Life After Loss

 

Today I ran across this picture on my Timehop:

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It’s not the type of picture that would normally elicit memories from the entire day because I probably posted a million similar pictures. This picture however brought with it an array of unexpected emotion.

2 years ago today I sat alone in my living room with my ridiculously pitiful pup and wrote the last blog post I have had any desire to write. I sat for hours with tear stained cheeks and typed my heart out in my Microsoft Word document. I hit saved, exited the program, and never posted it.

So here it is, the last blog post I wrote on January 13, 2015. Take heart half way through, it gets a little better toward the end

Dear 2015, 

I wish I had nice things to say to you, but I can’t think of any right now.
So far you have brought pain and bitter heartache.

I want this to be a letter about all about the positive things, the things you have in store, the secrets to come, the adventures to be had, no negative and no bad…

but it can’t be. 

Because with all of the things that are in store and all of the adventures to be had, there is still a bitter ache.

2015 will never be what I thought it should be.

Every happy thing that happens, the things I will want to shout from the rooftop,
the things that make me want to pick up the phone and call home,
will immediately remind me
that 2015 will never be what I thought it should be. 

And when the days get hard and I feel low,
when I am in the grocery store and I can’t find the right aisle,
when I have more kids in my house and need advice or just an understanding ear
I will again remember
that 2015 will never be what I thought it should be. 

No matter what else happens, 2015, when I look back at you it will sting.
Along with the good memories will come the heartache
Along with the adventures will come a sharp pain
2015 will never be what I thought it should be.

It’s 2015 and 10 days ago my mom died.

2015 will never be what I thought it should be.

Don’t stop reading yet though, because the good part is coming.

For me, 2015 has been heartache and pain beyond what I have known before
but 2015 is not what my mom thought it would be either.
You see, my mom was battling Leukemia, she had been battling it in one form or another for over 2 years. She had undergone extensive chemo, lost all of her hair, had a catheter in her chest, been through a bone marrow transplant, and lost her life as she had previously known it to be. She didn’t have the energy to work, or the immune system to spend time around many other people.
Her life had become something that she never thought it would be.

But she didn’t quit.
She persevered, she ran the race and she finished well.
She loved to the end.
She loved the people that others took for granted.
She loved the downcast and the overbearing.
She knew the love of Jesus and she gave love from Jesus.

Her life had become something that she never thought it would be,
but that didn’t matter,
because Jesus was still the same.
He was the same for her
and I know
that even though 2015 will never be what I thought should be
He will be the same for me too. 

and 2015, even though you bring me pain,
I know you brought my mom peace

I know that right now she is Singing With the Saints.
So even though I am angry enough to throw things at you, and I am extremely conflicted about my feelings on the next sentence… on behalf of my mom I will say,

And for one reason or another, I never wrote that last sentence. I have no idea or memory of what I was planning to put there. Today I sit in a different living room typing once again with tear stained cheeks while eating crackers to curb the nausea that has come with the pregnancy of my second child and trying to my keep my first child from chewing on my toes with his brand new, really sharp teeth (babies are gross).

In September 2015 I found out I was pregnant for the first time, and I realized in that moment that this letter was accurate. For the rest of my life it will never be what I thought it should be. There are still so many happy days, and the years have looked much brighter than the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 looked for my family, but the ache that comes with loss never really dulls or goes away, you just kind of learn to live differently.

I have also learned that while the first half of the letter is accurate mostly on the days when big things happen, the second half of the letter is even more accurate every single day. Jesus is still the same, and He is enough. He doesn’t take the pain away, because pain is part of life on this sin riddled Earth, but He holds us through it, He gives us the strength to continue, and He gives us joy even in the hard times.

So I want to encourage you this year, if you are or find yourself in a place of loss, depression, shame, guilt, fill in the blank, look to Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, He is there in every season, and as I have seen over and over again the past 2 years

HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW

*Sorry my first post in 2 years was sappy and full of tears, hopefully in the years to come I will fill these pages with much more upbeat words.*

Give me eyes to see you

It would be an understatement to say that I have been irritable lately for some unknown reason.
But today has been a very good day and this is why;

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
therefore I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV

So thankful to serve a God like that.

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Kelsey

A Few of Our Favorite Things

I thought that having kids would give me abundantly more to say on here, and it has. The problem is there is so much to say and so many emotions that I can’t seem to sort through them well enough to articulate them.

So in the mean time I will tell you some of our new favorite activities (and by our I obviously mean the girls);

Rain Drops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…
Not really, that song is only one of my favorites. If I tried to get my family to sit still for the movie, Clint would fast forward through all the songs and the girls would cheer him on (true story: that’s exactly what he did when I tried to make him watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He just doesn’t get it.).

10171925_10201606277865661_1275577961_nWe love $3 Target Tu-Tu’s, but that goes without explanation.

Sorry (the board game). Can I just tell you, they changed this game. They added tokens called Fire and Ice “power ups”. The ice one we have figured out and we play with it regularly, but even after reading the instruction 3 times I could not for the life of me understand what to do with Fire! Anyway, I have to keep both eyes on the game because I have 2 cheaters and one who is still trying to understand the concept of a board game.

