"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Friday, July 30, 2010

7 Months

Every month I want to say "seriously?" when I write how many months it has been. This one snuck up on me. I knew it was this week, but I didn't even realize yesterday was the 29th until after lunch. (We headed out early and didn't get back home until after lunch.) I really didn't feel guilty. I was thankful that we had spent the morning having fun instead of moping around. I saved that for today. LOL

Last night I had an orientation for our preschool homeschool group. I knew of one baby that would be there, maybe 2, but was slightly taken back when there were 5, and all of them were girls. They were younger than Janie Beth would be now, but I have trouble thinking of her as older or bigger than the little infants that snuggle up on your shoulder and sleep with their little mouths open. It didn't totally put me down, but I did kind of stare off some, thinking and wondering.

Today makes 7 months since Janie Beth went to Heaven. I tend to have more trouble on the 30th because it was our day with her. I have just been in a funk today and getting down on myself in other areas. I still don't bake hardly and I have to make myself read with the kids. I do fine on good days with the reading, but it is still something I have to make a conscious choice to do. I know that sounds crazy to some, but it is the way it is. I pray as I choose to read and bake it will get easier each time. On my hard days I don't do much of anything, but those days are fewer and further between.

I asked Joey to come home this afternoon so I could go to Hobby Lobby and get new things for Janie's grave. They were having a sale. Woo Hoo! I picked out the flowers and then went hunting for a new flag and things. WELL.... Christmas has taken over Hobby Lobby!! I could have cried in the store because they didn't realize that I needed garden things out all year so that I can take care of my baby girl's grave. I was able to find some wooden flowers that I am going to paint. I got 4 tulips, one for each of her siblings, and one daisy for her that I can put her picture in. They will sit in front of her stone in place of her current 4 flowers. I am going to go searching online and look in Michael's for a new garden flag.

I sat with her for about 30 min, all I could handle in this heat. I tended to her area. I accidently broke her pinwheel. I talked to her and talked to God. I read through Psalm 30 while I sat there. God reached out to me through it! I am going to type it as I read it while sitting there as a prayer.

I will extol You, O Lord, lift me up, and do not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I am crying out to You, please heal me....I will sing praise to You Lord, and give thanks at the remembrance of Your holy name. Your anger is bu for a moment, Your favor is for life; we are in the night weeping, may Your joy come in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved." Lord, by Your favor make me a mountain that will stand strong; Your face seems hidden, and I am troubled. I am crying out to You, O Lord; and to You I am making supplication: "What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!" Please turn my mourning into dancing; put off my sackcloth and cloth me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

We are in a desert right now as we search for a church position. There are oasis' in the desert of grief, and we are at a time in our journey where we are need of an oasis, not just a mirage.

Here are some new pictures of Janie Beth's spot. Sorry for everything being crooked. LOL I guess it is a crooked day for me. :)

Here is her name on the back of her stone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Surprise

My dear husband got me a great surprise!!!

It is a pillowcase. :) Now I get to sleep with my baby girl. :) Although, her head is bigger than mine. LOL It brought tears to my eyes when he brought me back to our room. He is a special catch!!! God blessed me to let me walk this journey with Joey Karr!! So, she now has another special spot in our house! All the kids want one too. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photo Album & Things

I had to get some of Janie Beth's pictures printed and I ended up getting 164 4x6's. LOL We bought a photo album yesterday. I am so excited to have them in our house!!! The pictures make her more real. They are tangible. I have all her pictures on my computer and can look at them anytime, but I can touch these pictures!! I can't wait to get the rest of her pictures printed, but for now I am very happy with what I have. :) One day I hope to scrapbook everything. One day!

It did take me a little by surprise that it felt so much more real. It was hard at times to sort because it brought the memories back more fresh. Her album sits on a little table between the kids little recliners, at least for now.

She also has other spots in the house. I took pictures today to share. :)
Here is the album.

Her molds and imprints. I am going to paint the prints, but haven't yet.

The flowers on the left are from the roses Joey gave Janie Beth and I for Christmas. I dried them. The picture is of pictures of her name. The other roses are from my MOMs club. There is one rose for each member of the family, except Joy Michelle.

