Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
So much has happened with special visitors and Walt, but that is for another day because as time passes some of our most important people become older and their bodies to frail to continue in this world. Please pray for my family as we go through grief once more, letting go of our Memaw. She came to every recital, football game, band competition, and school function because she loved us so much. Although she was an older woman, we were not expecting this and we are all frozen in shock.
Death has become so much more real to me. Why do I continue to try to keep up with the things of this world? They are not forever. Clothes will go out of style, parties will be forgotten, and houses will crumble. Years from now which memories will I cherish? Who or what will have had my time? This life is short, and I am praying that God will continue to convict me on how my time is spent so that I may continue to grow to be more like him and love better the people closest to me.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sometimes I am guilty of learning the words to songs without really considering the meaning of it all. But the older I get, the more aware of what I let sink into my brain. The space is limited there so I have to consider what I want to fill it with! I am definitely a Lady Antebellum fan, and when I got their newest c.d. their song "Hello World" was not one of my favorites, so I skipped over it a lot. But one day I listened to the words, and I thought that it was beautiful, a simple reminder of waking up. We get so busy in today's society that we let all of the beautiful gifts of God pass us by, and sometimes it takes something big happening in our lives to realize how much the little, daily life things mean to us. Magdalena's life and death made me realize my immortality and selfishness, and I hope that God will continue to open my brain so that I can soak up the small things that he gives me. My small things sometimes consist of coffee and quiet time before Walt wakes up, Walt's laughter, a good book, a family with traditions full of love, and Noah gently waking me up in the morning. Those are definitely not all of them, but if I get too busy with routine and life in general those things could seem ordinary and go unforgotten.
Well, here is the link to the video just in case you want to hear the song. Be ready... it makes you tear up a bit.
Monday, November 29, 2010
With our bellies full of turkey Noah and I pulled out our Christmas decorations. Last year I bought a little tree and small decorations so that Walt would really have a good Christmas, and I am glad that I made that small investment last year. Walt will love Christmas, and although I want to keep it as normal as possible for Noah and me, I can't bear to have Walt miss out on the part of the year that I used to anticipate all year round. I enjoy celebrating Christ's birth. Most of the season is focused on being around family, so this is such a bittersweet time for us. The first box that I opened had Magdalena's stocking right there on top. It was like ripping the band-aid off instead of slowly pealing it back. Then, I pulled out the ornament that the ladies at Sweet Dreams had given to her. Well, it took all I had not to stop there.
I am not antsy to play Christmas tunes, but I love what this time of the year signifies. Because Christ was born, I will be in heaven with Magdalena one day. The holidays are just tough though because we miss her celebrating with us. We are plowing through! The tree is up and the stockings have been hung. I will keep you updated on the rest of it all.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I love my family! We have made it through some of the toughest days together, and they have a huge amount of patience with me! Thank you, God, for my two men!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Today was a bittersweet day for everyone who knew Layne and her family. We are so full of joy knowing that she is no longer suffering, but she has been fully healed and dancing in honor of God. Yet, our hearts and arms long to keep her here with us. The Gaston family planned an amazing time of celebrating Layne's sweet life and the time that God gave us here on earth.
Please continue to pray for the Gaston Family and their two other children as we enter into the holiday season, which is the most difficult time for us who have lost our sweet babies.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
A graveside service will be held Sunday, November 21st at 2:00 pm at the New Cemetery with a Celebration Service immediately following at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall (around 2:30). Although we are very saddened by the loss of Layne, it is also a joyous time because she is in her heavenly Father's arms & is fully healed. Because of this, we are asking everyone to celebrate her life with us by wearing some form of bright color at the services this Sunday, whether it be clothing, accessories, etc. Also, in lieu of flowers, we are asking that all memorial donations be sent to:
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Please continue to pray for Layne and her family as they care for Layne at home. As of midnight she was having episodes every 15 minutes. In an episode Layne would stop breathing, turn color, and after waiting would begin to breathe again. Please pray for Layne's parents and that God will give them the strength to endure.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
I don't know what made me decide Saturday night to begin editing my Magdalena photos, but I did, and it continued through Sunday. There are so many that I still have not finished. I am getting them ready to be put in a photo book one day, if I can get the nerve to make it. Well, you can imagine what that does to my heart. It pulled it down. Do you know how hard it is to be in the same room with your spouse when you are mad at them? (or maybe it is just me and my temper) Well, that is how I felt with God today. I miss her. She looked just like Walt.
