Friday, July 25, 2014

Remembering My Mom

Today I remember my mother, Anne, who passed away four years ago.  I can't believe it has been four years.  It seems like she was just here with us.  Time has a way of passing far too quickly.

Before I left home, my mother and I became pretty close.  I was still living at home after I returned from university.  We had great talks.  We spent Saturdays together doing things like going to the museum, to the mall, and most definitely for lunch.  We had a great relationship.

I left home in 1998.  It wasn't just moving down the street.  I left my home in Canada to be with Ron in Texas.  No longer were my mother and I physically close, but we still maintained a great relationship.  We talked on the phone regularly.

I got married back home in 2000.  My mother was planning a trip to visit me in August 2001.  I wound up in the hospital with severe pre-eclampsia while she was en route to Texas by plane.  Instead of being picked up by Ron or myself, I believe it was my mother in law who did.  I was not in good shape at all.  I was transferred to a larger hospital.  My care was handed over to a high risk OB/Gyn.  My mother sat with me as my blood pressure spiked to levels she never ever shared with me.  I still don't know.  I do know that the top number was in the 200s.  My mother was with Ron and when we lost our first baby.

Mom stayed with me after the funeral and my parents were there when I developed a severe life-threatening pulmonary embolism just two weeks after losing our child.  She stayed with me for a while I came home.  She was there with me as I lay on the couch recuperating while the events of 9/11 unfolded live on television right before our eyes.

My mom was with me the day I miscarried our second baby in 2003.  I remember joking with her some time after the fact that she needed to stop visiting me when I was pregnant!  

Mom was there when Moira came into this world in 2004.  I was so nervous about daycare.  I hate the fact that there is really no such thing as "maternity leave" in the U.S.  I had 7 weeks of "disability" after Moira was born.  Instead of resorting to daycare, my mom stayed with us for three months after Moira was born.  She was a preemie and I had to go to work.  My mom filled a need for us that was more appreciated than you could imagine.

Mom was with me when Peyton was born in 2006.  She was in the delivery room with Ron and I.  I had a special bond with her and I wanted to have her present for that experience.  I am so glad I did that.

My mom passed away on July 25, 2010.  Peyton passed away on May 4, 2013, and I am sure my mom was right there welcoming her home on that day.

I miss my mom more than words can say.  The pain has lessened, but this loss has been huge for me.  I'd give anything to pick up the phone and call her just to hear her voice again.  I know there are many painful events listed above, but it just shows how she was there for me at every critical point of my life while she was here.

I hope that I will be as good a mom as she was to me.

Missing and remembering my mom today.






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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday #141



thank·ful

adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks
Source


Welcome to this week's edition of Thankful Thursday!

When I sit down to compose my Thankful Thursday post each week, I try to come up with a simple list of things I am grateful for in my life over the past week.  I make a bullet point list and share that with you.  I am a big believer in the fact that we should express our gratitude for even the simple little things in life and that being grateful is a choice we make which can have a huge and lasting impact on our lives.

Last week was an amazing week of VBS for my 10 year old daughter.  She is involved each week in the children's ministry worship team.  This means that she and other kids get to get up in front of their peers each weekend and sing (along with recorded music) and do actions to the worship music.  They needed volunteers to do this during VBS week, so Moira got involved in that.

We had a special worship set last weekend (the weekend after VBS concluded) in "Big Church", as the kids like to call the worship service we adults attend.  The kids worship team was asked to worship in "Big Church" along with our worship team on stage during our worship services.  Moira participated in our Saturday night service as well as our three Sunday morning services.  They sang two of the songs that were used during VBS.  Maybe to some the songs might seem a little "juvenile" for a grown up service, but for many, it was truly a heartwarming experience to watch all these kids worshiping up there in front of hundreds of grown ups.  The kids service, as I said, has recorded music.  VBS and "Big Church" have a full band with live music.  It was pretty cool.

Once again, I am thankful for a church that does so much to pour into the lives of the next generation...and the one following that one.  As I close this post, I'm praying for all the bigger kids (middle and high school) who are at our church's summer camp this week.  There are about 530 kids involved in that.  I was working in the cafe at church on Monday when they all gathered to check in and then depart on buses to head out of town to camp.  What a blessing it is for these kids to be able to be a part of that camp.  I was a little misty-eyed, I must admit, as Moira will be old enough for camp next year.  She is excited about that.



What are you thankful for this week?





thankful thursday

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday #140



thank·ful

adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks
Source


Welcome to this week's edition of Thankful Thursday!

When I sit down to compose my Thankful Thursday post each week, I try to come up with a simple list of things I am grateful for in my life over the past week.  I make a bullet point list and share that with you.  I am a big believer in the fact that we should express our gratitude for even the simple little things in life and that being grateful is a choice we make which can have a huge and lasting impact on our lives.

This week has been a full week for Moira.  She has been participating in Vacation Bible School at church.  Actually, today is the last day.  There are over 800 children participating!  I work in the cafe at our church, and worked Monday and am working today.  It is incredible to see so many children involved in this!

