Tuesday, March 24, 2015

And he ran...

So, when I was 10 years old, I was a brat.  I was a self-absorbed, moody, back-talking, stubborn brat.  I don't deny it.  I wasn't nice to a lot of people, and I was especially not very nice to my mom.  I said a lot of things to her at that time that were just downright mean, but she was gracious to me and many times overlooked my sinfulness.  But there was one time, on Mother's Day, when I said something to her that hurt her deeply.  Over the next few days my guilt really started to weigh on me, but I struggled to find the words to express to her how sorry I was for the way I acted.  She did forgive me, but I never really got over it.  The next year, one week before Mother's Day, she died from cancer.  

This morning I read Luke 24:1-12, and was hit hard with the last verse. 

"But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, 
he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home,
marveling at what had happened."

When I read it, I cried.  Maybe it was partially because I am in the throws of a hormonal pregnancy, but I think it was mostly because of what I read yesterday.  Mark 14:66-72 recounts the story of how Peter denied Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested.  

I realized then how much I am like Peter.  Loud, brash, shooting off at the hip, making promises I can't keep, and whatever else you want to throw in there, but when I read verse 12 this morning, I think I felt what Peter may have felt when he realized there was a possibility that Jesus was alive.  He would get a second chance to do things right; to make sure that his friend and savior knew how sorry he was for denying him on the very night Jesus was voluntarily being beaten and tortured for the world.  I can't imagine the pain and grief that Peter experienced three days before, when he realized what he had done; the hopelessness he felt at the thought that he would never get to say he was sorry for denying Jesus.  

"BUT Peter got up and ran to the tomb..." because he had just been told by the women, who were visiting the tomb moments earlier, that Jesus was not there.  Can you imagine the thoughts that went through his head?  I'm sure at some point during that early morning sprint that he replayed the scene of himself denying Jesus and thought maybe he would get the chance to tell him how sorry he was.  

I know that is what I would be thinking.  

The good news is Jesus was not there.  He had risen from the grave, and Peter did get a second chance.  The scriptures don't explicitly tell us that Peter officially apologized for what he had done, but I'm sure Jesus knew the guilt that was weighing on his disciple's heart.  

I cannot express to you how this good news makes me feel.  Everyday I'm alive, God gives me a chance to start over and recover from how badly I wrecked the day before.  He reminds me that his mercies are new every morning and that He has forgiven my sin once and for all and he gently draws me close to him as the guilt of my sin sometimes consumes me. 

I will never get it right while I'm here on earth, but he has given me hope and joy through his work on the cross, and one day I will see him face-to-face and will marvel as his lovingkindness.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dear P

Dear Sweet P,

You are two!  I'm not going to lie, it kinda makes me sad to say that.  I feel like you are now officially a toddler, and no longer my baby-baby.  
This past year has brought so many great memories.  You have changed so much in one year that it is weird to look at photos of you from your first year of life.   
You have become 'mommy's little helper', miss independent, quite sassy, Chickfila's number 1 customer, and a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse enthusiast.  
You are starting to speak in sentences and I love hearing your little voice, except for the occasional banshee screams that you like to do for. no. reason. at. all.  
You also LOVE to be read to, chased around the house, and to go 'ou-side' (outside).
My favorite thing you do is when you tell me how excited you are about something.  You are so stink'n cute!
I'm excited to see what this next year brings, to watch your personality develop, and see you learn new things.  

Baby girl, I love you to the moon and back.  You are my favorite, ever-ever.
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet P turns 2!

My Sweet P is 2 years old ya'll!
Oh man is it bittersweet to say that.

We had a great day besides the fact that she had hand, foot, and mouth and the AC went out about 30 minutes before her party.  (Yes, this momma was stressed.)

But everything went well, and our Sweet P was well loved.

Goodness my kid is cute!  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thank you!

