing. But then I didn't want to stop there I kept thinking about their little bodies being under there and it broke my heart. I just wanted to dig them up and take them home. I wanted everything to be fine. I didn't want to be sitting at my babies graveside I wanted to be snuggling with my babies on our couch.

As I was digging a little, not much, I found a huge rock I was so upset that there was a rock in there. Who knows why, I was just being crazy emotional. But then I realized that it wasn't a rock but a big chunk of clay. I tried to make a heart out of it but that didn't work out very well so I made two small balls instead.

It started to get darker and darker and I knew it was time to go but I didn't want to, I didn't want to leave my babies there alone in the ground. It was dark and they needed their Mommy. My heart was being ripped in two. I know that our babies were not there. They are in Heaven but I just wanted to share with yall my thoughts that night.

It was just as hard walking away from our babies that night as it was letting the nurse take them from us in the hospital.

I think that has been the hardest day I have had since the day they died. It is so strange because most of the time I am doing great. Then it just hits me and I'm a mess for a few days, then I'm fine. It's so crazy I really wish there was like a month after someone dies that you mourn then your fine but that's just not the case. It is an emotional roller coaster and I'm just so thankful that our hope is in Jesus. I don't know how people deal with loss without the Lord. God is strengthening us and sustaining us through this trial that He brought us to.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17


Vanessa

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tiny Treasures Tuesday - Kenya Sooths Crying Baby

It's been a long time since I have done a Tiny Treasure Tuesday post so I will refresh everyone on what it is.

I have an in home daycare. I love watching kids so on Tuesdays I fill y'all in on the going on's in my home :)


This is a video of Kenya "helping" Levi stop crying. Enjoy.

Oh and if you think she is wearing a diaper she is I am the most inconsistent potty trainer ever. But it works for us for some reason. She is in big girl panties most of the time but if I'm having an off day I am able to put a diaper on her and it doesn't really effect potty training.

FYI: I did pick Levi up at the end of the video.


video

In case you can't understand the songs Kenya is singing they are as follows (she joined 4 together):

Jesus, Name above all names
Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord
Emmanuel, God is with us
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong,...
Yes Jesus love me (3x) The Bible tells me so.

Soon and very soon we're going to see the king.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We are going to see the king,...


Oh and thank you all so much for your kind words about my new hair do.
Vanessa :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My new hair cut & the sweetest thing Kenya has ever said

Below is what my hair looked like when it was down which was only like four times a year.
Here is what it looked like most of the time. My hair is always in a ponytail.
And now look at my new hairdo...
I LOVE it! I walked in and Kenya said "oh mommy you so cute."

But that was not the sweetest thing she has ever said that is another story so here goes.

Kenya was talking on her play phone and this is exactly what was said.

Kenya on her phone: "Hi Melody Madison, Hi you my sisters"
Kenya talking to Me: "I talked to my Melody Madison"
Me talking to Kenya: "Really? What did they say?"
Kenya: "They said I want you Kenya."

How sweet is that!?! I cried but she didn't know. I talked to her about how we will get to be with them again in Heaven. She wasn't sad she just wanted to talk about them. I love that girl!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Story That Moved Me...

This was a moving story that I just had to share, below are my favorite parts (read the entire story here from "Take Your Vitamin Z" Blog):



"...After about 24 hours (after the Brown family decided to adopt this baby still in the womb) they found out that Matt had a rare condition known as hydranencephaly. This is a brain disorder where the brain fails to develop correctly. The front part of the brain is fluid instead of functioning tissue. The disease is a terminal, which gave Matt roughly 4-12 months to live. This condition technically deemed him unadoptable; normally one with this condition would become the property of the state where he would be institutionalized and made comfortable until he passed.

This placed the Browns in a very difficult situation. Do they go the hard road of the cross, knowing the gut-wrenching pain that would soon ensue from having to watch this child die or should they turn him back over to the state? They chose the former and I know today they can joyfully say with tears in their eyes that without a doubt that the phrase "it was worth it" doesn't do justice. It was beyond "worth it". It was true Christianity in action and provides a bittersweet joy that is beyond words.