I am so thankful for our church.  The leaders in our church are passionate about building up the next generation.  And the next.  These children are our future church leaders.  I am so grateful to all of the people who have been pouring into them this week.  I know where Moira stands with her relationship with Christ.  I don't know where everyone else stands.  I can only imagine that there are many, many children who are there simply because a friend was going.  I am sure many of these children are new to any type of church experience.  It's just so amazing to see all these kids doing church together!

I am grateful for the many, many people who had a hand in making VBS possible.  I know they've been planning it since VBS ended last year!  There are so many incredibly gifted leaders in our children's ministry who put together a "Superhero" themed VBS.  I am grateful these people are using their giftings to pour into my child's life, as well as into the lives of hundreds of other kids.

You know that a VBS of this magnitude couldn't be pulled off without countless staff and volunteers, so my thanks goes out to every single person who helped to make this year's VBS such an amazing experience.

Moira's at the upper end of the age range for VBS.  This means that this is her last year for participating in VBS.  Next year she will be old enough for the middle/high school student summer camp.  Next year she will be able to volunteer with VBS.  She's growing up!  I'm thankful for the new opportunities that await for her in the years ahead.






What are you thankful for this week?





thankful thursday

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writer's Block

Have you ever struggled with writer's block?

I feel like I have been dealing with this for months now.  It's painful.  I love this space where I get to share my heart with you, the reader.  I love being able to share the joys and even the sorrows.  I have found comfort in this space.  I have found unlikely connections with friends in this crazy blog world.

But I'm blocked.

I have been coping with the loss of my 6 year old daughter in May 2013 after years of pretty much round the clock caregiving.  My outlet was often through this blog as well as through sharing her story on her blog.

I struggle with what to write now.  I want this space to be a place of encouragement for others.  I want to share once again, but it is difficult when my history involves a lot of pain and sorrow.  Yet my story is also one of faith; of trusting in God.  There is hope in healing and I believe others can be encouraged through our journey.

I firmly believed in giving thanks in all things.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  {1 Thessalonians 5:18}
Though I have been well and truly stuck on writing on a daily basis, I've remained firm that I must share a "Thankful Thursday" post each week.  And I have - for 140 weeks straight!  I struggle with those posts sometimes, as it isn't easy to find things to give thanks for during difficult times.

Beyond Thursdays, I am blocked.  It's a horrible feeling when you enjoy writing!  So, I'm asking you - what do you want to know about me?  I'd love to get to know YOU better!  Is there a topic you'd love to have a discussion on?  I know there are "opinion" issues that can get a little dicey, but if there's something you'd like to hear about, let me know!

I'd love to begin a new effort with this blog and build community here once again.

I love having you here!

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday #139



thank·ful

adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks
Source


Welcome to this week's edition of Thankful Thursday!

When I sit down to compose my Thankful Thursday post each week, I try to come up with a simple list of things I am grateful for in my life over the past week.  I make a bullet point list and share that with you.  I am a big believer in the fact that we should express our gratitude for even the simple little things in life and that being grateful is a choice we make which can have a huge and lasting impact on our lives.

Right after sharing my Thankful Thursday post last week, I wound up in an even worse funk for a day or so.  Not fun at all!  There's nothing like trying your hardest to feel positive one day - even when you have to stretch to make that happen - only to feel anything but the next.

I can't say I know exactly what happened that particular day, but I do know this.  I'm not a real "crunchy granola" mom.  However, I was introduced to essential oils earlier in the year and have a handful which I began using regularly.  I probably lean more to the skeptical side where things like this are concerned, but I can assure you that they were helping me!  That said, I had fallen out of using them regularly.  It was enough of a difference for my husband to question whether I had been using them or not.  With that, I got back into the habit and I can tell you that I feel so much better.  It is unbelievable.  Except it is believable because I feel like a new person.

So, this week I am thankful for essential oils.  I am thankful for how much better I feel when I use them regularly.  I am thankful to be over the funk hump and feel much more like "me".

I am also thankful for my precious 10 year old daughter.  She decided several months ago that she would like to donate her hair.  Of course, at the time, it wasn't long enough and her hair has a wave to it, making it seem to take forever to grow longer.  She was desperately in need of a haircut whether there was enough to donate or not.  I love her long hair.  It's cool "beachy" hair.  But she's 10 and needs to learn how to take care of it better.  It tangles so easily and is a nightmare to comb out sometimes.  As I was also in desperate need of a major cut, I contacted my hair stylist and set us up for appointments yesterday.

I am thankful to Jeanette at Splash Urban Hair Loft who was able to cut 10 inches off Moira's hair for donation as well as give her a fantastic "grown up" do.  She also gave me a new style while chopping off quite a bit of hair and thinning it out.  My hair grows like crazy.  It gets thick and heavy and frumpy pretty quickly.  I am thankful for a fresh new look!





What are you thankful for this week?





thankful thursday

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