I just wanted to say  THANK YOU so much to everyone for your kind responses to my blog post on Friday.  
I received the sweetest comments, Facebook messages, emails, and text messages over the weekend.  
God has been good in reviving my soul over the past few days and you gals were a part of that.  
I wanted to share a verse that has been on repeat in my thoughts and encourage you to memorize it with me.  

I am thankful for you all and your encouragement!

Friday, June 20, 2014


So I guess it has been months since I last did this thing called blogging.

There are reasons...

Many reasons.

But basically, I didn't feel like writing.  I didn't feel like I had anything worth saying.  So I didn't say anything.

But that is not all.

There has also been a struggle going on in my heart.  One that I hesitate to write about, but I feel prompted to share.  So I'm going to get vulnerable.

Before Mr. T and I had Sweet P, we struggled to get pregnant.  I kind of hate using the word struggled, because compared to some women, ours was not much of a struggle.  But according to the Dr.s, there was no rhyme or reason why I should not be getting pregnant.  I just wasn't.  Eventually, I was put on fertility meds, and 2 rounds later along came our daughter.

During my pregnancy and even afterwards, I was confident that getting pregnant and having a child would somehow 'right' my body, and having baby 2 would be easy.  But it didn't happen.

This is where I struggle to speak about this journey.  I am thankful to the moon and back for our Sweet P, and see God's blessings on Mr. T and I by giving her to us.  But there is still that sadness that lurks in the corners of my heart, wanting another child that I cannot seem to have.  I do not want to seem ungrateful, or have a complaining spirit.  There are women out there who have miscarriage, after miscarriage, or have tried everything and still cannot get pregnant and my heart BREAKS for them.  I have never experienced that and would never compare my story to theirs. My story is my own, and I recognize that God is writing it.

But, the desire and struggle for another child is very real.  And for me, it's been a lonely road.

The journey has not been quite as emotional since we already have a child, and if anything, it causes me to cherish her even more.  But I struggle to speak about it since my plight is not that too great of a burden.  Obviously, there are worse things I could be facing.

But, God has been working in my heart.  I am recognizing more and more that my desire is a godly one, and not something to be ashamed of.  I believe He wants us to desire to have many children, whether naturally, through adoption, or spiritually.  I just need to learn to not exalt my desires above his.

We may never have another child.  It is painful to say that, but I need to be open about it.  I'm sure I'm not the only mom that has experienced this, but it's not too often that I hear the raw honesty about this specific struggle.

We are praying fervently about our next steps and God's will for our lives.  It's frustrating to not have answers, and I don't know that we will ever get any.  But this statement with always ring true for me, 'He is still good.'

Friday, November 8, 2013

From of Old

Have you ever thought about the fact that you know a God from old? (Of course I'm talking to those of you who know God as your personal savior, and if you don't, I would love to tell you how.)  

It is crazy to me to think that God's love, faithfulness, kindness, goodness...his very being has been around since...well...there was never really a time when it wasn't.  

Does that not blow your mind?  I mean, for reals, think about it.  

God has ALWAYS existed.  He has ALWAYS been around.  Before earth was created, it was just him.  Before anything that we have come to know, before history happened, there was God.  Gives a whole new meaning to 'from of old', right?

I'm not necessarily writing to make us dwell on how 'old' God is, but just the fact that he has been around since before we can imagine.  

So with that thought in mind, why wouldn't we trust his word, and his promises, and his love and goodness?  Honestly, this is a question more for myself than it is for anyone else.  Why do I struggle with trusting God?  Wouldn't he be the most trustworthy person ever? Ever, ever?  I mean, he is the author of everything I know, and don't know.  He was around before I came into being, and will still be around long after my bones dry up.  He is a 'know it all', literally.  His wisdom exceeds everything.  

So why do I struggle?

I mean, I know the answer.  I have a sin nature, and I hate it.  It makes me struggle.  And all I can do is remember verse 7 from above, and I know that the God from of old will do what he says.  

