Saturday, January 24, 2009

in honor of my daughter

In honor of my daughter, Caden Joelle Chastain, who would have been one today, Andy and I would like you to remember her with us. Our dear friend, Richard, spent some time making a beautiful video of her for us. Please watch it. As you do, remember. Remember what God has done. Remember His mighty works through her life and death. Remember the words Andy and I have said.
Remember Caden. The light of our lives and joy of our hearts.

(Please remember to pause the music at the bottom of the page to hear the music on the video.)





Wasn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Requests

This week has been a bit harder than I first anticipated. And to be completely honest, which I always strive to do, I thought it was going to be pretty hard. The tears are just beneath the surface if someone asks about Caden's birthday and/or how we are doing. I have had people ask what we are going to do...our answer...nothing. Andy and I just think that doing something would be too painful. So, we will try to act as if Saturday were any other Saturday. When, in all reality, it is our daughters would-be 1st birthday and, sadly, we and all of our friends and family are not getting together to celebrate and watch her eat a cupcake and laugh while the icing gets everywhere. You see, I have had the scenario planned out in my head for sometime. She was going to be beautiful and full of laughter.

And though she was those things while she was here, I have to remind myself, she was never meant to see her 1st birthday. God had other plans. For Caden. For Andy and me. For our families. We Know God is using our lives, as well as Caden's life and death in mighty ways. Yet, this week is hard. We miss our baby girl. Passing milestones without celebrating is heart wrenching. And, yet, we know God is good.

In the mist of my suffering, God has brought be a life to celebrate. Not instead of, but in addition to. My dear friend Stacey and her husband are expecting their 2nd child this week. Does anyone else see Gods hand? :) Did I mention it was a baby girl?


I ask 2 things of you this week. Please remember us in your prayers, specifically for this week and Saturday.
And for Stacey, as we all anxiously await the birth of a precious baby girl who, the Author of Life decided long ago, was meant for such a time as this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

laughing and crying

So lately I have gotten some much loved time with some much loved friends....this phrase's meaning is 2 fold.

1st. I have been able to spend time (whole days in fact) with some very close friends. Last Tuesday was my birthday. I love birthdays. Andy says one day that will change, but seeing as I am as old as I am, and still love 'em....I do not see how he can be right. However, this is coming from a man who tells people how much he detests birthdays and scowls at anyone who well-wishes him on his "big day". So on my birthday I had a good time...went to lunch at the coveted Chick fil-a and was, I kid you not, sung to by the lovely persons who work there. As I was smiling, turning red, and trying not to slide under the table...I was hoping that the whole of the restaurant besides the impromptu "birthday party" was thinking the birthday girl was the one year old sitting by my side. (fingers crossed) here's hopin'. Incidentally I have come to the point in my life where I think I had just as many party guests under 5 as I did over....ahh the glamorous life, so this is what it is like!!!
I have also been able to spend time with close friends one on one...or two. It has been very nice and almost like therapy. Andy knows I love him...but some days there is nothing like a good girlfriend to make you feel better.

2nd explanation to my 2 fold statement (and I make this next statement under the assumption that you will not judge me....again fingers crossed) Andy bought me the 1st season of Friends, the TV show, for my birthday...so I then went and spent some birthday $$ on the next 2 seasons. That is right Internet...I have been sitting on my kiester watching episode after episode of a closet obsession of mine for the last week...and laughing out loud to myself ( I am not afraid to admit that after such bursts of laughter, I do try to repeat, out loud, what was so funny only to realize that I am by myself. If you know me at all, you know I am a repeater and do this frequently in the presence of people, and now apparently, in the presence of only myself.) I am OK with this.

I have a Dr. Apt. on Thursday. Andy and I will get to hear the baby's heartbeat and then schedule a time for an ultrsound. We are the kind of people who wanna know what we are having...so hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will know if it is a baby girl, or a baby boy. Any vibes out there? Andy and I have ours...but we would love to see what you are thinking, feeling, hoping for...let us know!

I feel like lately I have nothing to give these posts...this has been the reason for my lapse into nothingness. Either I have nothing, or am just emotionally spent. Sometimes the line between the two blurs. A week from today would have been Caden's 1st birthday. She missed it by 4months and 2 days. It feels like so much longer...or just yesterday. But most days it feels like both all at the same time. I laugh more than I cry these days. And for that I praise God. I do feel like Saturday will be hard. Please pray for Andy and me this week. As well as our families. We miss our baby girl. So much it hurts. I have been remembering her a lot this week. So along with a prayer request, I will leave you with a small video. Just in case I do not have the strength to post something more later this week in honor of my daughter.
Thank you for your prayers and love for us.

(remember to go to the bottom of the screen and pause the music so you can hear the video.)

video

Friday, January 2, 2009

The truth of it all

Some days, like with everyone, are worse than others. For Andy and myself, bad days are usually pretty bad...at least worse than what we would have considered bad days before the loss of our daughter. Now I have a slightly altered perspective than my previous one. I battle with tears everyday. And yet, I laugh every day as well. I know one of Gods gifts to Andy and I was the freedom to laugh, really laugh; Big belly, hurt-your-side kind of laughs, so soon after Cadens death. It is a weird feeling to be having such a good time and suddenly your laughter changes to tears. I remember a time when I was with some of my closest girlfriends and we were talking about our kids and bathroom stories. I was laughing so hard. I shared a story about Caden taking a poop in the bathtub once, and I couldn't finish the story before my laughter turned to ugly tears.

What I wouldn't give to clean her poop out of my bathtub...just once more.

On the days where my emotions seem to run off and leave reason behind, I try to remind myself of the difference between feelings and truth. Emotions are good. God gave us emotions for all kids of reasons. But I know that what I feel is always subject to change depending upon my surroundings and mood. Truth; the things of God; is eternal and does not change.

Ever.

When I am questioning God, or not understanding His orchestrating of events. I force myself to go back to what I know to be true. He is faithful, He is sovereign; He is Holy...I am the created. He is the creator. This is His world, not mine. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says " Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Lean not on my own understanding. That only leaves 2 options. I can lean on somebody else's understanding, or Gods.

I choose Gods.

Jesus also says in John 16:33 "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." This is what I am leaning on, His overcoming of the world. Already done. One day, I too will reap those benefits. Heaven awaits with my little girl. Romans 8:37 ~ " We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

These are some of the reminders of Gods truth when I am feeling lost. My feelings are not unchanging like God. He is my Rock, my Refuge. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) Even handle the death of my daughter with grace and give praise to the Author of Life. This is how faith works. Trusting what I know to be true, over how I feel in this fallen world.

I am still praying over 1 Peter 5:10. Knowing God is a God who keeps His promises. He will restore both Andy and me. Until that day...

"For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 2 Timothy 1:12