Here are her animals and blankets. The pink one is my Janie Beth lamb.

A close up of the shelf.

Here is her basket with some other animals that are hers.

Her ornament from String of Pearls.

Some special little things on my dresser. The cross says "You Are A Child of God". She is more than an angel, she is a child of God.

Here are the bracelets from Sufficient Grace Ministries. I love looking at them, wearing mine and KJ wearing hers. I believe Joy Michelle may get a picture with Janie Beth's on. :)

If you noticed there are 3 different windmills scattered amongst her things and a little pitcher. They are from Holland. My dad's family lived in Germany for a few years when he was a teenager, and I got those after my Granny died. They are special to me and windmills are free in the wind like Janie Beth. :)

Thank you for letting me share Janie Beth's special places with you!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Apology

I want to apologize to anyone that I may have hurt with my last post!!! I am sending you (((HUGS)))!!

I never meant to hurt anyone, but knew when writing that I could easily with the way I chose to type things. I really shouldn't have even written the post. Now, I am wondering whether to delete it. It was more something to flesh out with God because it was about my feelings. And we all know how feelings can go!!

It really took me off guard that I was affected the way I was because normally I am not. I guess this is a good lesson for me on finding my way with new people. :)  I tend to focus on the kiddos I have here, and I usually recognize that God puts everyone through different trials and my trials are no worse or no better than anyone else's. They are different and they are for me. My trials do not make me better than anyone else either.

I believe God had to remind me today of those things! I am not entitled to anything. This is the journey I have been called to walk and everyone else has their journey that God has called them to walk, and who am I to compare them!! How arrogant of me!!

Abba Father, may You forgive me for my arrogance and hurtful words. I know words can do just as much damage as punches. You have even told me that my tongue is sharper than any two-edged sword. Forgive me for letting it wag away. May You tame my tongue and change my heart. Mold me into the woman that You want me to be. Help me to be there for others in their pain, and never to think that my pain is greater. Lord, You are so loving, may You instill some of that lovingkindness in me. Thank You for Your forgiveness!!! Help any that I have hurt to be able to forgive me. And may You bless them and hold them close and bring special comfort to them during this journey of pain that they are on or have been on. Thank You for Your mercy and grace!!! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

How Do You Explain?

Since we have started at a new church, most of the people there do not know the journey we are on. When asked which baby Joy Michelle is I answer 5. I am sure people wonder when they see us where the missing child is. :) Joey asked for prayer for Joy Michelle a couple weeks ago in Sunday School and said that we had lost our last baby girl in December due to a rare disorder. Well, they don't really have a clue what that means.

This past Sunday, our teacher told us that most people in the class had been touched by that and even he had through his children. I so wanted to say ours wasn't a miscarriage because I assumed he was talking about that. I should have asked him what he meant. I wanted to clarify that our baby girl lived. She was carried almost to term. She has touched my life beyond words. She has changed our family. I do not want to make it sound like Janie Beth is more important than a miscarriage, but she affected me far more than either of my miscarriages did. I have walked the miscarriage road twice, and Janie Beth's journey is far deeper. When counting my children, I do not count the miscarriages, but I do think about them being in Heaven and wonder who they are. Janie Beth already knows. :)

I felt her move. I saw her precious body on u/s with her heart beating. I held her body. I bathed her. We have many pictures of her. We knew she wasn't going to live, but we carried her with us and tried our best to cherish every moment.

How do you explain to someone the impact such a precious life has made on you when they weren't there to watch the journey from the beginning? How do you do it without disgarding their pain over their loss? One person's pain over one thing can be just as deep as someone else's over another. Grief affects us all differently.

I may ask next week if there are any in the class that have lost an infant. I think I felt bad that I hadn't spoke up for Janie Beth. We knew her. She has a special place in our family.

I know this is all part of the journey and it will get easier in time and every situation is different. That was the first time I had been faced with that particular situation, and I felt like I downgraded Janie Beth by not saying anything. I think in reality, it made me miss her. It is hard to have someone touch your life so deeply and not be there. No one can see except God, or those that walk the journey with us.

