Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello World

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.

Lady Antebellum - Hello World Video

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas has arrived

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.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

God has blessed us more than we could have ever imagined in our lifetime, and today we got to recognize this special day with our families. Growing up my mom was amazing to create such special traditions for us each holiday, and one of them is blueberry muffins with chocolate milk on Thanksgiving morning while watching the parade. Today Walt got to enjoy his first blueberry muffin experience. We put down a towel because we knew that he would make a mess, but it was a blast! My mom and dad came over to spend some time with us too! This little man has brought more smiles to my face than I ever thought was possible. Thank you, God, for this precious little boy that you gave to me!

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!

And today I went to Magdalena's grave and spent my first peaceful time there. It was a gorgeous day, not too warm and not too hot. A slight breeze to keep the air fresh and tickle my nose. I cried there, but it was a healing cry. I sat and journaled my prayers to God and spent some time reading the Psalms aloud. I sat right next to her headstone, and after I had read I just sat there and cried. It was a peaceful cry. Maybe you know what I mean? And the sweet butterfly on her headstone reminded me of her healing, and in an instance a beautiful picture came to my mind of Magdalena and Layne wearing pink tu-tus with both of the hands clasped in the other's hands. They were twirling with glee. They are butterflies, beautiful with God. They are healed. After that second of a thought I prayed that a hug would be given to her for me, and that she would be reminded that the mommy that carried her while she was on earth loves her so much. It was so peaceful. She is with Jesus.

My mom made this permanent arrangement for Magdalena's site. She did it about a month ago, but I had not been to see it. It has just been so hard, but the site of these flowers made it easier. She would have loved them. My dad said that the sparkles remind him of balloons, which she enjoyed. Is it possible to say that I enjoyed my time at Magdalena's site? I think that I have wanted to go and just couldn't, and today I am so thankful that I did it. I went and talked with God there. God is still molding me through her life. His work is never complete. I am that really tough clay!

Thank you, God, for a peaceful heart that rests in you. I prayed for two families who spent their first Thanksgiving without the baby. Please continue to pray for them with me.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Layne's Day

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.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Layne's Arrangements

Just in case you didn't read this on Layne's CaringBridge site, here is the information for her service.

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:

First Baptist Church Preschool Mural Fund (in honor of Layne Grace Gaston)

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Layne went home

Early this morning Layne went to be with Jesus. Please pray for the Gaston family as they endure this loss and celebrate her healing.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gaston Family

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.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Walt's Scrapbook

After working with Magdalena's pictures, I went back to Walt's scrapbook! My goal for each child is to scrapbook their first year. This takes the place of a typical baby book. I needed to continue with Walt's, which I had not done since this past summer, so I pulled out my cricut machine and got started. Here are the pages of Walt sleeping in his bed for the very first time!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

My smiling little man

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.

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Friday, November 12, 2010


Yesterday Walt and I had a very fun day! Although he has some major snot issues, they did not slow him down! We worked together on putting the letters to his name inside the correct spot. The neat puzzle/stool was an awesome gift to him from his Kiki and Aimsey! After awhile he was crawling over the stool (pic below), pulling the stool over (so hard that he fell over with it!), and tasting it all. He was such a funny, little man, but it was an incredible day, and I was reminded of why I am glad to be able to stay home with him.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Psalm 4

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.

Psalm 4
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.

4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the LORD.

6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making a Few Changes in My Life

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.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Week 11 - Protected by God

Product Details

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.

Psalms 91

91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

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.

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