Thursday, May 29, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Nothing

Five Minute Friday


Nothing can separate us from the love of God we have in Christ Jesus.

I have nothing to bring to the table. I come empty-handed. He holds everything in His arms. He lavished everything on me. He showers me with gifts from above. He takes away my nothing-ness and fills me with His everything.

Nothing but the blood of Jesus can wash away my sin; nothing but the blood of Jesus can make me whole again.

There was nothing in Him to attract us to Him. A man of sorrows, acquainted with suffering. He gave up everything to become nothing so we could have everything.

And how can I do anything but lay down everything I have (which all amounts to nothing), to take up my cross and gain nothing for myself in this world, but everything for Him and in Him for all eternity.

Nothing can snatch me out of His hands.


Isaiah 53:2-12
Romans 8:38-39
Matthew 16:24-26
John 10:28

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sea Glass Heart

We live on an island. Paradise. I have always loved the ocean, and feel so blessed to live in the midst of it now. On our beaches you won't find many shells, mostly coral. But you can find sea glass. Since we lost Mikayla I have been collecting sea glass.

I have always been fascinated by sea glass. How the ocean takes something so ugly and sharp as a broken beer bottle (which is where most sea glass comes from) and turns it into a shiny, smooth, beautiful thing.

The process isn't easy for the glass, though. It gets thrown around, beat up, and pieces of it rubbed clean off. It has to go through the nitty-gritty sand. It braves the storms and gets tossed around by the waves before it washes up on shore a thing of beauty to reflect the light of the sun.

It reminds me of what God does with our hearts. He took us when we were ugly sharp sinners, and is ever smoothing out our rough places and shining us up until one day we will shine like gems for Him in heaven. The process isn't easy. It involves a lot of hurt and tearing away of things we held dear, and wild stormy waves.

But in the end, He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Face of a Little Girl

I found this song today. Listened to it weeping and clutching my heart because it so perfectly speaks what I am feeling right now. I have never longed for heaven so much as I do now that I know it is the only place I will get any of these things he talks about in the song.

I never even got a good look at the face of my little girl. I have no pictures either. I can't wait to get to heaven and see those beautiful brown eyes and hold her precious little hand and kiss her sweet cheeks. As Paul said, "to live is Christ and to die is gain." But I know God is not finished with me yet. He has plans for me here still. I have a June Bug who needs her Mama. So I will make the most of my sojourn on Earth, all the while longing for the day I will be with my baby girl again.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Face of Stone

This castle I've built up for so many years was built to keep you out. I cannot let you in. I cannot let you see the doubt, the fear, the pain, the sin. All you see is this faceless face of stone that protects me from the winds, but in the end the sun and rain still fall inside although I hide myself from you.

You cannot scale these walls,
You cannot break them down,
For you they will not fall,
They cannot speak a sound.

Sometimes I wish and dream I had not built these walls, I wish that I could scream and let these dry tears fall. I wish that I could let you in to let you heal my pain, my sin, but these walls are too thick and I've built them too tall for any, save one, to come in.

You cannot scale these walls,
You cannot break them down,
For you they will not fall,
They cannot speak a sound.

This one long ago defied the very gates of Hell. I know that only He can break me down, destroy these clumsy walls I've built, and make me new again. The one-in-three, it's only He can open up my heart.

He can scale these walls,
He can break them down,
Triumphant He'll come in,
And raze them to the ground,

And set me free from me to be whomever He desires,
Oh bring your fires,
Oh conquering hero, come.

Five Minute Friday: Close

Five Minute Friday

Writing for 5 minutes on the topic "close"

How can someone be so close and yet so far away? He is right there beside me. I can reach out and touch him, kiss him, hug him. And yet there is a million-mile gulf between us. A gulf filled with the ugliness of our sins toward each other. Our selfishness. Our anger. Our impatience. Our self-absorbed self-righteousness.

How can someone be so far and yet so close? She is in heaven. She is beyond the reach of my hands, my kiss, my sight. And yet, she is so close to my heart. She is in my every thought. She is held near and dear and beloved and sorely missed.

How do I bridge the gulf? How do I fill the gaping hole in my heart?

Only by holding Jesus close. Jesus, hold me close. Never let me go.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I had my follow-up appointment today.

I nearly had a panic attack in the waiting room. Pregnant women everywhere.Pictures of babies on the walls. Tiny baby girl in pink frilly stroller coming with Mom to postpartum check.

That should be me. I should be 27 weeks and starting to waddle. Not empty and hunched beneath the weight of my grief.

I want to scream at them. I want to scream at it all.

No fair.

And now no answers. No reasons. No-thing we can do next time to reduce the chances of the unthinkable happening to us again. No-where to place the blame except "these things happen."

My husband is angry, but I'm too overwhelmed to be angry.

He wants answers. I just want my baby back.

Praying for peace in my heart. Praying for strength to face tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Balm for the Suffering Heart

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you also may rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. 1

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that that is to be revealed to us. 2

Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of all mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the same comfort with which we are comforted by God. For as we share in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too. 3

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 4

Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good. 5

Amen and Amen

Scripture references:
1. I Peter 4:12-13
2. Romans 8:18
3. II Corinthians 1:3-5
4. Romans 5:3-5
5. I Peter 4:19

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An Apple a Day...

...keeps the doctor away.


Doesn't work.

I should know.

From about 9 weeks of pregnancy, I ate at least one apple with peanut butter each day. I couldn't get enough apples. I would eat them for a snack every day mid-morning, cook them in oatmeal for breakfast, and eat slices alongside a sandwich for dinner.

And the doctor didn't stay away.

In fact, the doctors (plural) poked me full of holes and hooked me up to various tubes and made my lie in bed for weeks, and yet they still didn't stay away.


