Monday, November 29

six weeks

this has been the longest six weeks of my life. i feel as though i've aged, and now 27 doesn't sound so young anymore. i miss you, sweet girl. i wish i was saying "i love you" to your soft face and not a photograph.

it's monday. we just got home last night from denton, and every room in my house is now messy. if i lived in a town, i'd hire a maid for the rest of the year. what should i do today, i wonder? my house needs cleaning, gwenny's room needs to be reorganized, work is waiting, our accounts need balancing, food needs to be planned and cooked, decisions still hang over me about headstones and insurance, and christmas gifts are waiting to be considered and shopped for. oh, the options!

all of these normal things used to excite me 6 weeks ago. (okay, "excite" is too strong of a word.) But the motivations behind each task was wonderful - "baby is coming, so the room needs to be ready! meals should be frozen, so i can warm up something when i'm too tired to cook. i should deep clean now so i don't have to think about scrubbing the toilet when i'm holding my newborn." all of my motivations centered around my new role as a stay at home mom and manager of our home, and that gave me joy while i was cleaning/budgeting/folding laundry, etc.

and now, what does it matter? i fold laundry so we don't go naked. i cook and clean and shower because my husband needs food and a clean house and a wife that's not disgusting herself. and so life goes on.

and that is just my house. what of my relationships? my work? my ministry? the women i'm privileged to know and disciple? all of these things are too weighty for me. I want to hide under the covers and sleep my life away, waking up to a better day filled with a baby's cries and children's laughter, when mundane things like vacuuming take on a glorified purpose.

i'm struggling with Your goodness to me today, God. and I honestly don't want to step out and try and trust that even today, You will be good, and that even today, i can find joy in serving You and doing laundry for Your glory. Lift me up, strong Son of God, and enable me to bless You.

Friday, November 26

i give thanks.

do you ever feel how God comes through at just the right time? tonight was ending on a sad note for me. thanksgiving had gone well - crazy, but well - and today was shopping, movie watching, knitting, playing games, and more movies. mom, dad, blair and i went to see Unstoppable, then walked around downtown denton. we stopped in at Jupiter House for the loo and a drink (i recommend the carmel nut nebula; they also make fabulous latte art).

the last time i was in denton was two weeks before gwendolyn was born. blair was driving to texarkana for work, and i was enjoying a day with my friends. i had started my morning off by taking mom to work, then going to Jupiter House for coffee and a quiet time. i remember being exuberantly happy ... it had been a beautiful fall morning, i was wearing a scarf and drinking coffee, and in a city again. i was immersed in pure felicity. i even wrote danielle and faith, telling them how ridiculously happy i was. and why, you ask? because my life was all that i had hoped. i loved my husband, i was due at any moment, and all was right in the world.

and tonight, remembering how happy i was... well it's just depressing. it seems as if all my happy moments are a mockery.

i met kelly recently... another sweet mom who is missing her baby. (i honestly just hate it that there are so many of us... so much death.... hate it. ) and she sent a link to a youtube video of Desert Song. it is encouraging to know that other people who have felt such a deep loss also have felt the "loss" of feeling God's nearness in the way that you have felt before. and you trust in the God that you know, and you keep walking blindly.

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be empited again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

no weapon formed against me shall remain. thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, November 24

captivate us

"A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" Matthew 21:28-31

I desire to do your will, God. I don't want to be as either of these sons... I want to be the one who joyfully and obediently responds. Mom always said that delayed obedience was disobedience. Lord i know that i have been disobedient, i have struggled with Your will to rejoice always, give thanks, to trust and hope in you. And you have proven faithful, and have patiently endured my railing and doubts and anger. Forgive me for thinking less of you than you really are.

Lord, please be my strong Shield and Tower, my Refuge of strength. hide me away from the sorrow that blinds me to the Truth, the despair that overwhelms me, the doubt that seeks to destroy my faith in You.

Tuck me away, God, and "be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt! Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, 'aha, aha!' But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, 'Great is the LORD!' As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!" Psalm 40:13-17

Teach me to run to you with my grief, God. Your love does not always seem like love to me. but Your ways are higher, and good.  Your ways are different, but good.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. amen." Romans 11:33-36

Lord, give me discernment as i wade through the rolling emotions of each day. teach me to run to Jesus with them and uncover the truth or the lies behind them. may i only know Truth, God. teach me to rest in your goodness when i cannot understand your will. i love you Lord. so imperfectly, but i love you.

