Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love Always Leaves A Mark

So, I first heard the statement in a book. The book was The Shack and in my humble opinion, you need to get up now and run to the store and buy it or click on the link and let amazon do all the work for you. Do it. It will change your life, I promise. Love always leaves a mark.

I must say that God gave me that name, he put it in that book and he knew that it would make a lasting impression on my soul. I read that line in the book over and over again. The first time I read the book about 4 years ago I skipped right over that line with not a thought in my head. But in September, when it seemed our world was falling apart, love always leaves a mark seemed to penetrate to the depths of my soul. You see, somehow it all comes back to love. It started with love and it will all end with love. Love is sort of like eternity, it never ends. I must say that when this life does end I hope our love scars will be visible in heaven. I hope that everyone will be able to see where I've loved another and where another has loved me. I'll have scars all over the place...

Scars of love from childhood; giggles with Daddy and cuddle-bugging with Mommy. Scars of love from a wedding gone wrong. Scars of love from the time and effort it took to form a marriage; pure and honest before the Lord. Scars of love from watching my nephews grow up and getting sweet kisses from them almost every day. Scars of love from that first pregnancy test to the day we held her lifeless body in our arms. Scars of love from all those hugs we received after August 13th. Scars of love from all those cards we still receive in the mail each week. Scars of love.

See, scars don't have to be bad. Some of my scars were due to being loved so deeply and laughing until it hurt but some of them are due to pain and suffering. God gives us many, all shapes and sizes. Your scars shout your story to this world. I am so happy that God gave me the scars that he did. I look at others and know that I would never want their scars, I want mine; the ones that God planned for me before I was ever even created. My scars show the love I have received and the love I have given. Love Always Leaves A Mark.

1 John 4:9
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.       

Jesus left some serious marks. He was compelled, by his love, to die. In The Shack God says "Love always leaves a significant mark..." Oh, let that sink in to your soul. My Jesus's love cost him everything! He died so that I might live. He died so that I could love. His love left a mark on me, another one that will be visible when I get to eternity. Elle has his love all over her right now, I just know it. It's beautiful; beautiful love. Let your scars be the same to you, beautiful because of the love of Jesus.

Let love leave a mark on you and let your love leave a mark on others.

So, the song above is new and I love it and I had to share it. It is very personal, so it seems, to the singer but the message is so true and clear in my life right now. He has been with me all this time...amen.

It was you and I
You've been walking with me all this time

Elle's Mommy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sweet friends

Check out these blog posts written about us, our Ellersley Grace and our blog...

Mom of Many Feet - this is a new friend of ours, she is a part of the support group we now belong to. It is full of wonderful families coping with loss.

For Now - this is an old, wonderful friend. No matter how far away or how long it's been, the Lord will keep hearts close for a lifetime through love and compassion for another.

We are a very blessed couple, the Lord has shown himself through so many people lately...Thank you Jesus for all you have given through friends in so many different places. I hope you all are having a wonderful week, it's Wednesday which means Friday is coming soooon!

Elle's Mommy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dear Ellersley

Today is your half birthday. I know to most people half birthdays are not very important but 6 months is a pretty big deal in the life of a wee one. I remember when Carter turned six months old. We bought him a present and we took it over that night and celebrated the first six months of his little life. Six months of soft skin, tiny cries and tons of smiles. Six months of naps on the couch together and lots of hugs and muahs ( in our family muahs are kisses, ya know like MUUUUAH, the noise you make when you are kissing someone...well some people make it! :) ).

Six months is a big deal. I look at other six month old babies that I know and I try to imagine what you would be doing. You, more than likely, would be rolling over, smiling a lot, crying when strange people hold you, trying some pureed food, telling lots and lots of stories, and most likely falling asleep with Daddy in the recliner for a Sunday afternoon nap. You would probably wake up in the morning with a big smile on your face and be kicking those long legs of yours. You would probably have a big indent around your little head from all the headbands I would make you wear. You would love them of course, like I tell Daddy, "It's painful to be beautiful." You would be loved to the moon and back a billion times over just like you are now. You would be Daddy's girl and Mama's very best friend.

Today, Daddy and I will take six balloons to the cemetery and we will send them up to you. You must be collecting them by now since we send some to you every month. I often wonder if you will have a big bouquet of balloons in your hand when we see you in heaven. :) Daddy and I wish that today your aunts and uncles were coming over to give you lots of presents and to give you big girl hugs and muahs. We wish that we were celebrating all the developmental milestones you have hit and all the fun we have had with you in the past 6 months. We wish we were watching your birth story and remembering what a joyous day it was.