Then, God smiled at me today. He smiled at me through my little man. We laid for at least 5 minutes on the ground laughing at him putting his hand in my mouth. Laughing is not an adequate word because he was hysterical. Then, for another 5 minutes we laughed at me putting my hand in his mouth. He laughed and laughed which made me laugh. If I had moved for a moment to get a camera, the moment would have been lost. So we laughed together, and I knew that this would be a moment that I would remember forever. God gave me the greatest gift through my little man. I always know this is my mind, but my heart needed a reminder today.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
My Psalm for today was beautiful, Psalm 4. I highlighted my favorite parts of the chapter below. It reminded me that God's mercy on us isn't what we expect or ask of him. He knows the big picture in a bigger way than we do. The night before Magdalena died Noah and I took shifts staying awake. We knew she was sick, but I don't know if we acknowledge that this could be the time for her to go home. As I attempted sleep while Noah stayed awake I sobbed and cried out to God for mercy. In my mind that mercy meant more time. I have never felt like God did not hear me, but today as I read Psalm for it was a reminder that in the greatest of things and the tiniest of details God's mercy may not be what we expect. What I had been asking of him was all for me, not for Magdalena whose body was tired, and definitely not for God's glory. I wanted to hold on tight to a life that was not mine to begin with. He did have mercy on me in ways that I never knew to ask, one is through a smiling, little bundle of joy that keeps me on my toes daily.
For each of us it is something different, some sort of pain or heart issue that is keeping us from truly enjoying who God is and the blessings that He has given us. May we all acknowledge his power so that our hearts may be filled with joy and a peace that is everlasting.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Last weekend I went on a women's retreat, and with the preparations before and after, I have not posted. It was an amazing time of study, reflection, and fellowship. I have struggled for so long getting to know people again. Noah gently pushes me, but I prefer very much to myself and my family. I don't go anywhere without Noah if I don't know the people well. He relieves me of the social pressure.
Since I have moved in between two of the most social people ever, I have been forced to either jump on the boat or stay on the shore. Well, I jumped on the boat and went to the retreat, and it was an amazing experience for me. One of the things that I have struggled with is prayer. It is definitely a heart issue that God was dealing with me on because it is easy to pray when things are fantastic. It is easier to bring something before God when you need something. But praying when you don't like the hand that you have been dealt can be a bit more challenging. I had thought of beginning to write my prayers down, and then, this idea was confirmed when the speaker spoke of journaling. So with my coupon in hand, I went to Barnes and Noble to try to find a journal that would outlive me. Walt and I walked back and forth on the one row of journals, and I am surprised my sweat marks didn't show up on my shirt by that point! I called Noah for some help, and he gave me a list to consider like lines and size so that I can put it in my purse. After hanging up with him, I ran into one of my mom's friends who was there buying a journal as a gift, and after talking she showed me what she uses and began to list the same criteria that Noah had given me (price included on that list!). I might have left empty handed, overwhelmed, and God gave me a friend at the perfect time. My day 1 of journaling my prayers, yesterday, was a great relief, yet, emotional.
Yesterday Layne's parents were again faced with her frail body. She has had at least three episodes in a short period of time, which seem to relate to the heart. This is the hardest part of it all, and it was so hard to know exactly what to pray. But the things that I prayed for and continue to pray for are peace and knowledge. Peace doesn't mean that you are happy with the situation. It is actually very hard to explain, but it is a feeling that only God can give, and you really can fully experience in life's most difficult situations. God is the only one that can give them true comfort, and so my prayer is that they continually to seek him for this comfort.
So whether you pray through a journal or by your words, please, pray for the Gaston family as they deal with these episodes that baby Layne is having.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Some of you may still be confused about titles of blog posts that begin with "Week", but there is a book by Nancy Guthrie titled The One Year Book of Hope, which I have been slowly reading through. Some readers have joined with me and post comments while others follow along silently. This book is not for those who have lost a child specifically, but it is for anyone who has suffered. At the top of my blog there is a button that says "One Year of Hope", and it will direct you to all of my journaling on the book. Join us late if you like, so that you too can see the hope in Christ.
This chapter came in the midst of a lot of things happening, and it was kind of hard to swallow. Many of you may have more to say about feeling protected by God, and please, speak up through commenting so that other readers may benefit through your story. For me, it was a reminder that I have not been forsaken.
When I read this chapter, I wrote down how hard it is to swallow this Psalms. Because at the lowest point of my suffering I wanted to know why He had allowed this and why He didn't protect our family. But God was protecting our family and he still is. I just didn't have a good concept of what this protection means. Although He may for some of us, He is not promising to protect us of the things of this world. Those are only temporary. Think of how quickly time passes by. I know that it feels much more obvious now that I am watching Walt grow up, but I have noticed that the older I get, the quicker it seems to go. This world is such a short period of time. God is most concerned with our souls, and that is what is protects. Satan is on constant attack trying to find your weaknesses, but God is there to protect our soul so that for the rest of eternity we can be with him and praise Him.
This chapter is full of beautiful scripture that reminds us that sin is what fills this world and causes pain, but soon the pain and suffering of this world will end. But that isn't the end of the story. Either your soul will live forever in heaven with God or hell. My hope lies in Christ who suffered in this world also.