Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God Is Good

Our pastor's nephew died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. Zac Smith. I had met him a couple of times over the past ten something years I've been going to Grace. A couple of months ago he posted a video of his walk.

Tom and I watched it with the kids. It was very moving, very inspiring. It was just what we needed to keep walking and trusting in our good God. Livvy then sat at the computer and watched it again and again and again.

Zac's message sunk in. She paraphrased what she had learned in the van a couple of weeks after to my mom, aunt and uncle who were visiting. "If Noah lives with us forever, God is good. But if Noah dies, God is still good."

Check out Zac's video.  It's an amazing testimony.

Good Morning

It's almost 6:30am and I'm already up.  But I'm looking forward to a good day.

I went to bed singing All I Can Say by David Crowder Band and woke up singing Praise the Lord by Karen & Kids.

A good friend reminded me yesterday of something so obvious. I was telling her that sometimes I just let the anxious feelings and the doubts carry me away. I said I needed some verse or phrase that I could repeat to myself to bring me back.

You know what she said? "Noah Tobias. Take comfort, God is good". Duh! It's why we chose that name for him. To remember, to remind me. I am so slow sometimes. Thanks Sara!



All I Can Say

Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I'll stop
Rest here a while

And didn't You see me cry'n?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You'd remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now
i know it's not much
And this is all that I can give
yeah that's my everything

Bridge:
I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet



Praise the Lord
Wherever I am, I'll praise the Lord
Whenever I can, I'll praise the Lord
I will lift His name on high
I will praise the Lord

God is so good
God is so good
He is so good to me

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tired

It is almost 11:30pm and I'm tired.  But not really physically tired, though that would be nice.  I'm tired of the ups and downs.  I'm tired of the silence.  I've had an unexplained small panic feeling all day...can't seem to shake it. It just sits in my heart. Yesterday it wasn't there. The day before I was doing just fine. All the days that I thought would be hard have come on gone with relatively little emotional struggle.


Psalm 28:1
To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock;
Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

OK...now I'm tired.  Maybe I should go to bed.  Things usually look better after a good night's sleep.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Noah's Story, Part 1

One month ago today I gave birth to a little boy who changed my world forever.  It's hard for me to say that he would be one month old today, because... he wouldn't have been; he was never designed or intended to be any older than 31 weeks in my womb (even though I long to be holding and caring for that sweet little baby boy).  The way his maker knitted him together makes it hard for me to even picture what he'd look like now, hopefully whole and happy in heaven. 

I haven't yet been able to process all the events of the last five months, so I'll share our story with little Noah Tobias in parts when I have the time.

To tell Noah's story I have to go back to October of 2009 when we first found out we were having another baby.  I was not happy about it.  In fact I was very upset and mad.  I didn't think I was ready.  I wanted more time with the three that we had.  I didn't want to start throwing up again.  I was just starting to really like how my body was shaping up and I didn't want to give it over to a baby yet.

Notice something?  Yeh, I was being very selfish.  I was fighting for my own plans and not God's.  Which is the first and biggest life lesson that I've learned through this journey with God and Noah.  It's not about me.

Soon after finding out about baby #4 my mom lent me one of Elisabeth Elliot's talks on CD.  Right now I can't remember the title of the message, but I do vividly remember the content: giving up the right to yourself.  Ugh!  That's so hard, especially in an age that's all about doing what's right and best for you; where we're encouraged to find ourself and develop our self-esteem, etc.

Elisabeth shared this poem from Betty Scott Stam (which I've posted before but will again) that has forever changed the way that I view this life - not that I still don't struggle and struggle a lot with it, but at least it's message is forever etched into my heart and head that it is what I must do, struggle to live it out.

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all
Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit
Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt
And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now and forever.

Elisabeth summed it up like this: Relinquish, Accept and Give.  That's our job as we live this life.  Relinquish the right to our body, our plans, our desires, our purposes.  Accept God's perfect and holy will (even though you might not agree with it or it doesn't feel very holy at the time) without fighting and/or bitterness.  And then give your life to God to let Him work out His will with perfect peace.

Easier said than done.

But way back in October I did it...for the time being at least.  After a couple weeks of fighting against God regarding this new little life that He created in me, I relinquished, accepted and gave.  I got excited about God's plan for growing our family.