Monday, November 22

my journal entry today - don't judge too harshly.

can Faith be Faith without emotions? does it only include positive emotions? and when emotions are void, does it nullify your faith?

What do you want of me, God? You have taken what is precious to me. And you desire my affections too? You are most Unfair, God. My obedience you have. My will, my life, my allegiance and faith. And that is not enough? You desire my affections? Do you realize how ludicrous that sounds to me? You wound me, maim me, strip my love and hope away, yet still call, "All of you Erin... love Me with all of you, even your affections."

You are most Unfair, God. You create me four-fold. My physical body mocks me, a constant reminder of what happened and how it failed me. spiritually and mentally, i know Whom I have believed. but maybe not as I should... and emotionally? You do this to me and yet You still exact your requirements to be emotionally loved by me?

And will You not speak to me until I have met them? Will You not meet me here, in the dust and ashes of burned up hopes, as I tremble and hesitate to light the fire of my broken offering? Is it only after that You will comfort and bring relief?

And Your answer to Job in his distress was a display of Your power and awesome might. is that all i am to expect? You put me in my rightful place amidst earthen pots and unformed clay? No comfort, no tears, no divine hug and glimpse of an explanation? Even my parents gave a reason when they disciplined, even if i didn't fully understand it at the time. They never physically struck me without telling me why. Are You not a greater Father and Mother?

But You have struck, You have marred, You have reduced me to nothing. and i hear nothing.

If it's for Your glory that You take children from the arms of eager parents... You are sorely testing our faith in Your loving kindness and compassion.

Should I be so enamored by the Christ's atonement that the loss of Gwendolyn ceases to matter? If that's the case, then why love at all? why create families? Why give us blessings if we're not to enjoy them?

And what does Your Spirit say to mine today? "She out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

You are most Unfair, God.

Sunday, November 21


i don't have much to say. i had a depressed day.

yep. that's about it.

i was thinking about how debi coached me to relax into contractions... to surrender to them. i was very confused about that, even in my foggy-labor brain. how do i surrender to the massive amount of pain i'm experiencing? how do you keep your body from resisting it, from seizing up and attempting to control or channel it elsewhere? i didn't have much luck with that concept during my labor with gwen.

today felt like a contraction. well, i would say the peak of a contraction. this whole weekend was mounting sadness, and it crested over me today. and i don't know how to surrender to it, to just feel sad, knowing there's no light in the midst of death's shadow. a Companion, yes. but no light at the end of the tunnel.

yep. that's all i got. nothing profound or uplifting or anything to grasp on to. just pain, pain, and pain.

Thursday, November 18

i'm melting, melting...

i didn't even realize i was having that difficult of a day until i had a melt down tonight. the instigator? a foiled pizza. (literally--- somehow the foil stuck to the crust.) and then i had a wonderful moment where my wedding ring fit my finger again! ...and that lasted for about 5 seconds, until i realized it was cutting off the circulation in my finger. but could i get it off? no. ensue meltdown.

it took about 20 minutes of icing, holding it above my head, wine, whining, saran wrap and lubricant, and one very patient husband to get it off. sigh.

blair and i took a trip to hot springs for a few days. very sweet friends of ours lent us their house and gave us a spa treatment to allow us to relax and be away from our life for a few days. it was really wonderful to have such quality time with blair, and have time away from the internet and phone.

Nancy Guthrie in her book, Holding On To Hope said, "The day after we buried Hope, I understood for the first time why so many people choose to medicate their pain in so many harmful ways. That day I tried to sleep it away. And in the days that followed, I discovered that I could not sleep it away, shop it away, eat it away, drink it away, or travel it away. I just had to feel it. And it hurt. Physically."

I had read that before our trip, but I still hoped that traveling would allow me some reprieve... negative. Gwen was everywhere. I will never take her shopping. I will never get coffee with her. I will never travel with her, and learn her traveling style (serious plan from point to point like her dad? wandering aimlessly like her mom?) Doing life is painful, since life is exactly what i will not have with her, for a while. but each day takes me closer.

I was able to worship today to the this song by Third Day:

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul
In you, O God, I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me
My hope is in you
Show me your ways
Guide me in Truth
In all my days
My hope is in you
I am, O Lord, filled with your love
You are, O God, my salvation
Guard my life and rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out...


