Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Weary World REJOICES

Just wanted to share this quote from a blog post I read from the KLRC morning show by Keri because I feel oh so weary, and this was such a wonderful reminder of where my hope lies during this difficult Christmas season without my Abigail. When I try, I just can't begin to fathom that God became a baby. I can hardly contain myself when I try to grasp what He's done for me.  It gives me so much hope and joy and peace and security, and I realize that He really is the only thing that matters.  Life is so much better when my focus remains on Him.

"And then I hear it again: the weary world rejoices.

The weary world. Not the happy world, or the ready world, or the excited world, or the calm-peaceful-perfectly-decorated-my-house-looks-like-a-Pinterest-board-and-nothing-is-ever-wrong world.

He came for us. The weary ones. The at the end of our ropes, desperate ones. And we can rejoice. Not because we will spend this Christmas surrounded by everyone we love, or because our house will be beautifully decorated, or because the perfect gift for every child will be wrapped waiting under the tree. No, we rejoice because a new and glorious day is coming… has come. When Christ came down to rescue the weary ones. We rejoice because He has broken the burden of sin and gives us hope of a future with no more pain or sorrow or toil.

Yes, I am weary. So weary. But there is a thrill of hope that dances with my weariness. Because a good and loving God saw my need and came to rescue me, rescue you, from the weariness."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 20

Favorite Charity/Organization

I could never begin to express my deepest most heart felt gratitude toward Jill Meyer, the volunteer photographer who took Abigail's pictures.  She gave me the most priceless and precious gift.  I treasure these pictures more than any other material possession I own.  Jill works for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (infant remembrance photography).  Jill arrived at Children's Hospital with only a moment's notice.  She was such a kind and compassionate person.  We will never forget her and what she did for us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

8 Months Since We've Said Goodbye

It's been 8 long months since we've said goodbye to our precious baby.  What a hard hard week it's been! I'm still in utter disbelief that she's gone much of the time. So thankful for all of our family and friends who remember Abigail and our pain.  You have shown me the kind of person I want to be. Compassionate and sensitive hearts mean more to me than I could ever begin to explain, and I will never forget the kindness and love that we have been shown.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones!
Proverbs 16:24

Luke sent 8 pink roses to me at work today for Abigail being 8 months old.  So sweet!

We attended an annual candlelight memorial service this past weekend for Abigail.  They read all the names of everyone who passed away in 2011 and in 2012. I love hearing her name! It was so wonderful to get to attend because it makes us feel like we are getting to do something for Abigail, especially since we won't get to have earthly celebrations with her. There was a special candle lit just for her and the whole cemetery was lit with candles. It was beautiful.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

8 Months Old

"Lord, hold my child close to You, and if You will, I plea, that as You hold her close to You, she remember when I held her close to me."

A dear friend shared this with me tonight: Psalms for the Grieving Heart

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saved by the Blood of Jesus

I have been pondering Abigail's salvation and my salvation since listening to John MacArthur's sermon on the salvation of babies.  I am joyful because I grieve with hope.  The salvation of infants who have died truly is a beautiful illustration! Abigail is God's chosen elect! Incredible. He saved her no differently than He saved me: by grace alone. I had no more to do with my salvation than she did. What reassurance of my own salvation! When I stand before Jesus on judgment day, He will evaluate my life and I will be held accountable for my sins.  I love to think about when Abigail stands before the throne, and He tells her "Well done my good and faithful servant!" And she was such a faithful servant because she is still changing our lives and causing us to lean on Him. She was born with a sin nature, but by His mercy she was snatched away to His loving arms before she had a chance to sin.  And I will get to spend forever with her, and my Redeemer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A sermon by John MacArthur on The Salvation of Babies (Part 1)

"So, when an infant dies, he or she is elect to eternal salvation and eternal glory. So dear one, if you have a little one that dies, rejoice. Count not your human loss, count your eternal gain. Count not that child as having lost, but having gained, having passed briefly through this life untouched by the wicked world only to enter into eternal glory and grace. The true sadness should be over those children of yours who live and reject the gospel. Don't sorrow over your children in heaven, sorrow over your children on earth that they should come to Christ. This is your great responsibility, your great opportunity."