Being new is never easy! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Devotion Today

I was asked the question a couple days ago whether I ever get to the point where I ask God has it been enough now, or what else are we going to have to go through. Those are some powerful questions!! And, yes, I have found myself asking them. I have been pondering them ever since I was asked. At first, I thought maybe I didn't ask them really. But, in reality, they are just phrased slightly different, but mean the same thing. I said that when I start asking those questions I try to put my focus back on God, and I try to just take life one day at a time. If I look too far in the future, then it gets a little overwhelming, and I wonder when?. How long? What are You doing?

When pondering things, God usually shows up. ;) I will admit that I didn't pull myself out of bed this morning, so I just finished up my devotions a little bit ago, but nonetheless God showed up when I sat to meet with Him. (Isn't He great!?!) I read the end of a week about The Enemy and the beginning of the week about The School of Sorrows. In those 2 short pages, God was Big! Then, He was in my other book too. :)
So, let me share what He taught me...

First off, the Enemy (Satan) is out to get me to doubt and fear and anything that goes against God. Questioning and feeling sorry for myself are 2 of his big attacks on me! When I begin to question what God is doing, or not doing, then I have pulled the focus off of God and onto myself. Yes, I am attacked, but my God is more powerful and He will work it all to my good and His glory. Often times the attacks of the enemy lead to me being a student in The School of Sorrows. (Now, there are times when sorrows come that aren't a direct attack of the enemy, but we really don't know the difference between the 2 because we can't see what is going on in the heavenlies.) Anyways, The School of Sorrows is where I learn. It is where I grow and God teaches me. Here are some quotes (The One Year Book of Hope, by Nancy Guthrie, p.209)

suffering nourishes even as it causes pain

And yet to grow in God is to enroll in a difficult school where character is built out of persevering through difficulty.

Would you say to God even now, "If I have to go through this, then give me everything. Teach me everything you want to teach me through this. Don't let this incredible pain be wasted in my life?"

This last quote really got me! I have told God to let me learn everything I need to learn about waiting now as we wait for a job because I do not want to go through this again. But, I have forgotten that! I have begun to look at the time and lost sight of what God is trying to teach me. As the money dwindles, I need to seek how God wants us to live and not how the world thinks we should live. As I grieve my baby girl, I need to seek God on how He wants her life to change mine. I wouldn't trade Janie Beth for anything! I have been so blessed by this journey. I don't think I would trade our lack of money and a job either. It has drawn Joey and I closer. It has shown us what God wants from our family. It has given me a biblical worldview. Most of the time! I needed to be reminded.

These are the verses quoted from The Message in the devotional.
1 Peter 4:1-2
Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning rom that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

OUCH!!! That one hurt! I had fallen into the trap of thinking what I was going to get out of this journey. I had started to think that God must have something really good for us. Yikes!!! We are so ready to serve God where He has called us, at least we think we are. :) I do think that whatever God has will be good for us, but it may not look that way from the world's point of view. That is hard to swallow sometimes. But, in my heart, all I truly want to do is touch lives for Jesus, wherever that is.

I must share a quote from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, p.146.
The fire did not arrest their motion; they walked in the midst of it. It was one of the streets through which they moved to their destiny. The comfort of Christ's revelation is not that it teaches emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow.

No, this wasn't the road I would have chosen, but do I really know best. ;) God has truly blessed me on this road.

Here is a poem that was in this same devotion in Streams in the Desert.
"The road is too rough." I said;
"It is uphill all the way;
No flowers, but thorns instead; And the skies over head are grey."
But One took my hand at the entrance dim,
And sweet is the road that I walk with Him.

"The cross is too great," I cried--
"More than the back can bear,
So rough and heavy and wide,
And nobody by to care."
And One stooped softly and touched my hand:
"I know. I care. And I understand."

Then why do we fret and sigh;
Cross-bearers all we go"
But the road ends by-and-by
In the dearest place we know,
And every step in the journey we
May take in the Lord's own company.