I don't think I'll ever be able to look at an apple the same way again.

She should have been born in August. Just as the apples are getting ripe. I was going to do a photo shoot of her in an apple-pickin' basket.

Instead she was born in April. When the apple trees are all a'blossom. She was born after her soul flew to heaven. We said good-bye before we got to say hello.

I had a bag of apples rotting in my refrigerator. Yesterday I threw them out.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Body that Used to be Mine

This is a poem that I wrote when JuneBug was about 2. I decided this was a good topic for Mother's Day.

The Body that Used to be Mine

I look on the body that used to be mine,
The stomach that used to be flat
And firm with flawless skin,
The arms that long ago were thin.

The stomach that used to be flat, 
Now bulging fat and criss-crossed with scars.
The arms that long ago were thin,
Now marshmallow soft, along with the thighs.

Now bulging fat and criss-crossed with scars,
From stretching too far and too fast,
I'm marshmallow soft in the arms and the thighs,
And have deepening circles beneath both my eyes.

In stretching too far and too fast,
My body changed into a home for yours.
The deepening circles beneath my eyes,
Hold memories of 2am lullabies.

My body changed into a home for yours,
and then yours became a home for my heart.
I hold memories of 2am lullabies,
And I'm glad to be pillow-y soft.

When you became a home for my heart,
Then I was born new, as a Mother,
And I am glad to be pillow-y soft
To be a warm nest for my daughter.

As I was born new as a Mother
I found a rich beauty in softness and scars;
To be a warm nest for my daughter,
I gladly give up the body that used to be mine.


Friday, May 9, 2014

5 minute Friday - Grateful

Five Minute Friday



It's hard to be grateful when there are many heartaches. Yet even amidst the storm, I am grateful. 

I am grateful that God chose to spare my life even when He took my daughter's, because my other daughter still needs her Mama. 

I am grateful that the physical process was over quickly and the emotional and spiritual process could begin. 

I am grateful for the notes and texts and emails from friends and co-workers and church acquaintances and Facebook friends I had lost touch with years ago but who rallied around me in my time of need. 

I am grateful for the wisdom of those who have walked this path before me, though I wish no one would ever have to walk this path. 

Most of all I am grateful for a heavenly Father who knows what it is like to watch your beloved child die. A Father who is the God of all comforts and has blessed me with peace that passes understanding even now. 

I choose gratitude.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Mikayla Sophie - Our gift from the God of all wisdom

Mikayla - Who is like God?
Sophie - Wisdom

Who is like God? Whose wisdom is higher than His? Who could possibly know more than the creator of the universe?

And yet, I question. I question the wisdom of the all-wise God.
I ask, "Why?" and He answers with, "All thing work together for good."
I ask, "How can I go on?" and He answers with, "My Grace is sufficient for you."
I ask, "Where do I go from here?" and He answers with, "Follow me."

When I am drowning in my grief and sorrow, He lifts me up and helps me walk on water. When I am burning in the fiery furnace, He is walking beside me. When I said good-bye to my daughter, He lifted her into His arms, smiled, and said hello.

I don't know what God is doing. I can't see where He is leading. I I don't know why He chose to give us Mikayla only to take her away again so soon. But I do know that He is the God of all wisdom, and that He is love. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Showers of Tears

It's not fair to lose a child in the Spring-time. With the sky so bright and clear and the robins' eggs reflecting as they shelter new life. The green of new leaves on trees coming to life are too much for a heart that is flooded with death and good-bye.


A parent should never have to say good-bye to a child in that way. A mother should never have to experience the death of her daughter before even celebrating her birth. No one should ever have to give birth to death.

Yet if it must happen, it should at least happen in winter, when all the world is bitter cold and ready to snap like the mother's heart. When the bare branches and brown earth and grey sky provide the same monochrome emptiness of the arms that should cradle a tiny pink bundle, and the empty belly that should be growing round and full as the robin's egg, and the empty space in the heart that should be filled with dimpled cheeks and rolls of baby thighs and contented milk sighs. Winter, when the cold grey skies weep along-side the mourners.

Not now.

Not in the very season of new life and pastel Easter happiness. Each pink blossom a slap across the face, and each new-hatched chick a new dagger in the soul.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Mess

I've been lurking on Lisa-Jo Baker's sight for a while now, and today I decided to jump right in and join the 5 minute Friday crowd and start a blog of my own. So here goes:


I feel like my whole life is mess right now. I am a mess. My emotions are a mess. All of my wonderful plans for the coming years have turned into one big mess.

Financially, I'm a mess. Behind on payments on my student loans, and almost nothing left in my checking account.

Professionally, I'm a mess. My current job is not renewing my contract, and I haven't found a new job yet and am losing hope that I will ever be gainfully employed again.

Emotionally, I am a mess. My daughter Mikayla was born straight to heaven 2 weeks and 5 days ago. I no longer have an answer for "How are you?" I don't even know. I still exist, I think. But I have no idea how I am. Everything is a tangled mess.

My house is a mess. I was on bed rest and in and out of the hospital for the past 2 months, and husbands never really keep things the way they should, but to be honest things weren't the way they should have been even before that because let's face it: I'm lazy. And now my attention span is about 20 seconds on each task and I never finish anything.

My marriage is a mess. My husband and I are both stressed about all the other messes, and instead of putting our shoulders together and cleaning up the steaming piles of messes together, we have been throwing them at each other.


Please, God. Rescue me from the mess. Wash my mess in your blood and bring me out the other side with your white robes of holiness. Thank you for loving me when all I have to offer you is my mess.

(Ok, so I cheated a little and took 8 minutes, but I didn't go back to edit anything, just couldn't stop at the 5 minutes because it needed some hope)