Instead, today we will be celebrating our love for you and we will be remembering all the joy you brought to our lives for the 7 months and 1 week and 1 day that you were living inside of me. It's definitely something to celebrate but let's be honest, it would be a lot more fun if you were here. Daddy and I have been having a really tough time lately. We've just been sad and we are not sure how to fix it. We just miss you and it just plain sucks. That's all we can say; there is nothing else to say. No other explanation, no other details needed, it just sucks. I probably shouldn't say that word to you, chalk it up as my first mistake as a mommy. I'm sure there will be more, maybe :).

I love you and today I want you to know that I am so proud of you. I am so proud to be Ellersley Grace's mommy. I am proud to tell people your name, even if they can't pronounce it and don't like it. I am proud to tell the story of your big life. I am proud to wear a pin with your picture on it. I am proud to remind people of the sacredness of life and proud to tell them why I think life starts the second that stick shows two pink lines. I am proud to remind everyone that children are a blessing from the Lord. I hope that your Daddy and I are a forever reminder to all those who know about you that life is precious and it can be taken in an instant. Some days I'm sad that we are that reminder for people and I wish our sadness wasn't forced upon them but it is and most days I'm happy to wear it. I wear it proudly, not as sadness, but as joy that life begins in the womb. Your life began that cold February day and we were forever changed. Today we celebrate that; we celebrate your life. It was short but it was full. Full of the love and joy of Jesus; fuller than most know in a lifetime. You were one blessed little lady and you made us two very blessed parents. We love you sweet girl and we miss you to the moon and back a billion times over...

Sweet dreams sweet Honu,

Mommy and Daddy

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dear Mr. Deem

We are in the throws of the 1 year anniversary of conceiving our sweet Elle. You and I have been having a rough go since about the middle of January and we are just now starting to figure out why. Our bodies are tired, our eyes are swollen and our hearts are aching. We did not know that her half birthday would mean brokenness all over again. I am writing to you today to tell you how much I love you and how sorry I am that we must trudge this deep, dark trench together. We have loved each other for over 10 years now and that is just a plum miracle. I love your silliness, I love your calmness, I love your giggles, I love your dancing, I love your kisses, I love your holds, I love your big smile, I love your loyalty, I love your clear blue eyes, I love that Elle looks like you, I love your weird feet, I love your ability to do all things well, I love your patience, I love the songs you write, I love the way you sing, I love the way you play your guitar, I love your willingness to serve, I love the way you love Jesus, I love the way you love me...I love you. We have had many opportunities in our marriage to not love each other, too many if you ask me. Satan has thrown just about any thing he can at us in the short 10 years we have loved each other. We have survived...control, anger, hate, lies, depression, lust, adultery, selfishness, laziness, rage, self-pity, the black abyss, confusion, great loss, more confusion, more depression, intense sadness, more anger, more rage, seclusion...this list is too long. I can honestly say to you, my love, that I have loved every minute of it because I have endured it all with you beside me. We have gained so much from our 10 years loving each other...patience, love, understanding, perseverance, endurance, gratitude, loyalty, joy, healing, happiness, self-control, a complete relationship with Jesus, compassion, courage...this list also could go on and on. I am so thankful to God for what he has given me in you. You have become my Prince Charming, it did not happen right away but the wait has been worth it. You have taken care of me and treated me like your princess, trying to win over my heart. You have cherished me and my love; you have loved me for better and for worse. You make my juices in the morning and most of the time pack my lunch when I'm just too tired to do it. You step up to take over the mountain of laundry when I have let it go too long and you do the same with the dishes. You take care of the dogs because, well, I hate them. :) You manage the money well so that someday my lifelong dream of being a stay at home mommy can happen. You hug and kiss me before I leave and hug and kiss me when I come back. You work hard for our family and never complain about it. Your write beautiful songs for me and sing them to me with that love in your eyes. Did I say you are my Prince Charming? :) I love you more today than I did that first day 10 years ago. We have become one. We thought we knew what that meant when we got married 6.5 years ago but we had no idea. Our oneness has come through all of our pain. When I am down, you are up and when you are down, I am up. When I am mad, you are happy. When you are full of sadness, I am full of the Joy of the Lord. We complete each other, we are one. I need to tell you that I am so sorry that this time has come into our lives. We never thought that God would have this planned for us, well I didn't and I'm sure you didn't either. I want to thank you for staying, thank you for not bailing on me. There are a lot of men who would run; run away from the emotions, run away from the pain and run away from the difficulty. You have stayed and you have been a solid rock for our family. It has been difficult for you lately and I want you to know that Jesus and I are your rock. You can lean on us. We have been there from the beginning and we will be there in the end when our little girl runs to us. She is so proud of the man you are, she is showing you off to everyone in heaven. She gathers a crowd on Sunday mornings when you lead our church in worship and praise to Jesus. She laughs at all of your silliness during the evenings. She smiles when you smile and she cries when you cry. She is the sweet warm wind that blows in the summer and she's in the beautiful moon that shines in the winter. She is the pretty butterflies that follow us around and she's in the gorgeous sky every morning. She is with you baby, everywhere. She is a part of you. I am so sorry that she is not here and I would give anything and everything in this life if it meant she could come back. Someday...someday... I heard this song last night and it's perfect for how you and I are feeling right now. I love you and I am so excited to keep living this adventure with you, no matter what God decides to allow...