Just a side note: I changed my background today, and it is called one heart in the clouds. :) I know heaven isn't really in the clouds, but a piece of my heart is there, and I thought this kind of expressed our journey.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Survivor's Guilt

Janie Beth, I miss you precious girl!!! I miss you more the more I get excited about your baby sister. My arms long to hold you and hug you. I feel as though I am walking on a tight rope. I miss you more as I get excited for your new little cousin to come. I am so full of emotions right now.

I dreamed the other night that I had had the baby (it ended up being a boy, which is a fear I have. LOL) and I went to church. Someone else had the baby and I walked into the auditorium and was overwhelmed with missing Janie Beth. I can still feel that feeling right now. It was unreal. I just curled up on the floor and cried in my dream. I haven't been able to shake that feeling. I realized more than ever that Joy Michelle will not make everything better. I will always miss Janie Beth.

Joey, my all wise hubby :), thinks that I may have a form of "survivor's guilt" with being excited for Joy Michelle, which makes me long for Janie Beth more. It sure makes sense to me!! I know God will help me find my footing on this new path that I find myself on. The journey of grief is ever changing! Curves come with no warning, and there are many forks in the road with none being easier than the other just different.

I am actually feeling better at this moment than I was when I started this post. There was a 15 min break or so where I just talked to Joey. It helps to talk to others. I also took a minute to pray my favorite verses (Eph 3:20, Num 6:24-26). All I need to do is reach out to Him and He is there!

I even let myself cry, and that tends to help me too! I feel cleansed. LOL God gave us tears for a reason.

Last night I even came across tears in the Bible.
Psalm 126:5-6
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for owing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Thank You, Abba!!!! You are so gracious!!

We (the kids and I) went to visit Janie Beth last week. I wish someone could have taken a picture of us. :) Katie Jo brought her Bible with us and wanted us to read Genesis 1:1. We actually read a few verses. We all sat around her headstone. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of the kids sitting down, but I do have one of Eli. It was nice to go and sit with her. I know it is crazy, but I like having pictures of the kids with her stone since she isn't here. I really hope to freshen up her stuff soon!! Everything is so faded from the sun. As I was thinking about a picture of us sitting there, I thought about what we would have looked like to God looking down at us. :) I thought that maybe He called Janie Beth over and pointed us out. :) I know that probably didn't happen, but it still made me smile.

Here is Eli... I was going to get a picture of him looking at the stone, but he turned and said "cheese". LOL

Friday, July 16, 2010


Yesterday we met a friend at the water fountains in town. The kids had a blast!! Here are a few pictures... (Ok, it ended up being more than a few. :) How do you chose!?! LOL)

Eli was a little timid. :)

"Sleeping Giant"

That is exactly what grief is. :) It has gotten better, but there are still those days where the sleeping giant awakes. It almost always catches me off guard, just like Pearl Harbor. Although, just like Pearl Harbor, there are some subtle things that forewarn me, it is whether I chose to recognize them or not.

I am thankful that I can remember Janie Beth with love and joy most all of the time. Someone mentioned that it seemed to get easier after the 6 month mark. I am not far past that, but I find that to be true. Although, I do believe 9 months and 12 months will be difficult. I find that the months that are significant to an infant are significant in my grief. If that makes sense?

The sleeping giant awoke on me the other day. I didn't expect it in the least. We pulled out the swing and bouncy to sell to a friend, and I was not in a good mood!! You really didn't want to mess with me. LOL I think it got better once I realized my problem. I can't tell you why it made me angry. I didn't think about how she should be using them or anything like that. I was just angry.

I am working on my guilt. I believe a major source of my guilt is the fact that I want to get things in order for Joy Michelle and I never did for Janie Beth. I had a very hard time buying anything for Janie Beth, before I ever knew she wouldn't live. I am letting myself feel my excitement a little more each day.  I am checking out yard sales to see if there are any I want to go to tomorrow. :) I am robbing Janie Beth and Joy Michelle when I don't do anything!

