Thursday, October 30, 2008
I went to a class to learn the dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
You heard (saw?) me right. SO MUCH FUN! I went with my super fun friend Jen Gunnels. It was a great "get away" from everything and a fun time to laugh and sweat. So there it is folks...my crazy evening. I hope you all enjoy the mental picture of me with my zombie claws marching to the beat of the music! ( next time I see you if you ask for a move or 2 I will oblige)
Side note: a big thanks to all who are such wonderful prayer warriors for me and my family. I do not know how we could continue through life without brothers and sisters like you. There will be many crowns and treasures in Heaven for you "behind the scenes" people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Andy and I love you. ( and only ask that you continue, as I know you will)
Monday, October 27, 2008
This verse was said Sunday during the worship service, about a situation totally different than mine, but the man speaking was using it to ask people about their future. What does God have in store for you?
I thought about this verse. Ester was in a position to be able to save her people, but it could possibly cost her her life...it is a great story. Her uncles comment to her (vs 14) clearly says, how do you not know if God has only given you this position of royalty so you can do a great work for Him?
I was struck by this comment...How do I not know that God has not taken my precious Caden so that I might do a great work for Him.
Not long ago I met once a week with a wonderful older woman and chatted about life. She had much to say and great wisdom to pass along. One thing she repeated to me often was this: Always ask, in every situation, what is God trying to teach me? I have thought about this allot lately. I wonder, what is God trying to teach me?
I have come up with a few things.
- I am not as 'in control" as I thought
- It is OK to grab at the 1st black purse one sees in Target as you are running for the check-out lane trying not to break down
- It is also perfectly OK to cry like a crazy woman in the Target check-out lane
- Always carry tissues. LOTS of tissues
- He will carry me when I cannot walk
- I can trust Him with...everything, even the death of my baby girl
If God can use me, (the crazy crying woman in the Target check-out lane grasping a, thankfully on sale, black purse) than I will let Him. This has been the hardest season of my life. I do not know what tomorrow looks like, let alone next month. One day I am fine, I laugh all day, the next it is hard to get out of bed and tears stain my face for all to see.
DO you see the wonder in that small statement. I cannot. But God... He can do all, I need not do anything but trust Him. But God has brought me to this place. He wants me here, in this dry and weary desert place. He has taken my hand and is leading me through it. I cannot see the end, I do not know how long we will be here, but I am with Him. I am OK.
He has brought me here, in the sight of all, for such a time as this.
I do not know what God has in store for me in such a time as this, I, like Moses, only ask one thing of Him; Show me Your glory.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I am sad. My heart hurts.
The past few days have been hard. The grief, if that is what this is, is like a throbbing pain that starts by squeezing my heart and works it's way out through my fingertips. I can feel the hurt. I have cried. I have sobbed. I have sat and stared at the dust particles dance in and out of the sunlight. I have read my bible and thanked God. I have prayed for comfort, for release from some of the pain. I have prayed for you, who are praying for me.
I went to Caden's grave today. I sat and cried for my little girl. Stupid thoughts went through my head, like "it's so cold today, my poor, sweet baby is in the cold." I know she is not there. I just cannot stop being a mommy I guess. I long to touch her soft cheek, to show her the beautiful falling leaves. To put on the pink sweater I bought her a month ago that she never got to wear. I want to hold her, and kiss her. I want her. My arms ache with the loss of her.
I was reading another blog yesterday and the lady who wrote it had lost a daughter. Suddenly, mid sentence, I could take no more. I was completely overwhelmed by the thought that this, my life without my baby girl, is forever. There was too much time, too much pain and too much of my weakness in that one moment. I sprinted from the computer and locked myself in the bathroom. The air was too thick to breathe, the motion of the earth was shoving me to my knees. I was lost, for a brief moment in time, in the grief. I slowly regained my composure and righted myself. 5 min. later I walked out of the bathroom back to normalcy...well maybe not normalcy, but not crazy, hysterical crying woman anyway. I dodged the computer and decided, no more tonight...clearly I was not ready for this woman's amazing words...maybe tomorrow. (or next year whenever I become brave again :))
So many of you have commented to me how amazing and strong I am. It is not me...it is Christ in me. I am the woman in the sentences above. The crier, the doubter, the one who crumbles under the weight of it all...I am weak. I want to be real with you, so you may see the power Christ has in my life. I cry, I collapse in sobbing spasms and just try to hold myself upright. I cry out to God to take it away. I want out...