Do you struggle with trusting God?  I do.  A lot.  If I may, knowing God's age, or lack thereof, should be proof enough that he knows what he is doing and that we should trust him.  I seriously have to remind myself of this all. the. time.  

God loves us, ya'll, and desperately wants us to know his character and bestow his wisdom and goodness on us.

I know this post is a little random, but God just put this on my heart and I wanted to share.

Love ya'll!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The countdown begins...

In case you haven't noticed it's November!!!
That means I get to start counting down till Thanksgiving and Christmas!!
I lurve the holidays.  I mean lurrrvvee.  For reals.

I have already bought some new Christmas ornaments for our tree and even watched Elf one evening.  Lurve.

So this year, Mr. T and I are making Holiday goals/list - things that we want to make a point of doing as a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  (Rest assured that the movie 'Christmas Vacation' will be on that list.  Oh, cousin Eddie...) List coming soon.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few photos from a pumpkin farm we visited a couple weeks ago.  So much fun!

PS.  Follow me on instagram to see my 25 days of things I'm thankful for, starting today.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 3

The next day was a million times better.  Sweet P had started to wake up and was looking around at us.  I had never been so happy to see that pair of blue eyes.  

She was still having random irregular heartbeats, but they seemed to be fading.  

Also, I had been able to get some rest, which was good because momma bear mode had kicked in.

I was on alert for everything, from the heart monitor, to her doses of pain meds.  Our poor nurse had to put up with so much from me.  I was constantly asking questions, and pushing her to make sure everything was ok.  But let me say that she was absolutely wonderful.  She patiently answered all my questions and concerns and was even proactive when it came to me taking care of myself during this time as well.  Even the cardiologist that was on call during the night was a godsend.  Through a conversation we had before he went home from his shift, I found out that he was a Summit church member, and a Virginia Tech fan.  This was a good sign.  :)

We ended up spending only 3 days in the cardiac ICU before they moved us to a room on the main floor.

Right before they moved us, one of the doctors that had been following Sweet P's case, came in and asked me if I wanted to hold her.  "No." I told her.  I was so scared that I would hurt her.  I was content just being by her side.  "I wasn't asking.  I want you to hold her." It was then that I really looked at the doctor, and realized that she wasn't talking to me as a medical professional, but as a fellow mom.  I would like to be able to tell you that it was so awesome to finally be able to hold her, but honestly, I was shaking so bad that I didn't really enjoy any of it.  It was later when I rocked her to sleep, that I felt the rush of emotions, and familiarity of being her momma.

One week later from the day of her surgery, we were sent home.

I write all of these things for multiple reasons.  One, I want to remember what God did for us during that time.  It's easy to forget all the little ways that God provided for and answered our prayers.  Two, I want others to see God's work in our lives and give him all the glory.  Three, I want any other moms out there that may be going through a similar situation, to know that others have gone before them and can understand what they are going through.  I have already had two moms contact me who are presently experiencing something similar to what we went through.  

Even though our experience was tough, God was gracious enough to give me perspective and realize that we really did not have it that bad.  There were so many other stories that I learned about of children who were in much more serious situations than Sweet P.  My heart ached for these mom's.  Many of them did not have the hope of their child surviving like we did.  

God is good ya'll.  He has allowed me to question his goodness and love, and proved to me that he is unshakeable.  He was my refuge during this time, and remained faithful to me even when I wanted to push him away.  This past year has been marked by many milestones, and thousands of praises.  But through it all I have been changed for the better and have drawn closer to my savior.  

Thank you for reading about Sweet P's story.  

God bless,

Part 1
Part 2

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 2

Nothing could have prepared me for seeing my Sweet P laying in a hospital bed post surgery.  

She was hooked up to so many things.  There were pace maker wires, monitors, iv's, a respirator tube, and a drainage tube.  Even the bandage over the incision was covered in blood, and she was shaking in response to what had been done to her.