At eight weeks pregnant my morning sickness (which had kicked in early at five weeks) went away.  I wasn't sure if it was the new vitamin that I had started or what.  I got very scared that something was wrong with the baby.  I forgot that part of accepting God's plan could mean accepting pain.  My friend at our doctor's office got me in to do an ultrasound to check on baby.

The ultrasound showed a nice strong heartbeat.  Baby was measuring at seven weeks not eight weeks like I thought, which was not a big deal.  Everything looked "normal" and I was so relieved.  I was pregnant with our fourth baby and I was happy about it.

The next few weeks were uneventful.  Life was good.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Good Grief

I wish I could just have a good 'ol cry and be done with it - the pit in  my stomach would go away for good; my tears would be replaced with smiles because I would see my beautiful son, whole and happy in heaven; I would not feel guilty or have any more regrets for the choices that we made. I wish that I could wrap my whole mind and heart around God's goodness, have no doubts, no fears, just full on knowing acceptance that He is sovereign, His will is good to me and for me.  If I had that, I know there would be overwhelming peace, no more fighting or striving against my maker.  Oh, how I want that.

Again and again I say:
"I give up all my own plans and purposes...and accept thy will...at any cost" (Betty Scott Stam).


Through the grape vine I was given these "five essential tasks anyone who has suffered a loss needs to do to help heal grief".  I thought it would be good for me to pass them onto whoever might be reading this.  This is what I'll be working on for the next several weeks, months and possibly years.
1. Accept the reality of the loss.
2. Experience and talk about the painful feelings caused by the loss until healing takes place.
3. Put your life back together by making decisions, taking actions that are constructive and that make a difference for what you have lost.
4. Put the loss into the wider context of meaning and faith.
5. Reach out for mutual help to others who have suffered losses.

Thank you so much to all of you who have read my ramblings, prayed over and with me, walked and continue to walk this long road along side me, especially my sweet man.  I am not alone...there is something so comforting in that.  I pray you do not grow weary of me as I start this road toward "healing"  - I don't know what that truly looks like or if I'll even know when I get there.

I've asked myself lately why I'm writing this blog.  I originally I started it to keep family and friends informed about our adventurous housing remodel/addition and, of course, the children.  Since then it has turned in a way for me to share what's going on in my heart and head, especially with our journey with Noah.  It's one way to accomplish no.2 on the above list, tell and retell.  Writing has been a way for me to share Noah, make him known to as many people as possible so that he is not forgotten, what God has done is not forgotten.  Thanks for reading and remembering!

Noah on YouTube

I finally figured out how to get Tom's talk from Noah's memorial service onto YouTube.  It's in two parts, so here are the links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9A_0iTS53U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic14TzYHFY8

I think Tom did a great job sharing how we truly have taken comfort in God's goodness and sovereignty in the midst of this trial.  I hope you are encouraged as well.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In Need of a Savior

I was looking over through my blog at past posts and found this one that I wrote but never published.  So, I edited it a little and will go ahead and publish it now.  The things that prompted me to write this are no longer on the forefront of my brain or heart right now, but the conclusion is a very good reminder of what's most important in this life.  It's comforting for my weary soul.


"It seems to me that a lot of us are still looking for a saviour. Every couple of years a new fad-church comes along promising us to fill that void, to help us fill the longing in our souls, give us that new thing that's going to change us and the world. Many of us parents with young kids want something that is going to guarantee that our children become healthy, mature, God-fearing adults. Will it be sheltering them from the world, "focusing on the family", homeschooling, family-integrated churches, etc. that's going to save them? Save me? There's nothing wrong inherently with any of these things unless, I feel, that we are looking at them to save us, save our kids.

After doing some Bible digging, chit-chatting with friends, and discussing with my hubby, I've come to the conclusion that... Jesus is our saviour. Go figure.  A life set on following hard after Him and His word. A call for a life of personal holiness - "and you shall be holy; for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44).  That's what courses through the pages of the Bible from one end to the other.  That is what is required of me. I will stake my life on His word. I will fall. These last few months have found me at times falling hard, and not necessarily on my knees as I should have been.  I am not one in which faith comes easily. With God's strength and the strength of the one that He has put nearest to me (Tom), I will get back up and I will surrender again, and again, and again."