Here is the link.  You can read it while you listen, or just read/listen.  It is so good! 
The Salvation of Babies Who Die (Part 1)

Capture Your Grief: Day 18

Family Portraits


Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Months

Seven months ago today we met the most perfect, beautiful, precious gift! So blessed to be your mama and daddy! We miss you with every ounce of our being. We miss the memories we will never have. We love you so much and feel blessed to carry you in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 15

Wave of Light

I invited friends on Facebook to join us in lighting a candle in memory of Abigail on Monday night.  I asked them to post a picture with their candle on Facebook and to mention Abigail.  I asked them to tag me and/or Luke in their picture so we would be sure to see them all. There was an overwhelming response and it sang to my soul! So many people posted a picture of their candle and said sweet things about Abigail!  I sat at the computer for hours and watched live as everyone posted their picture, or wrote a sweet comment, and cried as I read each message.  It was so therapeutic for me, and it was one of the best days that I have had in almost seven months.  I hope that it brought friends and family joy to know they were doing something for our sweet Abigail, and for us! This is the picture we posted, and our caption.    

For our sweet Baby Abigail and for everyone else who has lost a child! We love you so much and look forward every day to seeing you again! So thankful that Jesus has conquered death for us and that you are safe in His arms!

Capture Your Grief: Day 14


This banner was hanging at The Race to Remember that we were a part of at the end of July.  It was such a beautiful way to honor our babies and the grieving families!!!

Capture Your Grief: Day 13


Although I don't really believe in signs, the picture of this sculpture is really special to me.  I am always asking God to give me a glimpse of Abigail somehow, or asking Him to let me dream about her.  When I ran across this picture, it gave me such a good visual of how she would not want me to be sad, and also of how she is so happy! It was an answer to prayer and a blessing to me. The only thing that would make this sculpture better is if Jesus was holding us both!

Capture Your Grief: Day 12


Luke and I got to give Abigail a bath and we used this little bottle of Johnson and Johnson baby wash, and put this baby lotion on her.  It was such a special time to have with Abigail and these smells will always remind me of her, along with everything else that is baby! Man, we miss her!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 11

Supportive Friends and Family

Team Abigail!

Our wonderful family and friends came out to help us remember Abigail in the Race to Remember at the end of July.  The race benefited Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, the volunteer photographers who took Abigail's pictures.  We are so thankful for our loved ones and the support they've been to us along the way!

Capture Your Grief: Day 10


These are Abigail's sweet bunnies. They were given to me by my mom and sister when I was staying in the hospital.  They are special to me because I held them during such a difficult time.  They stay in our room on our bed as a sweet little reminder of our precious girl.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 9

A Special Place

Although it is sometimes very emotional, we love to go to visit the place where Abigail's little body lays to rest.  We sometimes have picnics near her, or take a flower to her.  This pink rose is from my brother. We don't have her headstone yet because I want it to be just right. I am still trying to perfect what I want it to say.  It is still so surreal to me that her precious little body is there and not with us.  I don't know if I will ever really be able to wrap my mind around the fact that she's gone.

Capture Your Grief: Day 8


Abigail's actual little prints!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 5


Abigail's flower bed we planted from some of the flowers that were given to us by friends and family.  It is much bigger than this now!

A pink dogwood tree planted for Abigail at work.  Pink dogwoods were everywhere when Abigail was born and passed away.  They will forever remind us of her.  They are a wonderful reminder of what Christ has done for us, and also a reminder that she is with Him! Praise the Lord!

A pink dogwood in our backyard planted by our friends.

This little rosebush was given to me while I was in the hospital by my sweet little grandmother.  It is huge now!

This butterfly changes colors at night and was given to us by our little friend, Kendyl.  It sits right next to the dogwood tree and we enjoy sitting outside in the evening watching it, thinking and talking about Abigail.

