Birthday Gift for CalebĀ 

After helping in Jack’s school this morning, we headed out to have lunch at Grammy and Granddad’s and then visit Caleb’s grave. However both Jack and Parker fell asleep on the way. So I went straight to visit my Caleb. 

It’s still surprising to see my son’s name on a gravestone. But I also smile when I see it because it stands out. The almost black stone with white lettering peeking over the hill as you drive up behind the church where I grew up. 

What do you out on the grave for a little boy? Flowers don’t always feel right to me, especially since it’s hard to find blue ones. Sometimes we put a balloon there or those spinny pinwheels. Today I realized I didn’t have anything. 

  I figured we’d stop at the store and pick something up but since the boys were asleep I didn’t have many options. Hmm what’s in the car that might be appropriate? Trail mix? Jack begged me to get these trail mix packs but of course he only eats the M&Ms. 

So while two of my boys slept in the car, I stood before Caleb’s grave and sprinkled nuts, raisins and M&Ms around it. The deer and squirrels will appreciate it. And we like feeding animals. I stood there and sang. 

Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul. 

God I wish I could have all of my boys here. But I trust You, even when I don’t understand. 

Thou Satan should buffet, thou trials should come. Let this blest assurance control: That Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed His own blood for my soul!

I know I’ll see Caleb again in heaven. 

Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight…

Happy birthday Caleb. Hope you’re getting some M&Ms in heaven šŸ˜Š

Why I Announce Pregnancies Early

If you missed my Facebook announcement, I’m pregnant! For a few weeks we’ve been sharing the news with family and friends as we see them. And some of them have been sharing it with others. And that is great because this little life deserves to be celebrated!

I’m only 9.5 weeks, but feeling nauseous frequently, which isn’t fun but is a good pregnancy sign. Some people wait until 12 weeks when the first trimester is over to announce their pregnancy. They wait until they’re out of the “danger zone” of when miscarriage is most possible. But why? To avoid some kind of embarrassment of announcing, miscarrying, and then having to explain it? While I don’t think that would be embarrassing because miscarriage isn’t anyone’s fault and usually has no reason. But it isn’t easy to explain the situation. It’s uncomfortable if you run into a friend at the store who heard the first announcement, but not about the miscarriage, and starts to ask about the pregnancy.

But I can’t think like that. I choose to cling to hope and trust God’s plan with this life. I’ve missed the chance to celebrate two precious lives while they were still with me. When I was first pregnant with Caleb we were going to wait until I went to the doctor at 10 weeks. But just before that happened I ended up in the hospital, learning I was almost 20 weeks pregnant, and that I would deliver the baby that day but he wouldn’t survive. That was the tearful phone call our families received. Even though we are thankful for Caleb’s life and celebrate him now, we didn’t have the chance to celebrate him while he was alive.

We announced being pregnant with Jack around 8 weeks at a family party. We certainly benefitted from having so many people love, support, and pray for us and Jack throughout that pregnancy. But most of all we loved celebrating that little life growing inside me. We loved being excited with everyone about what would come. We cherished every day we had with him safely in my womb.

When I had a miscarriage at Christmas we were about to make the announcement when I started bleeding. While we hoped things would be ok, we decided to wait until we knew before sharing the news. Unfortunately we lost that baby at just 6 weeks and missed another chance to celebrate that life while he was with us.

So, fourth time around now, almost as soon as we knew I was pregnant we told our families. We celebrated. We prayed. We already love this little one. We are thanking God for another precious miracle and trusting Him to keep this baby safe and healthy inside me until His perfect timing to deliver.

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

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Joy and Sorrow

On Christmas Day Jack was supposed to walk into our parents’ houses for gift opening and share a special announcement on his tshirt: Big Brother. But he never got the chance. A few days earlier I started having some problems. Doctor appointment, blood work, and several days of waiting, revealed that I was having a miscarriage. In the days of waiting, however, I waited in silence. Only Jeff and I knew that I was pregnant. I was still hoping that everything would be ok and that we could joyfully, happily announce this new baby.

Through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, while everyone around me celebrated the birth of a Baby King, I wondered if the baby, who was only 6 weeks in the womb, was still alive. The season of advent is all about anticipation of a Savior, when I wasĀ waiting for results and answers. Would Christmas Day, a day of great celebration, turn into a day of mourning for me? Does it have to be one or the other?

BecauseĀ of the birth of a Baby in Bethlehem – Jesus, the One who saves, because He is Immanuel, God with us, I can have comfort even in sorrow. I can find joy even when mourning because the God who is with meĀ is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Even though I was only 6 weeks pregnant, I had hopes and dreams for this new baby. I was excited for Jack to have a sibling, for us to have a new little baby to hold and love.Ā ThingsĀ could go on without anyone knowing about this 6 week old life that was inside me, but I think it’s important to share. Every life has value and should be celebrated. At least 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but it’s often not talked about. Then if it happens to you, you might feel alone or ashamed, as if it’s your fault. But it’s not your fault. Usually there aren’t answers as to why miscarriages happen.

I share my story with you to celebrate theĀ baby. I’ve thanked God for this baby and for the blessing of being pregnant three times – a blessing many women don’t get.Ā It’s a strange thing to have more children in heavenĀ than in my arms (read about Caleb here), but it makes me look forward to heaven even more.

No matter what challenging, sorrowful, or questioning time you are facing, it doesn’t have to be separated from hope, joy, and peace. The Baby in the manger came to save you, to be with you, to bring you peace even inĀ chaos, joy even inĀ sorrow, and hope even when you despair.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4