Grammar was never really my thing. (when it came to school, I’m not really sure I had a “thing”… biology, maybe? Psychology? Definitely not anything sports related, we know.) I didn’t really click with English grammar until I was learning German, and had to remember how adverbs and adjectives and indirect objects and prepositions worked.

I’ve been thinking that God is a fan of the preposition “through”. According to, the word “through” means: in at the first step of a process, treatment, or method of handling, passing through subsequent steps or stages in order, and finished, accepted, or out of the last step or stage. And that’s what He’s doing in me and in Blair… it's a process, a treatment... a purging of the dross and refining by fire. He wants us to go through the red sea, through the valley of the shadow of death, through the water and fire. There’s no getting around the pain… the only way up is through.

My daughter is one month old today. What would she have been like today? Crying, difficult to understand, opinionated? (read mother’s daughter?) or calm, cautious, and cute as all get out (like her dad)?  Would she have settled into a routine? How much would she have kept us up at night? I bet she would be able to hold her head up. And have gained another few pounds. My daughter.

What kind of mother would I have been? Patient? Enjoying every blessed moment? Frustrated from lack of sleep and having no idea what my screaming baby was trying to communicate? All throughout my pregnancy, I envisioned taking great naps with her. And now, when I lay down I think of what it would feel like to have her little body next to mine, sleeping away. 

What kind of woman am I now? Broken, grief-filled, questioning yet determinedly clinging to what I believe, yes. But how then shall I live? I want to be a better woman, a better wife, daughter, sister, friend… I know that Gwen has impacted me deeply, but I want it to be the good kind of impact that leaves me not a little bit closer to Jesus, but DRAMATICALLY closer to Him and radically more like Him. 

Sweet baby, I miss you today.  Every day brings me closer to you, and I hope in that. I love you, gwenny.  Happy one month with Jesus.

Saturday, November 13

but most of all

today has been busy with fall camp. it has been fun... and good to laugh. i feel the undercurrent of sorrow seeping through my eyes and smiles and laughter, and i can't fool anyone. but i've been trying to keep it from sweeping over me. my attempt at ignoring it made me remember a story i wrote 5 years ago... i've edited it some to more accurately reflect where i am now:

My house has become a curiosity as of late.  Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve had certain visitors come… and stay.  Without asking, they’ve taking up residence somewhere along my borders, or inside my home. In the mornings I can hear Brokenness outside the front door, pacing across the creaking wood floorboards.  He has developed a routine: knock twice, pace.  Tap at the bay window, pace.  Knock again, sit.  He’s very eager to be with me, but he gives me such a hollow feeling that I politely decline and attempt to ignore his requests.  When I venture outside to go about my business, he clings to me like a shadow.  When I (we, I should say, for he has taken to lodging on my front porch) return, I ask him to wait outside and he always replies, “Happily, ma’am.”
In the evenings I’ll often find Mara and Mourning in the garden, strolling on the stone paths overtaken with vines and ivy, or resting under the gazebo’s graceful arms.  Neither of them are very cheerful creatures, and in a small way I fear them. Or rather, I fear what affect they would have upon my countenance and being.  And so I oblige them with an arm in arm stroll across the grounds, and soon after I bid them goodnight, I’ll hear them sing.  Its always the same song: a slow lament that winds its way through the eaves of the house and under the crack in the kitchen window and settles itself softly in the hallway. 
Sorrow is a peculiar thing. He likes to hide in the most unusual places… in between the bed sheets, for instance.  I find him frequently peeking out from behind the picture frames that line the walls, or lingering around the coffee cups.  He especially likes my perfume cabinet.  He and I often sit on the overstuffed couch that rests in the living room, and entertain Silence, who comes to call rather frequently.    
But most of all, there is Hope.  She comes less often these days, but her visits always cheer me.  She usually takes my hand as we walk to the top of the stairs, through the french doors and out on the balcony.  We sit and watch the sunset and before she leaves, she hands me a gift…always the same, small token: an exquisitely carved wooden leaf made from solid oak.  She always repeats the same phrase, “Fulfillment is on his way.”