Capture Your Grief: Days 6 and 7

Day 6: What not to Say

Since losing Abigail, I have certainly learned that there is great power in the words that we speak.  It makes me wonder how often have I said something hurtful to someone when I had no idea? Many times I am sure. Words can be SO healing, or so hurtful.  I have learned that it is better not to talk if I'm just talking idly, with no purpose. Eventually idle talk will lead to hurtful words, even if it's unintentional.  I never know what someone may be going through, that my words may cause them pain. So I think it is so important to choose our words wisely.

T- is it true?
H- is it helpful?
I-is it inspired?
N-is it necessary?
K-is it kind?

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 13:3

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:14-16

Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.  Therefore stand in awe of God. Ecclesiastes 5:7

Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house.  And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
1 Timothy 5:13

Don't say anything that would hurt another person.  Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed.  That way, what you say will help those who hear you.  Ephesians 4:29

We all stumble in many ways.  Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.  When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example.  Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  James 3:2-6

Day 7: What to Say

Let me know that you think about Abigail and that you will never forget her!  And please feel free to ask me about her. I would love to tell you all about her! She is no less a part of our life than if she was here with us!

“If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who’s important to them, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad 
by reminding them that they died, they didn’t forget they died. You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that’s a great, great gift.’”
- Elizabeth Edwards

"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears.  If you are really my friend, let me hear the music of her name! It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul!"- Author Unknown

Thank you Tesha!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Capturing Your Grief: Day 4

Treasured Item

Little shirt Abigail wore with her sweet little blood stains.  It is so precious to me.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Capturing Your Grief, Days 2 and 3

Day 2: Before Loss Self Portrait

So full of joy over our precious baby

Day 3: After Loss Self Portrait

So full of pain and sorrow that we don't get to keep her

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

6 Months

Why is 6 months extra hard?  I miss Abigail so much, sometimes I think I might die from a broken heart! So thankful we are just passing through and this is not our home.  Look forward every day to the day I see her again! Happy 6 months, precious Abigail! You're still changing our lives!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"But consider -- it's one thing for God deliberately to let something happen, even something terrible, for reasons we may not understand.  It would be another for the God who weeps over suffering to wish he could help but have one hand tied behind his back.  Either God rules, or Satan sets the world's agenda and God is limited to reacting.  In which case, the Almighty would become Satan's clean-up boy, sweeping up after the devil has trampled through and done his worst, finding a way to wring good out of the situation somehow.  But it wasn't his best for you, wasn't Plan A, wasn't exactly what he had in mind.  In other words, although God would manage to patch things up, your suffering itself would be meaningless.  One Christian writer who believes that God has little to do with the specific circumstances that come your way expressed it like this:

'In 1982 someone laced capsules of the pain reliever Tylenol with cyanide and then put them back on store shelves in Chicago.  Seven people died after swallowing poisoned pills.  The families of those seven people no doubt agonized trying to find some shred of meaning in why God or fate or luck had picked on their loved ones, of all the people in Chicago.  We can concoct some answer and perhaps take some small comfort in it, but sadly, there was no meaning in those deaths.  Each was a bizarre, horrible coincidence, nothing more.  Therein lies the tragedy.'

No, the real tragedy is that any Christian would settle for such darkness with the light of the Bible shining so clearly.  If God didn't control evil, the result would be evil uncontrolled.  God permits what he hates to achieve what he loves.

