Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ah, that's more like it

This has been the most non-wintry winter in Minnesota. Well, we finally got a good dumping of the white stuff over night (enough to call off school, even!). I love how everything looks so clean and white.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Psalm 27:13, 14

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dear Hannah

Your best friend Veda was born last night.

Unfortunately, you don't get to play with her yet.

I can't wait to hold her and watch her grow up. And tell her all about the best friend waiting for her in heaven.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love this

‎"During pregnancy, cells sneak across the placenta. The fetus's cells enter the mother and the mother's cells enter the baby --and stay there for life. In mothers, fetal cells often take residence in her lungs, spinal cord, skin, thyroid gland, liver, intestine, cervix, gallbladder, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. The baby's cells may also live a lifetime in Mom's heart and brain. Implicated in health and disease, fetal cells may also behind some of the mind-shifts that happen in motherhood." ♥ Our babies are always with us...literally ♥

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pain is no measure

I was driving home tonight listening to Sara Groves, and I just love this song.

I especially love "Pain is no measure of his faithfulness" and "I am nodding my head an emphatic yes to all that you have for me."

Beauty for Ashes

I looked at Hannah's ashes.

When we had her cremated, the funeral home gave the ashes to us in a little white box. Her name was printed on a boring white sticker. It was clear that we were going to have to find something prettier to put her ashes in, particularly by the time we had her memorial service, but also because we're planning on keeping them in our house (rather than interring them). We looked and looked, mostly online, and found a couple of possibilities. I tried looking in a couple of stores around here, but let's face it--shopping for something to hold your daughter's ashes is a sucky thing to have to do. My mom said she'd look around at the design center where she works, and she found a lovely stone box that the owner of the store GAVE her as a gift for us.

So, since we finally had something we loved for Hannah's ashes, I decided it was time to open the little white box. The box always felt light, but there was nothing to prepare me for how little space her ashes actually take up. They are in a little plastic bag with a tag from the funeral home on it. It's almost nothing. It's profound to think that someone who has had such a huge impact in our lives was reduced to a very small amount of dust.

The next day, I came across this quote on Pinterest (that I had previously seen shortly after we lost Hannah):

The combination of the quote and my experience the night before made me think of Isaiah 61:3
"...and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor."

And then the verse made me think of this song. Please excuse the video, but trust me when I say it was the best available! But really, the sound doesn't line up with the video, so you're better off just listening to it. Or reading the lyrics.

Crystal Lewis-Beauty For Ashes - Crystal Lewis and ; Ron Kenoly(In English)Video Clip from fernandomartinez on GodTube.

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fearGladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what youve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fearGladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound Ive been set free
Ive been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We don't despair

Sacrifice is absolutely essential for human growth; yet the abiding disposition of sacrifice is rarely established without some experience of suffering. Of course suffering itself does not make one holy and can even lead to despair. Despair is suffering that fails to teach.

Thomas Keating

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


God of history and of my heart
so much has happened to me
during these whirlwind days:
I've known death and birth;
I've been brave and scared;
I've hurt, I've helped;

I've been honest, I've lied;
I've destroyed, I've created;
I've been with people, I've been lonely;
I've been loyal, I've betrayed;
I've decided, I've waffled;
I've laughed and I've cried.
You know my frail heart
and my frayed history -
and now another day begins.

O God help me to believe in beginnings
and in my beginning again,
no matter how often I've failed before.

Ted Loder

Friday, February 10, 2012


It's been over three months, and there are still some days where the shock hits me as hard as it did the first day.

Wait, what? We actually lost a baby? I had to listen to my midwife tell me that the baby inside of me had died? I had to deliver a stillborn baby girl? That was me? Impossible. That kind of stuff happens to other people. Not me.

I should be 37 weeks pregnant right now. And I'm not. And the pain of that is getting harder and harder to deal with. I want to be complaining about cankles and heartburn. I want to be washing baby clothes and buying newborn diapers and packing a hospital bag.

And as painful as right now feels, I know it's only going to get worse as we approach March 1. Because after that, she should be here. Right now I should just be pregnant, and that hurts in its own way. But once we hit that due date, I will always be able to figure out how old Hannah should be. What size clothes she should be in. What grade she should be starting.

And it's still all so hard to believe.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

When you lose a baby

A page I follow on Facebook linked to this today and it's really good. So I'm sharing it here. :)

Sunday, February 05, 2012


My cousin sent me a few song files when we lost Hannah. I listened to all of them right away and have come back to them once in a while. Today, I found this one and have listened to it at least five times since this afternoon.

If there's one thing I have felt consistently since November 5, it's weary. Sometimes it's a very physical feeling of exhaustion. Sometimes it's very emotional. It's just weary. And there's no other word that does the feeling justice.

I love the third verse:
Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner's prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

He asks us to seek his face. But he doesn't just let us seek in vain. He's THERE when we seek him. Sometimes that's just hard to remember.

Choose Joy

"Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.
"What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice."
Henri Nouwen

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.