Friday, November 12

it's been a bad day

"Suddenly, here it is again. The chain of suggestion can begin almost anywhere: a phrase heard in a lecture, an unpainted board on a house, a lamp pole, a stone. From such innocuous things my imagination winds its sure way to my wound. Everything is charged with the potential of reminder. There is no forgetting." - Nicholas Wolterstorff

It was a bad dream last night that prompted wailing, weeping, and yelling in the shower today. it wasn't supposed to be this way.

"He has made my skin and my flesh grow old; and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead." Lamentations 3:4-6

"Has God forgotten to be merciful?" Psalm 77:9

"The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me." Job 30:27

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me? so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent." Psalm 22:1-2

Thursday, November 11

even the stars sometimes fade to gray, even the stars hide away

i woke up this morning, really wishing that reality wouldn't set in. i just don't want this. i miss gwen today, and miss feeling her inside me... i was always amazed by how strong she was, and how she could reach all the way around to jab me in the kidneys or lung... my sweet baby just needed more room, i think.

i've been thinking about NOT thinking about the emergency procedures. It is so difficult for me to remember when things started to go wrong... when Dr. C told me that my baby might not be alive... i never, never, never ever want to hear anyone tell me the things they told me and did to me in the emergency room. So at this point, i keep shoving those memories into the dark corners of my brain, and would like them to stay there. (it's not as if i could really forget, but i don't want to call them to mind.)

But am i supposed to remember? Do i need to? is there some sort of healing to be found by remembering those things? Do i need to be intimately acquainted with every square inch of the cross i now bear, or can i carry they weight without knowing?

i want to hide away today.

Wednesday, November 10

mother daughter dates

i feel like the Lord was gracious to me yesterday, and that his birthday gift to me was a double portion of joy. gwen was never far from my mind, and the depth of losing her will always undergird other emotions, but yesterday i was able to feel joy.

i went to our bible study and was encouraged by the message. lately i have been so comforted by the fact that Gwen is REAL, she is still a physical being in a physical place, and has a personality, a love for Jesus, and Lord willing, is still 10lbs 1 oz. She is not a fairy tale or fictional character, she's not surreal or imagined or non-existent. I will see and touch her and hear her voice and laugh with her some day. I will know my daughter. yesterday I read this quote about children in heaven, and while i don't know if it's true or not, i really hope it is:

"I believe with all my heart that God will raise the little ones such that the mother's arms who have ached for them will have the opportunity of holding them. The father's hand which never held the little hand will be given the privilege. I believe that little ones will grow up in the care of their earthly parents, if they are saved." - J. Vernon McGee

I had errands to run after bible study, but i was longing to spend time with my daughter. I got my favorite starbucks drink and went and sat at her plot, thinking of how one day her body will be resurrected from that small 2 foot by 1 foot space. I prayed and talked with her and God and asked Him to pass along messages to her. I read 1 Corinthians 15 over her, and told her what will happen in her future. I find so much comfort knowing that Death will be swallowed up, and never allowed to touch anything ever again. The earth will be purified from the ravages of decay and death, and be freshly new. And we who love and know Jesus will inhabit it.

Afterwards I went and spoke with the rep at the monument place - he spent an hour educating me on all my options for headstones. (Okay so not the best idea of what to do on my birthday, and it was emotionally taxing. i thought i would just stop in, but it was helpful.) I have to say though that i know more about headstones than i ever wanted to know, and they charge you an arm and a leg for a piece of granite.... hard not to feel like they take advantage of people in grief. but maybe the good stones really do cost $900...

they put up a temporary stone for the time being.

Monday, November 8


i've had a lot of ideas and thoughts that meant to turn themselves into a blog, but didn't...

my sister came for the weekend, at the last minute. it was so sweet to my soul to have her here. we're only two years apart, and have always been close. when i watch my nieces play together, i think autumn and i must've been the same when we were 6 and 4... playing pretend about nearly everything, fighting over toys and learning to apologize. we've gone through everything together, and i love that she is so near to my heart that we feel each other's sorrows and joys deeply. she is mourning my loss as a mother and hers as an aunt; and we settle into a rhythm of relating to one another that's 27 years into the making. autumn knows the balance of asking questions, crying, making me laugh, serving me when i need it, giving me space with my husband and quiet time with the Lord... what a good thing God creates when He makes sisters. I never have adequate words to express my whole heart, but know that i love you, aut.

speaking of time ... tomorrow is my 27th birthday. i've had a habit for the last 10+ years or so, that the night before my birthday i will sit and journal about the past year and what has changed, how i am different, what were the highlights and the lows, etc. i pull out my journal(s) and read through the past 365 days, remembering what God brought me through.

the theme of my 26th year was Baby. it's what dominated the majority of my thoughts, prayers, and actions. we started trying to get pregnant in december; we found out we were pregnant on february 7. overall, i believe my year was one of JOY, unspeakable joy. and i won't let despair take that away from me. being Gwen's mom for the 9 months of her life was the most lovely thing i've experienced.