My wife and I have learned much from the Browns. Oh how I long for more families like them! What would it look like in our culture of death for more Christians to be willing to take the hard road of the cross and lay down their lives for the poor, weak and defenseless...

...This section from one of their blog posts was especially moving for me. I think it will encourage you as well:
Matt doesn't respond positively to all the love and care we shower on him, and despite the fact that I knew in my head he wouldn't, I still want him to smile back at me. Instead of smiling, he either stares at me blankly or screams in response to my best efforts to communicate with him. The discouragment I feel at his failure to thrive only evidences the selfishness of my endeavors. Before Matt, I was tempted to believe I loved my children with at least an inkling of selflessness. I now know that I expect at least some return for my investment. At the very least, I would like a two-month smile and a 3-month squeal of delight in response for the long nights and endless feedings. I am humbled further to think of the earthly reward I am tempted to expect from my older children. Each day with Matt, it looks more and more like all of our reward is being deposited in heaven (or not, because God loves a cheerful giver, and sometimes, I am just not). Frankly, I am not all that happy about the choice of accounts. While I may have previously thought I wanted to deposit all of my treasure in heaven, I now know I am more or a 50/50 or even 75/25 kind of girl; I would like some treasure in heaven and most of it here.

It may be this very realization of further indwelling sin that God seeks to remedy in part through our love of Matt. I once thought we were called to care for orphans and widows in their distress because by caring for them, we would see buckets of fruit in our own lives. I now believe, we are called to selfless acts because in our attempt to selflessness, our selifishness is exposed. I am utterly incapable of selfless love apart from Christ at work in me. So, exposed and helpless in the wake of selfishness, we have no choice but to rest completely in Christ for salvation. By faith alone, we are saved. Through our attempts at "good" works, we become all the more aware of our need for salvation. Praise God that His grace and love cover us completely and instill in us the hope of heaven!

It is sin to seek self above the good that God has willed for our lives. Sin seprates us from the love that Christ has for us. It is this very separation--the separation that death embodies--that Christ died to overcome. Death stinks. We all hate it, but God more than hated death. He did something about it. Jesus came to overcome death once and for all at the cross. Our hope isn't in life now. Our hope, like it or not, is in heaven. Our hope is not in miracle cures, our hope is in a sound doctrine of suffering that begins and ends in the cross.

So, I am thankful for Matt because he has further exposed the blackness in my heart and my need for the the forgiveness found in Jesus. I am sick because I seek physical healing, signs and wonders, rather than the One to whom the signs point. Jesus is our hope. Spiritual healing is our calling and our destiny in Christ. Someday I will watch Matt run and play and laugh. Until we finally make it home, we rest in His finished work and long for its realization in heaven..."


(read the entire story here from "Take Your Vitamin Z" Blog)

Here is the link to the families blog.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cruise Pics Uploaded to Our Picasa

FYI: Just uploaded some of the pics with commentary on our Picasa page.

Cruise


Or just check out the slide show with commentary below:

Monday, April 13, 2009

We're Back!

Hello all, I just want to say we're back and we had a BLAST!
I'm way too tired to write a good post but I just wanted to say hi
and I will write more soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Savior & My God,...could not be held by death!

Oh glorious day! Death is defeated! Christ has risen from the dead! You may of heard this many of times, but I assure you, you cannot hear it enough. It is the most important event in human history. If He did not rise, then we all have no hope, and everything I believe in is in vain,...but HE IS RISEN!

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11





I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

- 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Savior & My God,...is still dead

Because we all know what happened on Sunday (Jesus' glorious resurrection) we tend to forget what happened that Saturday. Well, we really don't know because the Bible doesn't tell us anything that happened (except that it was their Sabbath so they rested). All we really know is that the body of Jesus was still in the grave.

