Ain’t It Grand?

Ain’t It Grand?

On the sec­ond day of our annual field trip, we ven­tured to the Grand Canyon. Admit­tedly, I was a lit­tle ner­vous. Last time I was at the Grand Canyon, I had three lit­tle boys, aged 4, 6, and 8. Plus a sweet lit­tle six month old daugh­ter who was strapped to my body. Boys and canyons that are opened wide for falling just aren’t a great mix.

I was pleased to see that some mother was able to influ­ence the pow­ers that be in the deci­sion mak­ing and money spend­ing realm of the National Park Ser­vice because this time, they had rail­ings and fenc­ing every­where I looked. A boy would have to work hard to hurl him­self down that canyon to cer­tain death.

And I know it was a mother because a father doesn’t tend to notice such things. In my experience.

Have I ever men­tioned my insane fear of heights?

Seri­ously. I have often con­tem­plated just dri­ving off of a high bridge that I am dri­ving over, just to get it over with. I KNOW I am going to end up falling off any­way. So far, I’ve made it across all bridges unscathed.

Mike rec­om­mends just stay­ing put when I have the option. We were vis­it­ing in San Diego once. He had meet­ings. I had the day to explore with the kids. Huge bridge to get to the beach. Me freak­ing out as we drove over. It was a wild ride. He sug­gested an alter­na­tive plan for the next day…

Any­way. Back to the Grand Canyon.


It was spec­tac­u­lar. The rail­ings were helpful.

But I think that going with lit­tle girls and an older son made it much more peace­ful for me.



We made it safely out of the park. Not even a close call this time. We con­tin­ued our drive to King­man.
And we even got a sur­prise for din­ner:

I feel like a hero.
It’s been a good day.

Peace in the midst of miscarriage

Peace in the midst of miscarriage

I was lay­ing on the exam­i­na­tion table in shock. I was at my first mid­wife appoint­ment, and because of my symp­toms, the mid­wife wanted to do an ultra­sound. There, on the screen, as plain as day, life and death were co-existing. I saw Faith’s tiny lit­tle 7 week old heart beat­ing furi­ously and strong. And next to her was the evi­dence that was left from her twin.

I was rejoic­ing and griev­ing in the same breath. I had been bleed­ing. I was incred­i­bly nau­seous. And now I knew why.

I stum­bled to the park­ing lot, still unsure about how I was sup­posed to feel. I always rejoice at see­ing my babies in their ultra­sounds. But, I also found out in that one moment that I had been car­ry­ing twins, and that one had died. This was my first miscarriage.

Fast for­ward a few years, and we rejoiced at the dis­cov­ery that after 4 years unable to con­ceive, we were once again preg­nant. A few days later we were dev­as­tated to learn that this new life, with all our hopes and dreams for his life, was dying. Oh how I grieved.

And then the fol­low­ing year, it hap­pened again. This time, I car­ried the baby to 7 weeks. Mike was out of town on a busi­ness trip when I mis­car­ried. That was hard. But, God sus­tained me through it. Late one night, I went into the bath­room, and prayed that the Lord would allow me to see the baby and not inad­ver­tently flush it with­out know­ing. Right then, He plopped my per­fectly formed baby onto a clean tis­sue. I could see the spinal cord, the spots where the brain and heart and eyes were, the arms and fin­ger buds. The baby was about the size of a grape. I was only 7 weeks preg­nant, which means the baby was only about 5 weeks old. I was so amazed at how formed this lit­tle life was already. I called my old­est son upstairs to share this moment with me, to see his lit­tle sib­ling. We buried the baby in a hand­made paper box under the crooked tree in our back yard. I put a piece of flan­nel in the box beneath and over the baby. We read some scrip­ture, sang a hymn, and prayed together as a fam­ily, thank­ing God for the time we had had with this baby, and ask­ing for peace and comfort.

I have strug­gled with the whys of mis­car­riage. Why would God allow me to get preg­nant after pray­ing for all these years only to take away this bless­ing from me? I really can’t grasp it. But, I do know that my life has been made richer and fuller by going through this heartache. I have learned to lean more on God for com­fort and care. I have felt His hand sus­tain me through these deaths.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. –Romans 12:15

Also, it has allowed me to have greater sym­pa­thy and com­pas­sion for other moth­ers who are suf­fer­ing such loss. Had I not expe­ri­enced this grief, I would not quite be able to under­stand what a body goes through phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally dur­ing a mis­car­riage. I am thank­ful for these things in my life. I wouldn’t sign up for them, but obvi­ously God felt I needed it for my sanctification.

I know that God is sov­er­eign. I know that He ordains what­so­ever comes to pass. He has num­bered our days before there was one of them. This is true for you. It is true for me. It is true for our chil­dren. Even the ones in our wombs. We can­not add or take away a sin­gle day that has been ordained for us. And it is so hard to wrap our heads around that one. I believe God uses means to work out His sov­er­eign plan, but we can­not orches­trate it or force our will upon Him. We must always sub­mit to His will, if we like it or not.

Another thing that I hold onto is that each one of these babies are eter­nal beings. My few weeks of preg­nancy wasn’t for noth­ing. God ordained that their souls should be ush­ered into eter­nity from the womb. And I was hon­ored to be the ves­sel He chose to bring them into eter­nal exis­tence. How hum­bling. And how glo­ri­ous. My heart aches with the desire to hold them and watch them grow up. But, God had some­thing bet­ter in mind for them. I believe that they are at the feet of Jesus, wor­ship­ing and glo­ri­fy­ing Him. How thank­ful I am for that hope.