I realized last night that Janie Beth has an impact on Joy Michelle's life. She has impacted each person in our family! We each have a sleeping giant of grief. Last night, Josiah was sad that Janie was in heaven. Katie Jo was feeling guilty, I think, for being excited about Joy Michelle because she felt that Joy was taking Janie's place in our family. We discussed how everyone in our family has their own place and no one else can take it. She is doing much better now and is more outwardly excited. Eli actually hugged my belly yesterday, although, in his little mind it is Janie Beth. It doesn't bother me, but I know that giant in him is very confusing! We usually discuss where Janie Beth is and that this baby is Joy. :)

Amazingly enough the giant laid quietly yesterday after another first. I saw someone at Wal-Mart that I hadn't seen since I was pregnant with Janie Beth before we knew about her dwarfism. She asked how the baby was. It was ok with me to tell her that she had passed. Of course, I wanted to stand there and tell her every detail and all the amazing ways she touched my life, but it was ok that I couldn't. It gave her goose bumps. I thought that was special. :) I know I am warped. LOL Janie Beth may impact her life now as well, and she never met her or knew that she was gone. She will hug her little girls tighter and love them deeper.

I am thankful that my giant lies sleeping most of the time, or maybe I am just learning to tame it. My giant is being held down by a bigger giant, LOVE. When I fill my heart with love and thankfulness for Janie Beth, then the grief giant can't rise as much.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Peek into My Heart

I organized a total of 9 buckets of clothes yesterday, 5 of which are huge. (Joey brought them in the house for me and back out to the garage. :) Using his strong, manly muscles.) Now, 4 of those buckets will be sold at our semi-annual Kid's Market, 3 in the fall and 1 in the spring. I feel as though I accomplished something.

There were some baby things in there, not much and various sizes, but there nonetheless. I had a Joy Michelle pile, and she now has a bucket (it has other misc things in it too, but her name is written on the outside). It felt weird for me to write her name. I have to think and make sure I don't type Janie Beth. As I put the tape on the bucket with "Joy" on it, I wondered if I would have to take the tape off because she might not make it home. This is a reality I live in now. My Mom bought Joy a couple outfits, and I wondered as I hung them in the closet if she will get to wear them. I haven't pulled the baby girl clothes out in front in the closet. Katie Jo's dresses still hang in the front. I don't know when I will rearrange that. I am not sure when I will wash Joy Michelle's stuff. I want so badly to set things up, but then I pull myself back because we still have a while, and I don't want to have to pack it back up.

The week before we went to UAB with Janie Beth, we re-arranged the rooms and put up the crib. I was 27.5 weeks. It was so hard to come home and see Janie Beth's things up around the house. I know that is part of the reason I have trouble thinking about putting up Joy Michelle's things. We have a sleeper that hangs in the living room, and her ultrasound picture is on the frig, but those are the only signs that she is coming.

I am not sure if I am ready for the rush of emotions putting up the crib will bring. We will not use the swing, bouncy seat, or carseat that were bought for Janie Beth. The carseat expires this year, but the other things were not what I really wanted for Janie Beth and I just can't bring myself to use them for Joy Michelle. They still aren't what I want. I will be selling them. I went through Janie Beth's clothes, just by looking through them in the closet, and I believe I will be able to use them without a problem. Although, I will buy a few things for Joy Michelle to wear because there isn't a whole lot and I never know until I go to put it on if I can do it.

There is a part of me that feels that setting up Joy Michelle's things leaves Janie Beth behind. I know that isn't really true and Janie wants us to enjoy Joy (hee, hee). I play tug-of-war with myself. I know I will find the balance in time. I would never not want Joy Michelle, I just want Janie Beth too. :) Maybe there is a bit of guilt in me for feeling excited for Joy. I know I need to move beyond that, and I pray I can now that I realize what it is. Part of the solution is realizing what the problem is. I never had the desire to buy much for Janie Beth. I felt so different during her pregnancy. I knew somewhere deep in my heart that things weren't right. Joy's pregnancy is so different. It hurts my heart. I wanted Janie Beth's to be different too. But, I will change my focus now!! I will be thankful for the precious time I had with my beautiful baby girl!!!! I will smile through my tears! I will embrace the gift of Joy Michelle that God has graciously given me. I will let myself be excited and blessed for however long she is in my life!

