Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just One Look

I'd like to say that this day, this 26th of September, doesn't affect me... I'm not there yet. In some ways I would love to stand proudly and say that it doesn't even draw my attention, but only two years out from that life-changing day, I'm still not there. In many ways, I wonder if I will ever be. There seem to be infrequent days that bring me tears, but without a doubt this day and that precious one in January are the two that seem so difficult. In January we physically lost Maddox, but this September day 2007 we confronted a reality we never imagined possible and lost so many dreams we had for our family.

I could have never imagined just two years ago the way we would be changed- how the Lord would truly "break me and pour me out", how I would lose so much but gain infinitely more only in the power and strength of Him. Today is a hard day, but I can't even imagine it without the cross and that beautiful promise of everlasting life.

Below is an article I wrote for Katy Magazine a few months back to be published in their fall issue. It was amazing to be able to write our story and allow others in the community a glimpse into our life, a life of Trisomy 18 and one of hope, joy, and faith, and I thought today would be a perfect day to share it.

(If you visit Katy Magazine, click on Current Issue and go to the bottom where the story is listed- Just One Look.)

I'll leave you with these few amazing lines of In Christ Alone. I heard them this morning and while they always fill me with tremendous joy, they also bring me to tears each time I hear them...

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."- 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

**Please pray this morning and the following days for the Anderson Family. This morning is baby Rhyder's Celebration Service and I will be attending. He lived a miraculous 25 days and then went to be with the Lord. His family is confident in his eternity but are desperately missing him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Speaking LIFE

What an amazing reminder today from a wonderful and gifted Pam Thompson... speaking words of LIFE into our children!

I trust you. You are amazing. You are talented. You are beautiful. You can do it buddy! Keep trying sister, I know you'll get it. You are so smart. You are so creative. I love how your mind works. I love how sweet you are to your sister. I am so impressed with your coloring job. Thank you for being such a BIG helper. That was a great response baby! Good try, let's do it again! Wow, I'm blown away by your kindness. You are such a selfless friend. I care so much for you. You light up my life. You make my heart overflow. God has given you such a sweet spirit. I love how much fun I have with you! Your laughter is infectious. You are such an independent thinker. Great job cleaning up. You did a wonderful job getting dressed and ready this morning. Thank you for being so responsible. I respect you. I greatly value your input. I love watching you grow and learn. God has given you an amazing mind. You are a joy. You are so fast! You can do anything you set your mind to. I love your confidence. I love your determination. I love your work ethic. I love how loyal you are. I love spending time with you. I treasure you. You are such a GIFT to me. You bring such wonderful life to our family! God sure created you special! I LOVE YOU!

So many days I get caught up on all the rules- on the obedience, respect, honesty, loyalty, manners, kind words, gentle spirit, sweet hands, controlled tongue that I forget about the other side of parenting my child. Not that we don't have fun around here because heaven knows we have a blast, but there are times when I do feel like I am constantly "reiterating" the rules. "Obedience first time. Is that respectful? Did you speak with a controlled voice? Are you treating your sister with kindness?..." The list could go on and on. YES, we are called to raise children that honor and respect the Lord and I truly believe without them being able to honor and respect those around them, that will never be first-nature in their relationship with the Lord. However, there are many times when I'm so focused on them "acting right" that I forget to speak the words that truly bring LIFE into their little lives.

We all thrive on kind words, ones from the heart and that are spoken personally and with love. Not one single day goes by that I don't tell my children that I love them, that I don't pray over them, that they shouldn't feel that they are loved. But truth be told, some days I'm distracted. Some days I halfheartedly glace in the direction of the "BIG RED AIRPLANE" that Deacon is pointing out in the sky and respond "uh huh babe, that's awesome" as I continue driving along listening to the radio. Pretty? no. Honest? yes. That's life and we all get busy, overwhelmed, frustrated. But in the midst of life are we speaking those words that truly reach the HEART of our children? I know many days pass without a very intentional word of LIFE spoken into my two babies... and into my husband for that matter. Let's all practice a few words of life... I know it could revolutionize my home. How about yours?

"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."- Psalm 118:24

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Too close

Too close indeed... to her first birthday! I can't believe she is 10 months old today. This girl just keeps growing, personality mostly and in size just a bit. She LOVES her brother, wants to be with Mama most of the time, and is a snuggling fool with Daddy. She is so kissable, huggable, lovable, UNBELIEVABLE! Thank you, God, for Faith Clare!

"Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord."- Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Off to School, Off to School...

Today was Deacon's first day back at Preschool and he was SUPER excited! For the last few days we have been talking about going back~ new friends, new teachers, but the same great school and lots of learning and fun! Last night Deacon and I went shopping for a new "back-to-school" T-shirt and he wanted Superman. He told me then he could be "extra-super"... a super helper and a super listener... Boy, that sounded good to me!! This morning he still wasn't sure why his best buddies Millie and Grant weren't going to be in his class or why Ms. Terri wasn't his teacher so we went over that again in the car on the way there but it all seemed to disappear as we pulled into the parking lot. He jumped out and was ready to go!

He seemed darn relaxed so I wasn't too worried!

Deacon and Mama at assembly before the start of school each morning. Daddy and Faith Clare went as well since it is a BIG family affair for the first day of school!

Listening quietly on the blanket at assembly...

All lined up and ready to go back to class... his friend Nathan is peeking out from behind him.

Deacon did awesome going back and only looked back once, waved real big and said "Bye Mama!" What a big boy... so proud of him. Now what to do with all of this time with Faith Clare. I think we're both going to miss him!

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, O Lord, for you are God my Father and my hope is in you all day long."- Psalm 25:5
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