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Mickey Mouse Memory, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and all other things Mickey Mouse. For the record, 4-year-olds do not have the attention span to play a matching game with 64 pieces (that may be an exaggeration). Also, I do not love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I miss classic Mickey Mouse. The characters lack.. well.. character! And at any point in time during the day you can walk through my house and hear “Oh toodles!!” being yelled by the TV, kids, or Clint…

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Toodles is the odd floating head next to Mickey. He has a face most the time and he is their gadget that helps fix things, aren’t you so thankful for the useful information I fill your head with?

Kids Songs. Squirrely (the younger of the two) is very inquisitive and if we are in the car she will ask a million questions about ridiculous things that I cannot answer. My patience for this grew thin after a month so I had an idea one day in the car; Kids Songs! Oh my it was a hit, and not just for Squirrely but Lilttle Momma (the older of the two) LOVES them as well. We sing the baby bumblebee song, tiny turtle, days of the week, The B-I-B-L-E, and Zacchaeus pretty much every day. That’s fine. I will sing about smashing a bumblebee any day if it means I do not have to listen to One Direction. (Every song sounds the SAMEEE)


On that note, I need some more kids song, so feel free to leave suggestions!

Leggings. Ok, if you know me you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people wear leggings as pants. THEY ARE NOT PANTS. If you want to wear them with a long shirt that covers all your parts, fine, but wearing them as a substitute for jeans is not ok past like 2 year old.
This is a concept that was never taught to my girls. They have more leggings than all other clothing items combined. We have had to take a shopping trip to find shirts that are long enough to be my version of acceptable with leggings. And I am about to cave on Jeggings. It’s just a battle I can’t fight anymore.

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I don’t really love these greeting card things, but this one seemed appropriate.

Their favorite part about living with us (as they informed the caseworker) is church =). We love that. It has made such an impact in their lives that BioMom has started attending a local church so that they can keep it in their lives when they go home (as long as everything keeps going the way it is currently going). We are thrilled about that, we know that Jesus is the only one who can fix a broken family and make something beautiful out of it.

That is the hope that I cling to every day for my girls.

Anyway, thanks for reading!
All you friendlies that I don’t get to see on a regular basis: I miss you!

*Kels

 

99 Cent Convictions

I have been reading this book:

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(you can’t really look inside, the image came from Amazon, which is where the link will take you also…)

I have been wanting to read it for a few months now, but I was feeling to cheap to buy it, so when I found it at Goodwill for 99 cents it was like God left me an early Christmas present!

I started reading it right after I prayed that God would convict me about the sin in my life and use the conviction to change me.. Obviously I forgot to re-read the back of the book before I opened it up after saying that prayer.

I have come to a few conclusions. I am so very annoyed with the American lifestyle. I mean really, how do you pray for a nation that is 100% fixed on themselves when The Church is the #1 culprit? That is a conclusion I have been at for awhile actually. I’m really praying that God will remind me that He desires mercy on a daily basis, because mercy is something that I do not naturally have in leaps and bounds for the American Church. 

I have come to the conclusion that we are giant prisoners of consumerism. My favorite movie growing up was “10 Things I Hate About You.” Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles anyone? And I could quote most of the movie, but I specifically remember this one: “in hopes of distracting themselves from the pathetic emptiness of their meaningless consumer driven lives.”

I edited out the first part, it’s not horrible, but you probably know it anyway. Amen Julia. 

The verdict:

1. I will not buy an article of clothing for the rest of the year. This includes jewelry, bags, scarves, headbands, etc… 
I realize that there are only 4 months left this year, but most of my jeans have either shrunk or are beginning to wear holes, so I’m afraid if I commit to longer than 4 months I will be pantless by January…

2. I am a purger. I love to get rid of things, however when I get rid of things I tend to just pile it in my car and send it all to Goodwill. This is not a bad thing. I think though, that there are places in my community that could benefit greatly from these things I have just been too lazy to seek them out. I will start doing that.

3. It occurred to me yesterday while doing my quiet time that there are needs that I see on a regular basis, be them big or small, that I have the means to meet but for some reason I don’t. This is ridiculous. It is seriously time to stop being so American and start loving people. I have a tendency to see someone on the side of the road with a cardboard sign and think “it’s a scam, they are just going to buy beer.” Let me tell you what this is, it’s an EXCUSE. That line is an excuse to hold tightly to those few dollar bills we keep in our wallet, and for what? A candy bar from the vending machine when we are not hungry, but think we need something sweet? So maybe they will use those three dollars to add to a collection to buy beer, but guess what, maybe they will use those three dollars to add to a collection to buy groceries for their 3 kids who are at home and haven’t eaten in 2 days. Who am I to assume that I know what they will do with that money? 
No more excuses, Kelsey.

On another note, while I was sitting outside in the hammock having all of these spiritual revelations my dog was creating a new fashion trend with my flip-flops…

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The weirdest part? The other half of that flip-flop is nowhere to be found in my yard. I’m 98% positive that she ate it.