-When God Weeps

We know that Abigail's life and death have so much purpose.  And that our suffering has so much purpose, even if we don't understand.  I know that even though Abigail's life was brief on earth, it has such profound meaning!  I know it wasn't just for us here on earth that God created her.  He created her for Heaven! Surely she is shouting for joy and singing praises to our King right now! I can't wait to worship Him with her one day!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

5 Months Since We Said Goodbye

You've been in Heaven for 5 months today.  5 months can seem like an eternity sometimes! We are 5 months closer to you and we cannot wait to be with you again! Our hearts will never stop aching for you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Months Old

Happy 5 months to my sweet baby Abigail! It's so hard not to think about what you might be doing if you were here. I wonder what you might look like and how much you would have grown. Oh how I wish I could see what you're doing right now. We love you and miss you so much!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Race to Remember

Thank you friends and family for helping us remember Abigail today in the race! Thank you for being on Team Abigail! Your love and support means so much. And thanks to the ones who couldn't be there, but were there in spirit! We love you! I'll post the pictures soon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

4 Months

It's been 4 months since we said goodbye to our sweet Abigail. We are so thankful for your precious life and so thankful we will see you again! Life on earth will seem so short when we finally make it home and we're reunited! We love you so!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4 Months Old

Happy 4 Months to our precious Abigail Grace! I long for the day that I get to see you again! We're a month closer! We love you so much!

Friday, July 13, 2012

It Is Well With My Soul

"My sin, not in part, but the whole, it is nailed to the cross so I bear it no more! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord,  O my soul!"

Thankful today for Abigail's, mine, and my loved ones' salvation.  Thankful that even though I grieve, I do not grieve as one who has no hope.  Thankful for my eternal hope and joy.  Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How Long, O Lord, How Long!

"Then comes the king's cry: 'I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.'  One of the reasons God loved David so much was that he cried so much.  'I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping' (Ps. 6:6). 'You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?' (Ps 56:8).  It is a beautiful thing when a broken man genuinely cries out to God.

Then after the cry you wait. 'I waited patiently for the Lord.' This is crucial to know: saints who cry to the Lord for deliverance from pits of darkness must learn to wait patiently for the Lord.  there is no statement about how long David waited...Only God knows how long we must wait.  The prophet Micah experienced prolonged and painful waiting. 'I sit in darkness...until [the Lord] pleads my cause and...will bring me out to the light' (Mic. 7:8-9).  We can draw no deadlines from God.  He hastens or he delays as he sees fit.  And his timing is all-loving toward his children.  Oh, that we might learn to be patient in the hour of darkness.  I don't mean that we make peace with darkness.  We fight for joy (emphasis mine). But we fight as those who are saved by grace and held by Christ...

It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.  This is the way Paul thought of his own strivings.  He said, 'Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own' (Phil. 3:12).  The key thing to see in this verse is that all Paul's efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in Christ are secured by Christ's grasp of him.  Never forget that your security rests on Christ's faithfulness first.  Our faith rises and fall.  It has degrees.  But our security does not rise and fall.  It has no degrees.  We must persevere in faith."

John Piper, When the Darkness Will Not Lift 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Abigail, I can't even imagine how ecstatically happy and joyful life would be if you were here with us.  I was thinking what today would be like if you were here.  Holidays magnify the fact that you're gone even more.  It is hard to get together with the rest of the family without you.  There is such a huge void and feeling of emptiness.  Missing you so very much! We love you!!!

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Life on earth is transitory and true life awaits the faithful in heaven."

 "Now life will be a little less sweet, death a little less bitter."

 "Life is bigger than loss because God is bigger than loss. Pain and death do not have the final word; God does. That final word involves more than life on earth; it involves life in heaven as well, the final destination of this great cloud of witnesses. I find myself thinking often about heaven... There is another and greater reality that envelops this earthly one. Earth is not outside heaven, it is heaven's workshop, heaven's womb. My loved ones have entered that heaven and have joined those who died before them. They are in heaven now because they believed in Jesus, who suffered, died, and was raised for their sake. They live in the presence of God and a reality I long to enter in God's good time."