I am weak, but He is strong.
You see Him.
I praise Him for that.
2 Corinthians 12:9 the Lord says "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Andy and I long to know how the life and death our of precious daughter has changed lives. I am not a scrapbooker ( I know many of you are shocked, but it is far too expensive for me and it is an on-going project...the thought of an unfinished anything undoes me.) and I love the thought of keeping a journal but I have never been one to write. This blog is slowly becoming my journal, my scrapbook, my memory of my life, of Caden's life. So I ask a favor.
If my daughter's life or death has changed your life, or someone else's life around you, please, please, leave a comment sharing these stories with Andy and I.
We know God is using this in people's lives, and He has been gracious enough to show us little glimpses of that, but I long to see more. Help me remember the work God has done and continues to do, by leaving a comment about how Caden's life and death has affected you, this way not only I can have the privilege of seeing God's work but others can too. Please. (as you can see I am not above begging! :))
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Ahem....Lord, my prayer?
I kept reading, going beyond the lessons I had at hand.(to chapter 14) I came to the part where Moses had lead the Israelites out of Egypt and the were resting by the sea. Pharaoh and his advisers were angry they had let the Hebrews go, so they were on the hunt. When the Israelites see Pharaoh and his army approaching they get all hot and bothered and ask Moses "was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?"(vs.11) I love the sarcasm and anger you hear in that comment. I have been there with God before..the why, the anger, and of course with me....the sarcasm :). They tell Moses they would rather have gone back to the horrendous back-breaking life as Egypt's slaves than be killed free men. "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert."(vs.12)
This last comment from the angry, scared Hebrews made me pause. I stared at it...then a question came to mind.
Who would I rather serve than go through the desert with my God?
Then Comes the really cool part.
vs. 13 says Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. vs.14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Psalm 46:10-11 says
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."
in Mathew 11: 28 Jesus says
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Moses knew God would deliver them because He said He would. The Israelites could not see God because they were staring their circumstance straight in the face.
Of course the story ends with Moses parting the Red Sea (yes the whole sea!) and the Israelites walk across on DRY! land. When the Egyptians try to follow the sea collapses back on itself and swallows them up. And there the Hebrews are...Saved. Safe.
I have been looking at my circumstance the past few days...right in it's face. I have cried more the last 2 days then I did the first 2 days...sadness and grief are heavy on my heart.
Today, if I cry, that is OK, but I know Who my God is. He is able to fight my enemies for me. My enemies of doubt, of guilt, of the what ifs...My Lord is stronger than all my enemies combined. The Almighty is my fortress, If I run to Him, He will give me rest...and I only need to be still....
Who are you trusting in today? Would you rather be a slave to sin than be free in the uncertain terrain God has planned?
Lord, show me...I will follow.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We were brave enough on Monday to call the coroners office to see what the preliminary autopsy said. By this, I mean Andy was brave enough to call, I was just brave enough to ask what they said when the conversation was over. The lady he talked to said that NOTHING showed up on the preliminary, and that it was highly unusual. She looked like a very healthy baby...nobody knows what happened. So we have to call back every week until the final autopsy report is in...which could be months. In the big picture, it doesn't really matter what Caden died from, we know it was God her chose to take her home, and he has graciously allowed us to glimpse reasons why these past weeks. My prayer is that whatever they find would absolve anyone(especially her Dr.'s) from any guilt of being able to save her.