I do believe if I let myself completely let go and be excited I will break down. I know that sounds ridiculous, but there you have it. If I let the hope and joy truly fill me, then I will cry because I am so blessed and grateful. I feel so unworthy to be as blessed as I am.

My gratitude does not just come from being pregnant again. I am grateful for Janie Beth! I am grateful for the ways she has touched my life and others. I am grateful that God wanted to draw me deeper and closer to Him.

I am overwhelmed with mercy and grace that God bestows on me!!!!
"There is no foot print too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world..."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How Am I Feeling?

That is the question I have heard the most since finding out Joy Michelle is a girl. Just typing her name looks funny. :)

It feels surreal. Are you sure this is happening to me? Something seems to be going in a good direction? There really is a rainbow in this storm? I am afraid if I pinch myself I will wake up.

I think it is beginning to sink in. I am trying to let go and be excited! I still wonder if we will get to bring her home. I want to enjoy every minute. I want to get everything ready, but then I try to take a step back. I don't need to get the cart before the horse, and there is nothing to get ready right now. :) Although, I am organizing closets today. Have I ever mentioned that I love to organize and clean? LOL (Yes, I know I am a dork. :))

There is fear too. Fear that Janie Beth will be forgotten. Fear that I will call her Janie Beth. Fear that I will squeeze her too tight. Fear that she will be early and have to go to the NICU. Fear that she won't even get to come home.

I could sit and watch her ultrasound over and over. She looked perfect! Everything measured perfect! She is just the way God created her. Seeing her skinny long legs made me want to squeeze Janie Beth's short little chubby legs. After seeing her, I wonder what she will look like. Is she going to be tiny like Katie Jo. Will she look like both of her sisters (they looked just alike almost)? What will it feel like to hold her? Will she cry? What will that sound like?

I am so full of emotions I can't type them all. I think some emotions will surface in time as we continue on this journey. I think I am still trying to grasp the reality that she is a girl and she looks healthy.

When the doc was through taking measurements and said she looked good, Josiah asked if her chest was big enough. Katie Jo then asked if her lungs were big enough. It brings a tear to my eye just remembering. They want this baby just as much as Joey and I do. They miss Janie Beth too. Josiah did awesome with telling the doc which baby parts we were looking at. Maybe we have a doc on our hands, but he was totally grossed out when he found out the doc catches the baby with his hands. LOL He thought they put a basket or something down there to catch it. :)

I have realized just how much I want Joy Michelle and how excited I really am. Now, I just need to let myself feel that!! Easier said than done sometimes!

I did pull the small buckets out from under my bed yesterday and looked at what I had in them. One of them has things that were for Janie Beth. It flooded me with her memories, but there was only 1 item that I had to put in Janie Beth's things that I didn't think I could let Joy Michelle wear. I believe God will guide me as we go through Janie Beth's things. I have put most of what I felt was hers in my trunk, but I know I will come across some more. God will walk with me through the rest of this pregnancy!!

Joy Michelle will be joining many little girls being born this year. Her cousin will be just a few months older, and she has many friends that will be in the same school year with her. :)

I just keep telling God "THANK YOU"!! And then I ask for one more rainbow in this storm by giving us a church to serve on staff in. I know that it is all worked out too and God is sovereign and in control, and I just pray that this is the beginning of the clouds lifting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's A...

GIRL!!!! Joy Michelle measured exactly as she should. She looks great! I will post more later on everything, but wanted to share this news.

Am I Ready??

I am not sure that I am trully ready for this day. The only way that I know I am somewhat ready is the fact that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Am I ready to see this baby? Am I ready to find out the gender? Am I ready to hear if there is a problem? Am I ready to accept this little one? Am I ready to have a name and prepare a little? Am I ready to let go? Am I ready for the memories that will flood me? Am I ready for the rest of this journey?

I expected to have some nerves and to be a little anxious as we approached today, but I was surprised by the onslaught of memories and deep missing of my baby girl. I should have realized that this day would bring back memories of Janie Beth's ultrasound. But, I really didn't expect to long to hold her so much. She has been very close to my heart over the last week and even more so as we approached today. I even held my Janie lamb last night. My arms ache for her and tears are always just a blink away. 