 God called me to something incredible when He allowed me to carry Abigail! Not only did her life here on earth have so much purpose, but her life in heaven has even more purpose! She has arrived to the greater reality, our true life and final destination with Christ!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Combat comes before victory.  If God has chosen special trials for you to endure, be assured He has kept a very special place in His heart just for you.  A badly bruised soul is one who is chosen."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's been 3 months since we said goodbye, Abigail.  It seems like an eternity since we held you in our arms, but in some ways it seems like we began this difficult journey just yesterday.  Thankful that I'm one month closer to you! We love you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3 Months Old

Abigail, today you would've been three months old! Oh how I wish I could watch you grow! My heart aches so much to see you and hold you! I love you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Abigail, we went to a memorial service held in honor of you at Children's Hospital this past weekend.  It was in memory of you and the 47 other children who passed away between February 1st and April 30th.  One of the babies who was being remembered is buried right next to you.  We got to meet other families that are grieving over the loss of their children. They called your name and rang a bell in your honor at the service.  It was so hard being back in Little Rock where you and I stayed for so long.  It was so strange seeing the buildings and scenery that I viewed out of our hospital window every day.  We are still missing you as much as the day we said goodbye, Abigail! We are going to run a race to remember you in Little Rock in a couple of weeks, and then another one in Bentonville in July.  They are going to release pink balloons just for you.  We love you so much and think about you constantly!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Abigail, I thought I had learned what I needed to know.  Then you burst into this world with your brilliant spirit and I realized I was just at the beginning! You taught me through your amazing way of being YOU, showed me beauty I had never seen, a depth to life I had never known, a JOY I had not yet felt, and the LOVE my precious DAUGHTER can bring!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"I cannot live with the memories, and I cannot live without them. Hope for the future functions similarly.  It is impossible not to imagine the future, and it is equally impossible to imagine the future without using the present as material for our imagination.  After doing woodworking as a hobby, for instance, you can imagine a career in carpentry.  After viewing slides of New Zealand, you can imagine what it would be like to travel there.  After winning your first college debate, you can dream about becoming a great trial lawyer.  The problem with those who have suffered loss is that they are deprived of familiar material from the present in order to envision the future...Whenever I thought about the future, I still found them there.  But they were never going to be there, which only made me more aware of how devastating my loss was.  Thus, like my view of past memories, my view of the future reflected ambivalence. I remembered a past that included people I did not want to give up, and I imagined a future that excluded people I desperately wanted to keep.  For a time I was deprived, therefore, of the comfort that good memories provide and of the hope that a good imagination creates.  That is why the present was so barren to me and is so hopeless for many who face tragic loss.  This barrenness can be overwhelming. 'Will this emptiness continue forever?' we ask ourselves.  'Will I feel this way for the rest of my life?'  'Am I doomed to sail forever on a vast sea of nothingness?' These questions expose the depths of sorrow to which people who suffer such loss often descend.

...Andy and Mary will never 'recover' from their loss.  Nor can they.  Can anyone really expect to recover from such tragedy, considering the value of what was lost and the consequences of that loss?  Recovery is a misleading and empty expectation.  We recover from broken limbs, not amputations.  Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery.  It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same.  There is no going back to the past, which is gone forever, only going ahead to the future, which has yet to be discovered.  Whatever the future is, it will, and must, include the pain of the past with it.  Sorrow never entirely leaves the soul of those who have suffered a severe loss.  If anything, it may keep going deeper.  But this depth of sorrow is the sign of a healthy soul, not a sick soul.  It does not have to be morbid and fatalistic.  It is not something to escape but something to embrace.  Jesus said, 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.' Sorrow indicates that people who have suffered loss are living authentically in a world of misery, and it expresses the emotional anguish of people who feel pain for themselves or for others.  Sorrow is noble and gracious.  It enlarges the soul until the soul is capable of mourning and rejoicing simultaneously, of feeling the world's pain and hoping for the world's healing at the same time.  However painful, sorrow is good for the soul.  Deep sorrow often has the effect of stripping life of pretense, vanity, and waste.  It forces us to ask basic questions about what is most important in life.  Suffering can lead to a simpler life, less cluttered with nonessentials.  It is wonderfully clarifying.  That is why many people who suffer sudden and severe loss often become different people."

Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench. But it isn't. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn't repeat." - C.S. Lewis

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

Abigail, you are such a perfect gift from above and we are so thankful to know you. We are so thankful for the time we had with you. You have changed our lives forever, and we love you more than words can say! We cannot wait to be with you again!

Friday, June 1, 2012

"God's ways are always infinitely perfect; that we are to love Him for what He is, and therefore equally as much when He afflicts us as when He prospers us; that there is no real happiness but in doing and suffering His will and that this life is but a scene of testing through which we pass to the real life above."
 -Elizabeth Prentiss Stepping Heavenward

Thank you, Lee!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm so thankful for my sister and the conversation we had today. She reminded me that no matter what, He is good. No matter what, He doesn't change.  I cannot view Him and my relationship with Him, based upon my own feelings.  We were talking about how we know that we have done this in the past; we have thought He was good based upon the way we felt. Abigail has caused us to see our relationship with the Lord more rightly.  I have to remember that the Lord is present in my life even when I don't feel like He is.

 "Human perception sometimes poses questions the mind is incapable of answering.  But valid answers always exist.  For those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, it just makes good sense not to depend too heavily on our ability to make the pieces fit - especially when we're trying to figure out the Almighty! Not only is human perception a highly flawed and imprecise instrument, but our emotions are even less reliable.  They have the consistency and dependability of Silly Putty...We can't depend on our feelings and passions to govern our lives or assess the world around us.  Emotions are unreliable - biased - whimsical.  They lie as often as they tell the truth...One of the evidences of emotional maturity is the ability (and the willingness) to overrule ephemeral feelings and govern our behavior with intellect and will.  If perceptions or emotions are suspect at best, then we must be extremely wary in accepting what they tell us about God... Even when He seems 1,000 miles away and uninterested in our affairs, He is close enough to touch.  A wonderful illustration of this unseen presence is described in Luke 24, verses 13 and 14, when two of Jesus' disciples were walking toward a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They had seen their Master horribly crucified three days earlier, and they were severely depressed.  Everything that they hoped for had died on that Roman cross.  All the dramatic things Jesus had said and done now appeared contrived and untrue.  He had spoken with such authority, but now He was dead and laid to rest in a borrowed tomb... The disciples couldn't have been more confused. What they didn't realize was that Jesus was walking that dusty road with them at that very moment, and that they were about to be given the greatest news ever heard by human ears.  It would revolutionize their lives and turn the rest of the world upside down. At the time, however, all they saw were facts that could not be harmonized. They had a problem, I submit, a problem of perception... If you find yourself on that dusty road to Emmaus today, and the circumstances in your life have left you confused and depressed, I have a word of counsel for you.  Never assume God's silence or apparent inactivity is evidence of His disinterest.  Let me say it again.  Feelings about His inaccessibility mean nothing!  Absolutely nothing! His Word is infinitely more reliable than our spooky emotions... The Lord is at work in His own unique way even when our prayers seem to echo back from an empty universe."

It is a constant battle against my own flesh and emotions.  It is a reminder of why spending time in the Word and prayer are so important during this difficult journey.  Again, I have to recall His promises. My flawed and limited human perspective reminds me of God's response to Job - "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" These verses are convicting, but I also find such comfort in them; He is almighty and powerful, and He is in control!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I was thinking about my deep pain and sorrow, and how I don't understand why my Baby Abigail was taken from me, and that He could have chosen another way to accomplish His purposes. But I am thankful for a God who I cannot understand. Isaiah 55:8-9 says "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Thankful that I serve a God who, my finite human mind does not have the capacity to grasp His infinite mind and the way that He does things in my life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

His Promises

My Jesus is still the same.  Even NOW, through my tears, He's still the same! Even NOW, that my Abigail is gone, He's STILL the same!