I tried to stand there and listen to the doctors and surgeon, but couldn't do it.  I couldn't even look at her.  I ran to the waiting room, and lost it.  I don't think I have ever sobbed like that before.

I was her momma.  I was the one that loved her like no other.  I was supposed to take care of her and protect her.  But I couldn't do anything.

Todd quickly followed me to the waiting room and held me while I cried.  I remembered being thankful that no one else was in the room at that time to see me breakdown.

Finally, I calmed down and went back in to settle down for the rest of the day and night.

But I quickly realized the worst part was not seeing all the machines or even the blood, but seeing her silently cry during the night (she couldn't make any noise because of the tube that had been in her mouth), and watching the tears roll down the side of her face because she was in pain.

I remember immediately I focused on God and cried out in my heart for him to take the pain away.  It was a conversation that went on for hours as I poured over the promises and character of God, and consistently reminded myself that he loved her more than I ever could.  There was nothing off topic at that time as I talked to him, and it was during that time that I wrote this post.  

As the night went on, I did my best to stay awake, but eventually fell asleep.  I had only been asleep for about 30 minutes when I woke up to find 2 nurses, and a doctor in the room hooking Sweet P up to a pacemaker.  I think my heart slammed against my ribs once I realized what they were doing.  They quickly assured me that she was ok, but had some irregular heartbeats, and wanted to have her hooked up as a precaution.  

I stayed a little while longer, but then eventually traded places with Todd, and went home to sleep.

Part 1, here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An Emotional Day: Part 1

October 1st 2012 is a day I will never forget.

It's the day that I sat in a Starbucks for 5+ hours trying not to think about the ball of nerves in my stomach, or how sweaty my palms were.  

It's the day that I clung to my phone as if my life depended on it, and in a way it did.  

It's the day that I mentally sat in silence before the Lord knowing that he knew my plea, and I awaited his answer.  

It's the day my 5lb, red headed, little girl had open heart surgery.  

I cannot even write this post without tearing up after each sentence.  

I have not written much, if anything about the day Sweet P had her life changing surgery.  Mainly because it's a day that I don't want to remember, and at the same time am utterly thankful for it.  I still struggle going through the timeline of that day because I feel all the emotions as if it were happening all over again.  I guess that is what it means to be a momma. 

We were not originally expecting to have Sweet P's surgery that early in her short life.  The hope was that she would gain some weight and chunk up to about 8-10 pounds before they would move ahead and repair her heart, but her weight gain was just not happening.  Her acid reflux was so bad at this point that she was under constant monitoring at the hospital due to her high risk of aspirating.  

I remember the head surgeon came to speak to us the day before and go over everything that was going to happen.  The surgery would be anywhere from 6-8 hours long with a phone call from one of the nurses once an hour with an update.  There was great risk in doing this on a baby so small, but he assured us that he had done this successfully on children smaller than Sweet P.  

I wasn't so assured.  

The next morning they came and got her at 6am.  Two different pastors came from our church and prayed with us over Sweet P's surgery.  I don't think they will ever know on this side of heaven how much them being there meant to me.   Throughout the course of the morning other friends trickled in and out to be with us as we waited.  Each time the phone rang, Todd and I jumped up and ran out of the coffee shop to make sure we could hear each word that the nurse said to us.  

Finally we got the call that the surgery was done and that the surgeon wanted to talk to us upstairs at the babies cardiac intensive care unit.  

We waited for what seemed like an eternity, and finally they rounded the corner pushing Sweet P in an isolate attached to what seemed like every machine in the world.  They asked us to stay outside the room until they had her situated and stable and then they would come and get us.  

The surgeon said that the surgery was a success, and that he was pleased with how everything went.  But now we had to wait to see if her heart would accept what had been done to it.  The next 24 hours would be critical.  

A few minutes later we were able to go in and see her.  But before we went in, they prepared us.  It won't be easy seeing her this way, a nurse warned me.  

I made it about 2 minutes in her room and then collapsed, sobbing, in the waiting room floor.