I wonder at how I will love this new little one while loving and missing Janie Beth. I know I can because I see others do it. I guess it is like the second time mommy wondering how she will love the next child as much as the first. This is the road less travelled, and in order to travel it I have to clear some brush away as I walk. It is a road that requires work and perseverance. I will endure the race. I will look toward the finish. I will keep my eyes on my Father who is ever before me!

I would like to tell you that I am excited about today, and I think that in there is some excitement. But, I feel somewhat numb. {I believe it is peace. :) There is peace that I will make it through this morning and day. There is peace that God is in control and He is working everything to our good and His glory. Thank You, Father, for showing me Your peace and hand on our day!!}(I added this after writing everything because God graciously showed me that I am not numb, but instead at peace. :)) I am excited to know the gender, but I want to know if my baby will be healthy enough to live. I am excited to see our little one, and I want it to be special for him/her. I pray that God will allow me to enjoy the moment and then think about Janie Beth later. I do not know if I will shed tears at the doctor, but I am sure in the stillness later today I will shed tears for the grace that God has shown me!!

Lamentations 3:21-24
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therfore I hope in Him!"

Psalm 27:13-14
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait in faith on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!

Here I am at 19.5 weeks.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We have begun the 2010-2011 school year at our house. Woo Hoo! :) We have 3 days under our belt and both kiddos are doing great. For this month we are only doing math and phonics. We have done quite a bit in 3 short days. We finished 6 lessons of math and have learned 8 letters with 14 sounds. Over the next couple days we are just going to be doing some review games as we have a couple other things we are doing. That is the beauty of homeschool! We don't have to do school every day. And we can do it at different times of the day if something arises that has to be done.

We are starting early so that we can get enough done before the baby to only have to do 1-3 days a week through Christmas (baby is due Nov 24).

The kids are having fun, usually. :) Eli has to be doing something as similar as possible to the other 2. He even copies me when I say the letter sounds. He is big too! (He will tell you if you call him anything, like silly, that he is big, not silly. LOL) They don't always like to write, but we are doing some fun writing in oatmeal and on white boards, or just tracing withour fingers, etc. Josiah can actually write most letters and numbers. Katie Jo is learning and I dot most thing for her to trace. They really like doing the linking cube blocks for math. They actually got them for Christmas, so they have played with them quite often.

Tomorrow we are going to the free movie at Hollywood 18. They are showing Muppets in Space. They all love the Muppets. They have been counting down the days since we turned the calendar over to July and put the sticker on it.

Friday is my ultrasound. I believe that deserves its own post. :) I hope to write it tomorrow and let you guys give me your guesses. I really go back and forth on gender, but I do lean more in one direction. :) Katie Jo will be going with us, but the boys will play with Poppa. Eli wants to go but only to be with mom, and Josiah doesn't want to. He didn't with Janie Beth either. I haven't asked him if he has a particular reason, but I may do that tomorrow. They are nervous, in a sense, about this baby and talk as I do in the "if's".

I need to order our ants tomorrow so we can start our ant farm in Aug! I have a couple things to mail, but they don't seem to be making their way to the mailbox. LOL At least they aren't bills!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Harder than I expected, but a Calling

This weekend was harder than I expected. I really didn't think the 4th of July would be that big a deal. I had no idea I would long to hold my baby girl so much. Saturday was hard. I had a rough morning. I know it was partly from reading another family's story who just lost their baby boy to Thanataphoric Dwarfism, and the amazing things their little boy did in his 30 hours made me jealous and wish for more from my time with Janie Beth.

YIKES! That is a slippery road to get on. I quickly had to turn to what I was thankful for from Janie Beth's time with us. I quickly began to just long for her and try to feel her in my arms. I still miss her so much. So many feel that this new pregnancy makes Janie Beth's journey all better, but it doesn't. No one can replace her. Her journey will never end because she will always be in my heart.