I have also decided that somebody needs to come up with a line of warning labels for people in awkward circumstances. For example, say someones dog just ran away, but her best friend just bought a new puppy and wanted to send her pictures. The warning label should read. WARNING: contents may contain material that will make you cry, or bitter toward your friend. (because of the loss of your beloved pet) Or something like this. Anyway I decided this after a terrible, wonderful, beautiful present that I just found in my house...yes, just found...Sara, next time, warn a girl, would ya? There is a wonderful lady who works at the hospital where Caden passed away, who having lost a child herself, likes to make molds of the baby's hands and feet for the parents. We had given this blessed woman our permission do do so shortly after Cadens death. Well, I forgot...we go home from the trip and I was looking in Cadens room ( It had been cleaned out by family while we were gone, and found a basket full of beautiful presents in her crib..."OOOH Presents! NO, NO, NO Cari....these are not the good kind of presents...but no one was there to warn me...(hence the NEED for the warning labels) I open up the lovely wrapping to find the most awful, beautiful 3D mold of Cadens hand, with a little bracelet on her wrist that says her name. Under the mold of her hand was imprints of her feet and ink stamps of both her hands and feet. I am glad I have these things...but I am even more glad I can put them away...too sad, too soon. Needless to say I was a hysterical mess for a few minutes until I could wrap it back up and get it as far away from my person as possible.
Anyway, please continue to pray for us. It means so much.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
As I was floating along the Caribbean sea, I realized 2 things...1, I still consider my life a good one, and I have a totally different outlook on my "good life"
Let me elaborate. A month ago, if someone off the street were to ask me if I had a good life, or was it very hard. I would have very honestly said, no, it has not been hard, it has been wonderful. I have blessing upon blessing God has granted me. A nice home, great friends, a better husband, and on top of that a beautiful baby girl. I was living in, as a friend put it, "in Disney world" everything was great, nothing to complain about. On my trip I realized I still feel the same way. I have all of those blessing still, albeit Caden is waiting on me in heaven as opposed to in the other room. Now these blessings have weight, they hold substance. I knew I had good friends, but God has blessed me with people who go ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty) to show how much they love me and my family, all in the name of Christ. I knew I had a good man, but have you seen the man I have? Oh how Great is our God to provide Andy for me. I could not get through this without him. And my baby girl...oh what a blessing she is. God is so good to us. He intrusted us with her life, and through her life and her death she has touched many, and our prayer is that her brief life would impact others for our Savior. There are so many things God has been merciful enough to let me see these past weeks that show why her.
even though we hurt, even though this is no longer "Disney world" God has given me a great life, and with His help I can use it for His glory.
Second my perspective has changed. (How could it not?;) We all know that when you become a believer in Christ that you are supposed to have a heavenly perspective. I always thought "OK, yeah, I want to go to heaven. It sounds like a great place, but not until I get to do....." you can fill in the blank. I did, many a time. At first it was not until I get married, then not until after I have a baby...when would it have ever been enough. It is now. Matthew 6:21 says For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Caden was my treasure, and She is in Heaven. If she is there, where else could my heart be? My heart is in Heaven, and now my soul cries out to be there as well. I do not think any other thing could have given me this same longing for my eternal home, as the death of my daughter. God is so good to provide for me in such a way. I will always miss Caden, always, but I know I will see her again. I truly cannot wait for that day.
Even so, Lord, come quickly.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Before I begin, just another HEARTFELT thanks for all of your prayers. The phrase "power of prayer" has a whole new meaning for Andy and I.
We have been doing well, upheld by your prayers for us and our family, as well as for our day to day needs. Many of you have sent flowers, cards and meals, all of which are gratefully received. God has been so good to us. looking back over the past few days we can see His provision for us, which started years ago, and is so overwhelming. Please continue to pray for us and our families.
I want to let you all have the opportunity to read a sermon which touched my heart just days after the loss of Caden. J. Vernon McGee wrote this sermon after losing a baby daughter. Please take the time to read it.
Just so you know, Andy and I are going to the Caribbean. I will post pictures when we return. We think a change of scenery will be good for us, as well as making some good memories for this time of year.
Talk at you soon!