Today I was reading Isaiah 61, and how the Lord came to proclaim "the year of the Lord's favor". I began (and will still) be praying that God would give us a year of His favor... but I believe He already did. and while it didn't turn out at all as i had hoped, anticipated or dreamed, He did give us 9 sweet months of joy and a beautiful baby... He had favor over us.

Here's to a new year... Lord, please give me new hopes, new dreams. please show your favor on us once again. please fulfill my longing in your good timing... but soon, Lord, please. Draw my heart after Yours, God. Thank you for never resting until I am wholly, completely Yours. 

Friday, November 5


i've been thinking a lot about mourning lately, and how i think we americans do it all wrong. and i figured, that if there's a way to do it right, i'll find it in the bible... and what i've found is outward, emotional, long periods of mourning. they expressed grief. they took time for it. they stopped all celebrations and rituals and habits. they sat in silence. they wailed loudly. the psalmist expressed his range of emotions through writing and song. these are the ones that grieved well.

i've met so many women who have lost children or siblings or parents, who have told me that they think blair and i are doing well to "let it out" and to write and write and write and talk and talk and talk. they had not, they tell me, and you can still see the burden they carry. 

so i am determined to do this well.

i was reading ecclesiastes 3 today, and decided to expound the verses and personalize them (vs. 2-4):

God predestined a time for Gwendolyn Hope to be born - it was October 18, 2010 at 3:10pm. He also predetermined her time of death - October 20, 2010 at 3:30am.

He gave Blair and I a time to plant and cultivate dreams for Gwen - 9 sweet months. He gave us a time to dig them up and plow up the ground, readying our hearts for His new (and good) plan  - this is now.

He created a time to die to ourselves and to our own wills as we lay them down before Him.  He also promises a time of healing, a season in which He will gently bind our wounds and restore our broken walls.

He gives us days full of breaking down emotionally before His Body, the Church. He gives the Body the grace to build us up and carry us --- physically, emotionally, spiritually.

He hollows out periods of time for weeping, and weeps with us. He graciously gives moments of laughter to balance out the waves of suffering.

He has determined a time for us to mourn, and promises that we are blessed because of it, for we will be comforted. He invites us to dance with Him, like clumsy children standing on His great big feet as He moves us along to His rhythm.

This is my God. He makes all things beautiful, in it's time. 

Thursday, November 4

theology vs. emotions

so maybe i spoke too soon in my blog post about trying not to be angry... i feel so, SO hurt by God this morning... and i just want to be angry to help myself express it better.

what am i to do, when my theology battles my emotions??? i KNOW that God is good, i believe it with all my heart. i KNOW that He is powerful, and the Creator, and could speak LIFE into Gwen, even now!! 

but He didn't. He didn't! WHY!? why???! she was just a baby! why not!? 

and what does that mean about my faith??? at some point in september, i asked God to give me more faith. And since He is the object of my faith, i thought it would behoove me to study the character of Christ. So i began reading Matthew and Luke, concurrently. And now i regret that decision, since i don't know what to do with the Jesus i'm reading about. He tells me that if i have faith, i can move mountains (Matt. 17:20) and that if two of us agree on earth about anything we ask, it WILL BE DONE for us by our Father in heaven (Matt. 18:19) and that i ought always to pray and not lose heart (luke 18:1) because "will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily." (Luke 18:7-8) 

and i understand that that doesn't mean i get everything i want, and that God has this giant cosmic plan that i couldn't understand even if He explained it to me... but didn't Jesus want his disciples and the crowds to take Him at His word? to believe what he spoke to them, and have faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish great things? 

i don't care to know that there is a purpose in this.  no purpose will be good enough for me. i know that's selfish, and very me-focused. but i'm not okay with my baby dying for my sanctification, or other's sanctification... and i'm not really okay with her dying to bring other's to Jesus. isn't that what His death was for? 