I love you Mr. Deem so very very much much much

Niwe :) (Elle's Mommy)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Leaf in Room 28

I walked around the corner and it smacked me in the 28 had the sticker with the leaf on it.

"A tiny leaf has fallen from the tree of life"

I volunteer at the hospital that Elle was born into. I started volunteering there in October. I knew that God was telling me to do it; to go back to the place where sorrow resides. Now, 4 months later, I know He wanted me to know that sorrow is not the only thing that resides there. There is Joy in that place; Joy and excitement and anxiousness and anticipation and dreams, lots and lots of dreams. There is newness and life; little tiny hearts that are beating wildly. There are Mommies and Daddies who are so nervous yet so happy; there are tears of Joy, for most.

There have been far too many deaths since I have started there in October. I was hoping that my presence there would somehow stop the cosmic forces and allow my sorrow to be the only sorrow there, but I was living in a dream thinking that would happen. There have been many and each one is devastating to me, the sorrow that those people are feeling punches me right in the gut and well, takes my breath away. This past Thursday was no exception.

I was stocking room 29, my normal duty there. I put all the linens in the rooms. I make sure all the Mommies have all that they need to be comfortable; towels and washcloths, those really sexy and self-esteem building mesh underwear, pee cups, gowns, blankets, sheets and pillowcases. I also stock the rooms with prayers; prayers calling down joy and peace and health and safety. I pray that those Mommies and Daddies will love their babies and treat them as the precious gifts that they are, I pray that they will know that God has given them a blessing that not all people get to experience. Well, as I was doing this, I was walking back to room 29 with arms full of towels and mesh underwear when I saw the sticker on room 28. 

I stopped in front of the room, in the middle of the hallway and just stared at the sticker. It all came rushing back to me. Our room, room 45, and our sticker and our silent room and our empty hearts. As I was standing there, a couple was walking toward me. I did not even see them. They stared at me as if saying, " Get out of the way chick". I just shook my head as they moved around me and I wanted to yell back "Hey, don't you know what that sticker means? You are going to see someone who has a baby but these people, they don't have a baby...theirs was taken!" After staring at the sticker for a while I realized that I had been in that room. I had just stocked room 28 two days before. My prayers were in that room. I had stocked that room for that Mommy and I had made up the baby bed for that baby that would never fill it. I had filled that room with prayers for joy and for safety and for peace. Tears filled my eyes as I slowly walked into room 29 to stock that room for the next Mommy and to fill it with prayers, again for safety and joy and peace.

I know now that my job there has nothing to do with me. Yes, the Lord wanted to show me, in his INFINITE LOVE, that joy does come out of that place and someday it will hold that for us. But, my job there is to pray. My job there has nothing to do with stocking shelves or cleaning IV poles, it has nothing to do with rolling heartbeat belts or working at the front desk. My job there is all about all those Mommies and all those Daddies and all those babies. It's about the Mommies that leave there with their babies and all those Mommies that don't. It's all about those prayers for peace and for strength. It's about the prayers for safety and for health. It's about the prayers for love and enjoying the blessings of God. God wants me to fill that place with prayers, and if that's the only thing I do there then that is good enough for Him.

I stayed close to room 28 most of the night, so curious about how they
 were doing. Were they surrounded by love? Were they feeling the effects of my prayers? Was joy around even though they were surrounded on all sides by sorrow? Was that Mommy and Daddy relying on Jesus? Did they know Jesus? My 'need to know' (as my husband calls it) needed to know! I didn't find out that night and I still don't know. All I can do is pray, I filled their room with prayers before they were ever even in it and I continue to pray for them now. Jesus knew who would be in that room and the prayers that they would need.

Next time you are running through the hospital to see that beautiful newborn baby, please fill that place with prayers. There may be tiny leaves there that have fallen off of the tree of life. Their families are there and they are in desperate need of the God who brings all peace and all joy. Those Mommies and those Daddies need it more than anything...

Jesus, be with the family in room 28. Be near to their hearts and bind up and mend all the brokenness. Bring them your peace that passes all the understanding that this world gives. Allow them to experience your joy in the midst of the sorrow. Bring a thankfulness to their hearts for the plan that you are always writing for our lives. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of praying for them before they ever even arrived. You knew, Lord, you knew. Thank you for teaching me all about prayer. Thank you for giving me your wisdom to see the things you are trying to teach me every day. Thank you for leading me to that place and allowing me to learn so many lessons there each week. I am in awe of the way you are intimately involved in my life every single day...

Elle's Mommy