I am still missing her more than usual today. I know that it has to do with starting back to things we did before she left us. We started school today. I will be honest and say school flew out the window after November 19, 2009. I wondered what it would be like to have her here with us while we learned. I really didn't think it would be that hard to start back for the new year because we have changed all of our curriculum and Katie Jo is doing school too, but it is. I am learning with my children and seeing the world through their eyes, and I wonder how it would look through hers. As I type that, I wonder what it looks like from her viewpoint. I always thought of it as how she would be if she were here and how things would excite her, but wow! To think of it as how does the world look through her eyes now, in heaven. That is too big for me and there are no words to explain. She is smiling!

My ultrasound on Friday factors into my missing her too. I feel our little one more and more. I am nervous to know if this baby is a boy or a girl. I wonder what God feels is right for our family. Who is this precious little one He is forming? To know that He is forming this one just as intricately as Janie Beth, and He knows every single part of his/her body and knew exactly how Janie Beth's body was is amazing! His vastness just makes me stop in awe. I cannot begin to imagine.

A friend of mine did a blog about how she had always wanted to be a mother. That has always been my dream as well. Never in a million years would I have thought that that would include being the mother of a heavenly child. To know that God called me to walk this path.

I marvel at God's decision to mold me into the mother of a heavenly child. 
A hard calling, yet a deep calling.
A painful calling, yet a blessed calling.
A lonely calling, yet a comforting calling.
A sad calling, yet a joyful calling.
A painful calling, yet a healing calling.

How can I say those things? Never have I looked deeper in my self than I have since Janie Beth. I have been blessed beyond measure and in ways that are exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think. Comforting because God is closer than I have ever felt Him. Joyful because joy is not the same as happiness and it is on the inside and grounded in hope. Healing because I have looked deeper in myself and God has been molding my heart back together better than it was before. It is a calling I would have never chosen and I would never wish on anyone, but it is my calling and God loves me enough to walk with me. He knew how to work all things together for His glory and my good. I do not understand, but I have seen good come out of this calling. I will never fully grasp the things God did, is doing, and will continue to do by calling me to this path. I am thankful that He knows the outcome!

A friend, who has this calling too, made this picture. Thank you, Monica.
I thought about Janie Beth a lot while we watched the fireworks. It was fun to see the excitement from the kids. I had the moment where I wondered if she would have cried or been amazed, but then instead I chose to focus on how awesome a fireworks show would look in heaven. She thought ours was pitiful. :)

I love you, my precious Janie Beth!!

Abba, may You continue to refine me through this calling of being Janie Beth's mother. May You continue to heal me, comfort me, bless me, and bring me joy. May You continue to help me search deep within myself and allow You to mold me as You see fit. Thank You for the blessing of each and every one of my children, Josiah, Katie Jo, Eli, Janie Beth, and the little one. I love You, Father! May You be glorified as You hold me up and walk with me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

Friday, July 2, 2010

What to say...

Not sure what to post about. LOL This has been a very tiring week emotionally, as well as physically. I am guessing that the little one and I are in a growth spurt because I have been more tired and hungry the last couple days.

I stretched my brain to the max yesterday with my first day of couponing! I loved saving money!! I am a dork. :) Stuff like that excites me. Then, I blew it all by going to Wal-Mart today. I am excited to see how it goes once I have more than just 2 weeks worth of coupons. I spent $83 yesterday and saved $84. I called my first trip a success! :)

I have also managed to get my lesson plans done for next week. Woo Hoo! The kids are excited and all of our stuff has come in. We will be doing work Mon-Wed with just some fun review games Thurs-Fri. We are going to the free Muppets in Space movie Thurs morning and I go to the doc on Fri. I look forward to getting school going. I am hoping to get enough done to be able to just do a couple days a week from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It is my dream at least. :)

We have played with a couple different friends this week, and it was very nice to visit with their mommies! I am so thankful for the friends that God has graced me with!!

I didn't get any of my organizing and downsizing done this week, but I hope to tackle the kitchen next week or 2 closets. I think that is a respectable goal. :) We will see what I get done. LOL

I am going to welcome my AWESOME hubby home now. The kids are watching a movie for naptime (bad mommy), so we can put them to bed at 7 and have couple time tonight.

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend!!!