Promises He has made to me:
That He will be near to me for my heart is broken; He will save me for my spirit is crushed. (Psalm 34:18)
He will never leave me or forsake me. (Joshua 1:5)
He will be with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)
He has plans to give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
He will restore my soul. (Psalm 23:3)
Because I trust in Him, He will renew my strength and I will soar on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)
He died for me and is at the right hand of God interceding for me. (Romans 8:34)
He is working for my good. (Romans 8:28)
Nothing can separate me from Him. (Romans 8:38)
He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
He will give me mercy and grace in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
He is preparing a place for me and He will come back and take me to be with Him. (John 14:3)
He will give me His peace. (John 14:27)
He is good and His love endures forever; He is always faithful. (Psalm 100:5)
He will sustain me; He will never let me fall. (Psalm 55:22)
He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)
He will keep me in perfect peace because I trust in Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
He has healed me by His wounds. (Isaiah 53:5)
He has given me a living hope. (1 Peter 1:3)
Because of His great love I am not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy 2 month Birthday to our precious baby Abigail! We miss you as much as ever and can't wait to see you again! We love you more than words can say!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revelation 21:1-5

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

I cannot wait for this day!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I am standing on the seashore.  A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "She is gone." Gone where?  The loss of sight is in me, not in her.  Just at the moment when someone says, "She is gone," there are others who are watching her coming.  Other voices take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
-Henry Scott Holland

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15

Friday, May 11, 2012

Be more concerned with God's glory than your relief

I think if I would be more concerned with God's glory than my own relief, I might get some relief from my pain as a result. I know I am still her mommy, but one of the things I have struggled with is not being able to actively play the role of Abigail's mommy.  Not only did a part of myself die with Abigail, but also my hopes and dreams of being her mama.  It leaves me feeling like I have no purpose. If I would concern myself more with His glory, I know my sense of purpose would return.  He has left me here for a reason.  I have to remember that "the reason we breathe is to sing of His glory." I want to honor Abigail's life as much as possible by honoring Him.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Realize that God means for you to be where you are"

"In the story of the Red Sea, the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud and fire as carefully as possible, thrilled with their new freedom, full of excitement about the future. Yet as they followed Him, God deliberately led them into a cul-de-sac between hostile hills, to the edge of a sea too deep to be forded and too wide to be crossed.  The unmistakable implication of Exodus 14:1-2 is that the Lord took responsibility for leading them into peril. He gave them specific, step-by-step instructions, leading them down a route to apparent ruin. The Lord occasionally does the same with us, testing our faith, leading us into hardship, teaching us wisdom, showing us His ways..."

"Our whole perspective changes when, finding ourselves in a hard place, we realize the Lord has placed us there, perhaps for reasons presently known only to Himself."

"The same God who led you in will lead you out."

"Let me say I am here by God's appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time. And all evidence to the contrary, there's no better place to be."

His will, will never put you in a place where His presence will not sustain you.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"So what do you do when you're suffering? You read the book of Job. And it was so helpful, most specifically in relationship to the questions I was asking on my treadmill! At least I found him helpful for me. After losing all of his children (10 to be exact), he says, 'The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord' (Job 1:21). Now, you must admit, this is a shocking statement. We have just read the account of how the Chaldeans (evil men) and a great wind (natural disaster) had caused the death of his children. But Job attributes it directly to the hand of God. How can this be? Perhaps he has mis-spoken in his pain? The next verse answers our question, 'In all of this, Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.' (Job. 1:22)...

And here I have a confession to make. I grew up in a strong Weslyan tradition.What I thought I should fear in a totally and completely sovereign God over all things was in actuality the very thing that the Bible gave as the ground of my hope. So I stopped saying 'God didn’t cause it, but can use it for good' not only because I now believed this slogan went beyond and against the Bible, but because I believe it undercut the very hope I wanted it to create! If I denied that God could have intervened to prevent my daughters birth defect, what hope would I have that He could now 'use' it for good, when I was simultaneously denying that He couldn’t prevent it from happening? I realized my reasoning was absurd. I was trying to relieve God of His sovereignty, and simultaneously stripping Him of the power I so desperately needed him to have in my hour of need."

