Sunday, July 24, 2011

You Wouldn't Cry For Me

I've been thinking a lot about our baby in heaven the last few days. Tomorrow would have been my due date. Its crazy to think that so much time has already passed since we lost that baby, and yet I don't know that a day has gone by when I haven't thought of him or her.

Sometimes I wonder if its silly that I've mourned that loss so much. I wasn't very far along and know several women who have experienced a loss much greater than mine - have gotten farther along only to find out their baby had died. Mothers who have made it even to weeks within their due date to be told they would have to deliver a lifeless baby.

But in the very short amount of time that I knew about that baby, I had rearranged our lives to add him or her. I had figured out how old the baby would have been by Christmas, had started thinking about how old my kids would be when he or she was born. That baby was already a part of our lives, in my mind.

This evening I was reminded of a song Mandisa sang at Women of Faith last year. She told a story of a young woman at one of her concerts who was very pregnant with her first baby, a boy to be named Andrew, and when Mandisa met her she laid her hands on her belly and prayed a blessing over Andrew's life. A few weeks later she got a letter stating that Andrew didn't make it to his due date and instead of being welcomed into this world, he had been welcomed into heaven. Mandisa wrote a song for Andrew called You Wouldn't Cry and sang it for us last summer. Its beautiful and encouraging and heart-warming for anyone that has lost someone they love.

When I think of my baby in heaven, playing with other little babies, singing with the angels, and sitting on Jesus' lap. How in the world could I not be at peace? I grieve the loss of getting to know that baby, of getting to feel him or her kick and move inside me, getting to see it's face, kiss it's cheeks. But there will come a day when I get to spend eternity getting to know him or her. And thats the greatest reassurance anyone could ever have.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beautiful For Me

I remember the day we found out we were expecting Corrinne, as in the day we found out we were having a girl. I was thrilled! Over the moon, ecstatic. For a long time I had felt totally fine with the prospect of never having kids (I know, must have been in my weird independent late teen/early 20's years), then I went on to feel ok with never having a daughter. Only having sons.

After I had Cash I knew I did really want a daughter. Not because I didn't enjoy having a son. I love having a little boy. He is my sweetheart, my cuddler, my protector (already!), my little buddy, my mini-Drew. It was just this feeling that, "OK. I have my son. Now I want a girl."

Much to our surprise, we got one! Just a mere 15 months after having our son. The day of our ultrasound, I just felt confirmation of what I had already suspected - that we would be welcoming a little girl into our family. After the visions of hair bows, dresses, tights, and huge flowers on headbands dissipated I started remembering my "awkward phase", also known as Junior High. Then I remembered all those arguments with my mom where I vowed never to be like her and promised to move out the minute I turned 18. And then I got scared. I probably thought something along the lines of "Aw, crap".

I didn't want Corrinne to feel that way about me - that I had no clue what she was going through, that I am only out to keep her from having fun. And more importantly I didn't want her to struggle with the insecurities I dealt with, and still deal with from time to time.

Then came all the thoughts about boys and dating and keeping herself pure until she's married. Making sure she knows how precious the gift of her heart is, how treasured she is, how loved she is by Drew and me and mostly by her heavenly Father.

Of course, now I know my mom was only looking out for me, I do not hate her, I didn't move out until I was 21... but thats neither here nor there. The bottom line is, I have more anxiety over raising daughters than I do sons. Why? Probably because I know what its like to grow up as a girl. I know what its like to be teased for my glasses, or lack of a chest, or skinny legs. I know the pain of a broken heart and longing to fit in. 

Corrinne received a Veggie Tales DVD last Christmas, SweetPea Beauty. Its a very cute story that highlights the importance of keeping your heart beautiful instead of focusing on your outward appearance and that God created us beautiful just the way we are. The kids watched it on our 14 hr. trip to North Carolina and back (among about 12 other movies) and are hooked.  During the closing credits a Nichole Nordeman song plays called, "Beautiful For Me". I was folding laundry one morning as the song was playing watching Corrinne twirl and sing when the lyrics caught my attention: 

"Has anybody told you you're beautiful? 
You might agree if you could see what I see. 
Everything about you is incredible, 
you should have seen me smile the day that I made you
beautiful... for me" 

Its basically a love note from God written to my precious little girl! I teared up listening to those words because even at 28 years old I needed to be reminded of those words as well. I've been praying for Corrinne's heart since she was born but lately I've made it a point to pray that she would always know how beautiful she is... inside and out. And that she would find her value in her relationship with Christ and know who she is as a daughter of the Most High God. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Subtle Reminders

As I was sitting, indian-style, on the floor of our tiniest bathroom (the only one located on the first floor of our house, the half-bath) between two toddlers: the biggest on the toilet and the smallest on the potty chair for the 18th time yesterday, I began to wonder what my life had become.

Is this really it? Is this why God put me on this Earth?

When Cash was born I honestly felt like I had finally figured out what I was called to be in this life: a mom. I loved everything about motherhood. (Keep in mind this was in the very early stages of motherhood where all your baby does is eat, sleep, and poop.) I still love being a mom, maybe not every single aspect of it. But most of them.

I love that I'm the first person each of my kids wants when he or she gets hurt or scared. I love how Corrinne whispered, "I safe" when I picked her up once after the sound of our (incredibly loud) garage door startled her. I love when my kids randomly climb up onto my lap, just to be next to me, during the day. I love the way Cash says, "thank you, Mommy!" after I've cooked dinner for us. I love watching my kids learn, explore, laugh, and be silly together. I love seeing bits and pieces of my husband and me in our kids' appearance and personalities.

But as I sat there yesterday with dishes on the counter, laundry piling up in my room and kids whining for food every 30 minutes I thought, how boring. How lame! All I'm going to do today is clean up the kitchen 5 times, change a bajillion diapers, sit Cash on the potty every 20 minutes in hopes that he'll figure out potty training SOON, cook dinner,  clean up dinner, do some laundry, fold the laundry, intend to put the laundry away (somehow that one always escapes me for a few days). And then get up and do it all over again tomorrow. seriously? 

Thankfully with the new day came new perspective. Yes, I'm still doing laundry today and have cleaned up the kitchen twice already. I'm still in the throws of potty training my very stubborn 3 year old with minor success. I haven't showered, my bathrooms need cleaned, and my husband won't be home until long after the kiddies are in bed tonight.


I was able to help out a friend who needed someone to watch her little boys (who happen to be my kids' best friends) and hosted a play date with one of my other besties and her little girl. I laughed at Cash's made-up pee pee cheers and Corrinne's killer dance moves (that she obviously got from her momma!). I did brush my teeth and put some makeup on, so I'm not a total embarrassment to be seen with.  I played dress up with Corrinne and spoke encouraging words into my son's heart ensuring him that even though things may seem too hard to do now, I know he can do it.

There will be a day when no one needs help with sippy cups or dress up clothes. I'm pretty much banking on the fact that Cash won't always wear diapers, so someday I won't be potty training anyone. I won't be changing diapers, and praise the LORD someday... my kids will be doing their OWN laundry and emptying the dishwasher!

But today is not that day. And for now, I'm more than ok with that...