If you have suf­fered a mis­car­riage, I am so sorry. I under­stand your heartache. I want to encour­age you to name your babies, even if they passed years ago. They are eter­nal, and they deserve a name. They are real. Even if nobody else knew about them.

The other night, as we sat at the table for din­ner, my heart remem­bered my babies. I noticed that we have three chil­dren miss­ing from our table. I thought for a moment how sweet it would be to have Faith’s twin along with two more lit­tle ones sit­ting there with us. The baby would be turn­ing one this week.  Delight. But, I quickly remem­bered that we do have delight with those the Lord has allowed us to raise, and that I can have delight in the knowl­edge that I am a priv­i­leged mother to have ush­ered three souls into eter­nity through the ves­sel of my body, by the Lord’s choos­ing. Thank you, Lord, for this honor. I pray that I will never dis­dain the gifts that He has given me. Nine chil­dren, six on earth; the under­stand­ing of being com­forted by His hand through the heartache and pain; the hope of being able to com­fort other women in their sor­row; and a knowl­edge of His per­fect sov­er­eignty in our lives.

I pray my words give you hope. May the Lord bless you in your strug­gles. And may He give you peace.


I’ve linked up over at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home,  Deep Roots at Home, Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions, We are That Fam­ily, and Sim­ply Help­ing Him. Head on over for more encour­age­ment today.


Photo credit: kudaker / / CC BY-NC-ND

My Beautiful Mothers

My Beautiful Mothers

I have been greatly blessed by a godly mother. She was faith­ful to take us to church every week as I was grow­ing up. She gave me wise coun­sel as I was prepar­ing for mar­riage, for which I am so grate­ful. I remem­ber her sit­ting on my bed beside me as a teenager con­sol­ing me, com­fort­ing me as I strug­gled with what­ever was caus­ing me angst at the moment.

While my par­ents didn’t home­school us or raise us the way we are try­ing to raise our chil­dren, my mother is our biggest cheer­leader. She rec­og­nizes that she laid a foun­da­tion for us on which to build. I pray that my chil­dren will do the same. My mother doesn’t seem to carry any feel­ings of hurt or jeal­ousy because we have taken a slightly dif­fer­ent path with our fam­ily. She is hum­ble and gra­cious. She tells us she is proud of us for see­ing these things, and loves that her grand­chil­dren are being raised in a godly home, that we bring the Word of God to bear in their lives.  Like most Chris­t­ian par­ents of her gen­er­a­tion, home­school­ing wasn’t any­where on the radar. What will it be for our chil­dren? Surely we are not see­ing some­thing that the Lord will show them. One step at a time, right? If I have learned any­thing from my mother, I have learned that God works all things for good to those who love Him and are called accord­ing to his pur­pose. (Ron 8:28) I have learned that even though my chil­dren may tweak some things in their par­ent­ing, it isn’t a slap on us. It’s a good thing, assum­ing that they are seek­ing the Lord in these things.

Occa­sion­ally, my hus­band will be struck by some­thing I’ve done or a way I have responded to the chil­dren. He has shared with me that my gen­tle response to a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion has sur­prised him. He thought I would have been jus­ti­fied to be upset or angry. But to me, my reac­tion is just a response that I have learned from my lovely mother. She was always gen­tle and kind. She seemed to have a bot­tom­less well of patience and kind­ness. My prayer is that this legacy will con­tinue to our future gen­er­a­tions. What a beau­ti­ful thing!

Mar­riage gave me a sec­ond mother. My husband’s mother has been a won­der­ful exam­ple of a mother-in-law. Early on in our mar­riage, my dear mother-in-law went out of her way to make sure I knew I was loved and wel­comed into their fam­ily. She did large things and small things to demon­strate her heart to me. She wanted me to under­stand that she rec­og­nized that my role in her son’s life now super­seded her role as the pri­mary woman influ­enc­ing him. She would give us gifts with my name on them first, which is such a small thing, but it spoke vol­umes to me of her love. She com­mu­ni­cated with words that her desire was that she would never over­step her bound­aries in her deal­ings with us. And she has been very faith­ful in this. In many ways she has taught me by her exam­ple how to be a mother-in-law. I have never i under­stood the dis­dain for mothers-in-law. While we don’t agree on many things per­tain­ing to the Lord and how we live out our lives, we have a deep and abid­ing love and respect for each other. I am so thank­ful for the son she raised. She poured her life into her chil­dren. She labored at home to give them a con­sis­tent and lov­ing home.

When Mike and I were mar­ried, we so enjoyed spend­ing time with his par­ents. They would open their home to us, spend time with us, play games with us. We have some really great mem­o­ries with them. As the Air Force moved us around the globe, and chil­dren were added to our home, the vis­its became less fre­quent. We are thank­ful for those sweet mem­o­ries. We cling to them. And we try to insti­tute many of those things into our family.

God has been so good to me. He not only gave me a lov­ing, pre­cious mother, but he gave me a kind and wise mother-in-law. Happy Mother’s Day to my two moth­ers. I love you both so very much.

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