Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grace and Growth

My husband has been a father for almost 5 years now. With our 4th baby on the way it has been a whirlwind of joy, tears, triumphs, accomplishments, fights, pain, laughter, elation, grief and love. But what these years have provided most is tremendous growth.

Dusty was always good with kids, or so says his mother :) He might have been terrified at the prospect of bringing home a baby, but he's never said it to me and never showed it. He has been confident but willing to learn. He is tough but it is always tempered with tenderness. He has so much fun with our babies and they laugh until they beg for him to stop because they can't laugh (or be tickled) anymore. He is attentive but gives them room to be kids. He expects obedience and respect but allows for them to learn and grow. He is an amazing father!

This Father's Day, with Maddox being gone 2 years, I have thought a little more about what it means for him as a father to have a child in heaven and his own father be there as well. I know men are tough... they don't talk about that "emotional" stuff much and Dusty is right there with the rest of them. But, I do know certain days are harder than others. The "special" days as well as those ordinary ones that jump out and take you by surprise. The ones where you want to call up your dad for advice, or reach down to your two-year-old and take him in your arms like you do your babies. Some days are just hard... life is just hard. But thank you God for grace and growth! The grace You have shown in bringing our sweet son here to know pure love (as shown above in the picture with Dusty holding him) and strength enough to allow us that growth.

We have both learned SO MUCH from each of our children and the lessons that we have learned through Maddox's short life haven't escaped us. In any growing there tends to be pain, but I have seem my husband become more attentive, more compassionate, more focused on our family and I know those are life-lessons that we wouldn't have learned so clearly without our second precious son.

This Father's Day I will be honoring not only my father and grandfather, but my husband... The precious, amazing father to my children... my babies here, our babe in waiting, and our boy waiting in Heaven. I love you sweet man! You are fabulous.

"The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness."- Isaiah 38:19

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Safe

Absent is again what I've been lately. The weeks have been flying by and with preschool out and the beginning of summer upon us, I have just felt busy. A few weeks ago busy came in the form of distraction because I couldn't get my mind off of the doctor's appointment that was looming. To be honest, I really wasn't in a good place and I'm pretty sure Dusty was ready to ship me off and wait for the old wife to come back :) After being so emotional, our appointment almost 2 weeks ago brought welcomed relief when I heard that this baby boy was "beautiful." God showed up BIG TIME in the office that day as many friends and family prayed for our peace and for a healthy child. I cried through much of the appointment; asking specific questions and wanting to know everything they saw, both good and bad. Praise God that on that day that was so reminiscent of the 18-week appointment with Maddox, only good news was to be heard.

Busyness now that I am better able to focus has presented itself more as a "to do" list. Between cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands, play dates, swimming lessons and just trying to have fun with my littles here, I'm feeling like there is less and less disposable time to sit and write. Even my quiet time has been severely lacking which probably accounts for some of the major anxiety prior to the doctor's appointment a few weeks back. It's a constant struggle for balance and although I feel better now, I know that my commitment need to be stepped up. Isn't it funny how we can walk so intimately at times with the Lord and then, after all we've learned, we can still step back from that incredible love?? It seems crazy to me how I can let this happen...

As most of y'all can relate, music has been a huge sense of comfort and relief for me through these past several years of grieving and loss. Each year there seems to be a song or two that jump out at me and remind me so much of Maddox... so much of what the Lord has done for us... how much He loves us and will never leave us. Last year the songs were By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North and You're Not Shaken by Phil Stacey. This year it seems to be How He Loves by David Crowder Band and Safe by Phil Wickham.

Safe has had a lot of airtime on KSBJ lately and whenever I'm home I hear it on The Message. Each time it plays I crank it up (to which Deacon yells "too loud mom!" but then proceeds to sing) and just let the words soak into me. A weird thing always happens when the music is loud... I start to cry. I don't think that it's necessarily because I'm always thinking of Maddox but instead because of where the words touch me... in that place within where I long for eternity.

Each time I hear this song, I picture those brief moments of holding Maddox in that hospital bed and whispering to him...

"Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong, he'll never let you go
oh you're not alone...

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms..."

And God saying to ME...
"'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart"
(my heart... that piece of me that is already with Christ in Heaven)

Back to Maddox...
"This is the promise He made
He will be with You always"

The Lord to me:
"When everything is falling apart"

To both of us:
"You will be safe in His arms"

"Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”- Matthew 8:25-27
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