But put yourself back in that time, put yourself in the apostle's shoes (err,...sandals). Imagine what the apostles thought that day. They had just seen their Savior die a horribly, bloody, humiliating death. This was the one they believed would bring the Kingdom,...this was the one they left everything for to follow, and He was dead.

As we read the Biblical narrative let's not forget that real people experienced this. Real people saw Christ die and had real emotions. They didn't have the benefit of just reading the next chapter to see that Christ would rise again (though they should of understood this because Christ said He would.)

Here are two hymns that are good to reflect on the death of Christ (the lyrics may not perfectly match the below video and I only put my favorite lines):

O come and mourn with me awhile;
And tarry here the cross beside;
O come, together let us mourn;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Have we no tears to shed for Him,
While soldiers scoff and foes deride?
Ah! look how patiently He hangs;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O break, O break, hard heart of mine!
Thy weak self-love and guilty pride
His Pilate and His Judas were:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

A broken heart, a fount of tears,
Ask, and they will not be denied;
A broken heart love’s cradle is:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O love of God! O sin of man!
In this dread act Your strength is tried;
And victory remains with love;
For Thou our Lord, art crucified!



Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.


Friday, April 10, 2009

My Savior & My God,...Died

This from 9mark blog:

"Gethsemane is not a field of study for our intellect. It is a sanctuary of our faith." Lord, forgive us for the times we have read about Gethsemane with dry eyes.

-- Frederick S. Leahy in "The Cross He Bore"

If your eyes need wetting, listen (or listen again) to this sermon by CJ Mahaney -- The Cup


I pray that the death of Christ is something that always brings tears to my eyes when I consider what happened that day,...the day my Savior Jesus Christ was killed at the hands of sinful men,...the day that He willingly laid down His life,...the day the Father was pleased to bruise Him.

I simply wanted to share with you a piece of artwork I did along time ago one year when I was meditating on passion week:


"let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
- Hebrews 12:1-2

--

Drawn October 2003 - charcoal and paper, based on a sculpture by Nino di Simone


And this my favorite hymn during this season sun by Fernando Ortega (and below that my favorite verses from that hymn [note not all are in the below video]):



O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The blog is sending out random emails???

I just got an email from our blog with a post from a few months ago I'm not sure why but if you got it too I'm sorry. It was talking about the fact that Melody and Madison would have been two months old that day. Strange huh???

Well Melody and Madison will have been in Heaven for 5 months on Saturday. It really blows my mind to think that they have been with the Lord for 5 months. I mean really think about that if you are a Christian that is something that you look forward to but can never know exactly what it will be like until we get there. But my girls are there and have been there for almost half a year. Wow praise God for that!


I'm doing a lot better if you can't already tell. Last week was hard but God is sustaining me.

So in other news Jason and I leave to go on a cruise on Thursday. I'm so excited I can't stand it. I was helping our amazing photographer Margaret Lake with a bridal show last year and I entered to win a cruise and we won. We had to go listen to a 2 hour spill about a time share that we did not buy then walked away with a cruise.

I didn't realize that I booked it for Easter weekend so I'm going to call and see if they have an Easter service on Sunday if not I'm going to see if they will let Jason do one. So please be praying for the Lord's will.

If you have ever been on a cruise please tell me what do I need to pack. I'm so worried I'm going to forget something.

Jason along with Allen and Dennis got ordained as Deacon's at our church and we are really excited about that. My husband's joy in life is to serve God and his family. We love our church and are so thankful that the Lord brought us there.

One more thing I'm sure you remember me telling you about baby Stellan well he has now been in the hospital for three weeks battling SVT which other than a really fast heart beat, I'm not exactly sure what that means but I know if he doesn't come out of it soon he will go into heart failure. So please please be praying for baby Stellan and the whole MckMama family. Check their blog for updates.

I wont update the blog while were away but as soon as we get back I will post lot's of stories and pictures. Ok maybe the next day but I will do it as quickly as I can.

P.S. Go check out the Serious Life Magazine we made in into the blog directory again :) www.seriouslifemagazine.com