I'm not okay with God today. I feel hurt, bruised, disappointed, broken... and His words just confuse me today. today i don't have the faith to say, "though he slay me, i will hope in him." 

Wednesday, November 3

what's the phrase about biting the hand that feeds you?

i've been thinking a lot about anger these past two weeks. i've had many people tell me that it's okay to be angry, to express my anger, to yell and scream when i need to... God can handle it. and i know i've said the same thing to many people before. and what we mean when we say this is, "don't bottle your anger." or "it's not a sin to be angry." or "be willing to go deep into all your emotions." or other things like that.

but anger is really a secondary emotion. it's a productive emotion... it gives you a sense of control and power, and it is normally directed outwards at God or others. but when you get down to it, anger is really just being hurt. and it's not any fun to just sit inside "hurt-ness" and be vulnerable... it's much easier to be angry.

when my brother christopher died, i was so hurt by God that i threw myself into anger and bitterness... i was the embodiment of rage, just waiting to tip over on some poor, unsuspecting person.

i don't want to be that again. as much as it hurts to just feel hurt, i don't want to be engulfed by anger. i'm still asking God "why", and telling Him how much i feel hurt by him. and maybe some day i might need to yell at him, but right now He's the only one who can comfort my soul completely... he also injured my soul, but "he disciplines those he loves." (or wounds, in this case.)

racoons are like satan.

they come to steal, kill and destroy. this morning at 3am, two of them snuck into our chicken coop and killed two of our chickens. We heard the chickens squawking and blair saw the coons out the window, so he went out and shot them. i don't think we woke up too many of the neighbors... we both laid in bed for awhile, trying to calm down. i kept thinking of our poor chickens and how they had probably all flew off. so i decided to go looking for them. as i walked out i saw another coon on top of the chicken run - i told blair and he got that one too. afterwards we decided to check the chicken area, and thankfully 9 of our original 11 were still sleeping inside their coop.

silly things, but additional loss in any way is distressing to me.

today i decided to come back to work for a few hours. i'm not sure if that was the best idea for today or not. i was fighting back tears during the staff meeting... how silly. i'm not ready for "normal". My previous normal, up to October 17, was to be pregnant and enjoy my husband and be ready for a child. Now everything that is "normal" just seems wrong... some people find comfort in routine after grief... not my style. i just want everything to be different, since it IS different. I should have a new house that doesn't have the hope of gwen around every corner. I should have new clothes that i didn't wear with her, ones that fit a new body that is marred by a 6 inch scar. i should have new hobbies and habits, things that won't make me cry as i remember how i was excited about sewing her clothes or knitting her a new diaper cover. I have all of my old life waiting for me, full of every reminder that we don't have our blessed hope here in our arms. i try to remember life with her in me and be thankful... and sometimes it works. but today it's just too sad for me to remember.

 i am thankful for Blair today. Apart from the Word of the Lord, he is the biggest encouragement to my heart and can still make me smile. And this morning, and i saw him doing things he doesn't like to do (like shoot animals when he's not hunting) i was thankful that he is the Defender of Our Home, and my Close Companion and Champion of my Heart. I love you infinitely more, husband. Thanks for making me smile today.

Tuesday, November 2

gwenny's star

This morning i read Psalm 147:3-4. "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names."

My dad has been praying verse 3 for me and blair. I thought verse 4 was interesting... i always thought the idea of God naming the stars and giving each of them value was beautiful.  I didn't see the correlation between the verses though. 

This afternoon we received a package from Holland --- from the star registry. a friend of ours named a star after Gwendolyn, so that every time we look at the heavens we can be reminded of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.

After a rough two days and a half, this was a bright spot in my day. here's a picture of her star... it's by Hercules and Corona Borealis.  

Monday, November 1

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

isn't that the title of that kid's book? a little over the top, but expresses an emotion quite well.

i just re-read facebook messages from the last two weeks... and they roll from prayers of healing and faith into prayers for comfort in grief. it's difficult to remember.

i'm broken hearted today. i don't want to be strong, and i don't want to know or attempt to be comforted by the fact that God is using this to give me a greater faith or make us great witnesses or anything. i really just want this to be a dream, and to wake up with gwen kicking inside me or crying beside me.

but i won't. and the nightmare just goes on.