This is from a sermon my cousin sent to me. So good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Story

I finished a new page called "Our Story" for those who don't know the background on our life with Abigail. The link to it is on the side bar, FYI.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the music of her name! It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul!
-Author Unknown

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Job 5:18

He wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30

Abigail, today is another day you have made so special for us. It is a day we will always remember. Today was your due date. We love you so much, precious girl! We are so proud to be your mama and daddy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Abigail, you are too beautiful for earth. You were made for Heaven!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Isaiah 43:2-3

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Your tiny hand and footprint. I'll never take it off!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A tear on the end of Daddy's nose

"I Will Carry You"

"There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you, all my life
And I will praise the One who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time, such a long road
All this madness but I know that the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted sea
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you, all your life
And I will praise the One who's chosen me
To carry you"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Jesus is still the same. Even now, He's still the same.
Happy One Month Birthday, Abby Grace! We love you!

Monday, April 16, 2012

There are no words to describe how very precious you are!

When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord. When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea. When I cry for help oh hear me, Lord, and hold out your hand! Touch my life. Still the raging storm in me.

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord.  No tender voice like thine can peace afford.  I need thee, oh I need thee! Every hour I need thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee. I need thee every hour in joy or pain. Come quickly and abide or life is vain.  I need thee, oh I need thee! Every hour I need thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

14 weeks

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dear Abigail,
Our life together was so special. We went so many places together! You even went to the beach with us! We loved you so much before we ever knew we were going to be blessed to be your mommy and daddy and we prayed for you all the time. The day we found out about you was so exciting! We couldn't keep you a secret for long! And the day we found out you were a little girl was so special. We could tell you looked just like Daddy right away, even in our ultrasound pictures of you. You were so beautiful!! I remember the very first time we felt you kick! And you never stopped! You woke me up many nights. And I loved every minute of it. I thanked the Lord every time I felt you move. We knew right away what a spunky little girl you were. You showed us that you could kick and squirm even without any fluid surrounding you. You even did a flip! You were such a fighter and so strong! The doctor who took care of you in the hospital said you were the feistiest baby she had ever met! You had so much spirit, determination, and you were so full of life. I was scheduled to have a c-section at 34 weeks with you since you didn't have any fluid around you and because you turned breech at the last minute. We were SO excited to meet our baby girl! I remember one of the first things the doctor said when she pulled you out was how fat your little legs were! One of the nurses came over and told me that you weighed 5 lb and 9 oz, and that you looked just like Daddy. I was so happy to hear what a big girl you were! And you had so much blond hair, and blue eyes. They let me see you for just a minute before they took you to the nicu. You were squirming and looking around with your beautiful bright eyes. I am so thankful for that moment. I couldn't wait to spend time with you. The first time we got to touch you, we couldn't stop going on about how precious you were and how you had the softest skin we had ever felt. The night you were born, Daddy stayed up all night sitting next to you, praying for you. I stayed up the whole night too, praying for you and begging the Lord to let us have you. Daddy sent me pictures of you and kept me posted on how you were doing. Not a moment has gone by for the past nine and a half months that I have not thought about you. I am so thankful for the time we had together and that God chose ME to be your mama. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life. Things will never be the same without you. Our hearts are so broken. We ache to hold you and take care of you. God has given me a love for you that I have never known. Abigail, you have changed not only our lives, but the lives of so many. You have made us better people. We are clinging to God and His plan. We know He is in control and that your life, though brief on this earth, had so much purpose! He knew you before He created you and your days were written down before one of them came to be. We love to think about how the first words you uttered were words of praise to Jesus! We so look forward to the day Jesus returns, or we go home, when we will all be together again forever! We are so thankful that Christ has conquered death for us! Abigail Grace, I love you with my whole heart!


Friday, April 13, 2012

One of my favorite pictures of us together!

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
My Dear Abigail,
No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you!  After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.

Love, Mommy
March 18, the day before our sweet girl was born.

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers