Monday, July 26, 2010

Try it and See

This weekend I got to sing on worship team for the first time since I was pregnant with Ava. I was so excited to go to rehearsal ( my favorite part). I feel like I can really open up and connect with God and the music. As we got into it I realized that that was not how this rehearsal was going to go. My mind became flooded with all that I've forgotten how to do. Simple things like repeats, codas and such. It was a reminder that there is a vast divide between before Ava and after. The brainpower that it takes to focus on a task like that felt daunting.

Then there were the lyrics. We were singing in one song about letting the blind see and the deaf hear. There are so many verses in the Bible about those things. That is what I prayed for for Ava. That she could hear.

So then in order to make it through I thought about the lyrics in the context of the song. We were singing about the blind seeing and deaf hearing not literally. It was about opening up the hearts, eyes and ears of those who do not know God or don't want to know Him. I thought, OK, so I can do this. Whew. Who knew that even singing the word "deaf" would be so hard.

Another song on the We sing that "death won't hurt me now" and "death where it thy sting?". I tried to think about it in the context of the song. Of course what it means is that we are Alive forever, through Christ and His Resurrection. There is no sting in death and it can't hurt us, because it is not the end. It's the beginning. While that brings comfort to know that MY death can't hurt me or sting me as I will be in Heaven. I realized that death for those who are still living has quite a sting. Anyone who has experienced loss knows that.

So, on the way home I decided that I wasn't ready to do this. How could I get up and sing those lyrics? How could I make it though? I was ready to run, hide and never come out. I know that "God is Good" but how can I sing that when I have a wall up for actually worshipping? I get to some level, but to cross that threshold and let the Spirit flow through me is too painful. Too poignant. I don't want to crumble while there are witnesses, of course.

Or is that the reason? I truly believe in the Goodness of God and His Divine plan. I know that what is happening in our family is for His purpose and to bring Glory to Him. I am a willing participate, really. His love for us is what is keeping us together. I get that. But to go to that place right now where the music can flow freely and to be caught up in that type of worship? Really? How do I let go? Letting go leads to uncertainty of my response, while knowing that for certain I will find more ugliness I have to deal with, uncover and grieve.

It takes strength, desire and a willingness to try. It also takes a kick in the pants. U2's "Where the Streets have no Name" becomes my mantra. I want to run, hide, tear down some walls. I want to be with God, but I want to hide behind my walls. If I didn't try. If I called and told the director that I couldn't do it, I would still be stuck behind my walls. Thrashing and trapped.

Freedom comes from letting go and allowing God to move.

I knew if i didn't try it and see, I would be disappointed with myself. So that's what I did. I got up and left the house Sunday morning at 7:15 to make the half hour drive to church. I had no coffee (Allan forgot to turn the pot on and I didn't have time to brew it. I thought about filing for divorce, but I guess we have to exercise forgiveness on a daily basis), and no speaking voice thanks to my germ mongering bugs. Armed with a bottle of water, a sleepy mind and body I was off, mostly comatose.

I practiced. I envisioned a coughing fit so I could skip singing during the two services. I had very low expectations. I met my goal, I stood up there and I sang. All I wanted was to get through it. And I did.

Something transformed in the second service. My walls were crumbling and my guard was down. I was able to worship, not just sing. I got choked up, because the deaths of my children stings and hurts me and it's indescribable. On the flip side my mortality is not painful. It's welcome. God's love for me and you is indescribable and uncontainable too. That's worth the risk to try it and see.

Friday, July 23, 2010


If you would pray for Emily that would be great. She is super sad right now. It breaks our hearts to watch this. When Alexa and Elaina were going through their intense grieving phase were more numb than we are now. As hard as that was to witness and deal with, at least we were "padded". Now that we are able to think a bit past tomorrow, it makes it all the more poignant to watch her go through her steps.

The other thing is that I have to fight with my need to not want to watch it. This is Emily's storm and we have to ride it out with her while God navigates her ship.

She is so deep and compassionate. That is awesome, but on the flip side she feels things deeply and they tend to be a little locked tight. She is happy go lucky by nature and wants to see the good in her world. This is hard for her. To be so disappointed. She is recalling big events and has big questions. Some of which make me sad to hear since what we thought was a good decision, is hard for her today.

At the same time I think that there may be a certain level of "milking" it. I need wisdom to discern which is which so we can act accordingly. It's a fine fine line. One that we are walking as well when we are low on the patience and tolerance.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cleanliness May Actually be Next to Godliness

I knew it has been a long time since I posted, but had no idea how long it actually has been. Part of the reason for my silence is because we suddenly got busy in a good way. In the recent weeks I feel a bit of a reprieve from the looming cloud of grief. I see that the bugs are feeling that as well. We are transitioning, and that is a good thing.

Since my last post I have a couple bugs that are jumping into, head bobbing and taking some strokes in the pool without a life vest. I have a still very excited bug about being oh-fishally- big. I have a bug that can put ponytails in her dolls hair. I have a bug that learned to use the toaster. I have a bug that loves to get dressed by herself and a Mommy who lets her be ,mismatched and backwards as long as we aren't going out in public.

We've picked blueberries and strawberries, we are on a second planting of beans. We color and paint. We have a new front door and storm door. We bounced and slide at Pump it Up. We toured Herr's Chip Factory. We've celebrated the birth of our country. We ride bikes, splash in puddles. We got caught in a downpour.

I am now beginning to plan ahead, and it's not too overwhelming for me. The past is still muddy and long. My concept of time is still off, but I can see past the next minute.

The Joy-Hope Foundation is becoming more defined and solidified. We had a great time hosting Mom's Marketplace. Allan and I have been working a lot lately. We've gone out on a date and even watched a movie one night. I baked cookies, and made play dough.

Along with this the house is getting more organized, the bugs are becoming more polite and helpful. We are working on correcting bad habits that formed as a result of Mommy and Daddy having a lack of energy to follow through. We are talking more, cuddling more and trying to listen to the bugs' needs. You know we are becoming more "checked in" parents instead of "checked out".

I organized my pantry. It took a long time. I had to purge a lot of things in it. Staples I stocked up on at a good price so I could be creative with my Christmas baking, meals for the winter. A simple task became a project of purging. I slowly go through Ava's things, and have to step back. It's too overwhelming sometimes. When I enter that room, I know that there will be pain in purging. When you go to clean out your pantry, you aren't really expecting pain in purging. Really I love to throw things out and sort them. This time, I was faced with another reminder that our life stopped for a year. Crackers that were stale, chips that were old. Into the trash.

The thing is is that after the purging of the bad stuff comes the reorganized, restocked and fresh pantry. A pantry that is ready to accept a new challenge and not get bogged down by the build up. I look in it and see it as a metaphor for where I am right now. That is why I do all that we have been doing these last few weeks.

It's amazing to me. We were getting ready to spend the day at the beach on Thurs. I was remembering the sense of urgency I felt when we went down last year. I was in my third trimester with Ava. I felt like 'I'm not going to let this baby hold me back. I can do what I want because I, of course, am super mom!' I felt a sense of urgency to capture fun moment with the bugs before the baby was born and we were on hold for awhile. We thought about what it would be like the next summer with 4 kiddos on the beach. I was bound and determined that I would manage it and we would have fun.

Well, I did manage. We did have fun, but I didn't feel the sense of urgency to have a great time before my life was turned upside down. Instead I watched my bugs play on the beach and experience the world God created. I soaked up the beauty of the day. Then we came home and I opened up my pantry. I realized that we just need to be ready to accept what comes next and not be overwhelmed by the waves, in the ocean or of surplus expired crackers or from whatever shall come next.

Friday, July 2, 2010

On the Horizon

What is that feeling? It's faint yet familiar. I remember it, like an old friend you reconnect with on Facebook after 20 years. Hazy memory, then memories flood back and the synapses firing on all cylinders.

Ahh, yes. It's EXCITEMENT. And it feels good. I hope it stays for awhile.

The Joy-Hope Foundation is well on it's way to going "live".

We are having a Christmas in July Mom's Marketplace on 7/10/10 from 9:30-12:30. Can't wait to highlight handcrafted items made by my friends, my family and myself. There will be Tupperware too! (If you want details, email me or check facebook).

Elaina is potty trained and not looking back.

Emily and Alexa are over their tummy bug and are helping out around the house. They constantly amaze me with their huge imaginations and compassionate hearts.

I think I'll ride this wave while I can.