Hello 2013 :: Joy

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My word for this year :: joy.

Three little letters that promise so much.

Joy in knowing my only Saviour better this year.

Joy in watching my children grow and become more like the people God has chosen for them to be.

Joy in knowing I have a husband who is supportive and my best friend.

Joy in having close relationships with family and friends.

Joy in knowing that even though we plan so much and have it all worked out in our heads, it may not turn out like that at all. But there is joy in knowing our Father in heaven has a hope and a future mapped out for us already.

Joy in knowing that all the crappy things of the past year and all the moments we wished we could take back don’t really matter in the long run. The bigger picture.  It promises to be amazing. 

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{the last few weeks}

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Eight weeks ago I found out, we were expecting a baby.  Tests showed that I was six weeks. Five weeks ago our baby went to it’s eternal home to our Heavenly Father who does not make mistakes.

The roller coaster of emotions felt around here lately has been extreme to say the least. One-minute elation and a bit of trepidation, the next grief and sadness.  Trying to work out why this had to happen is pointless; trying to find contentment in God’s plan is a journey we may be on for a while.

This is not a blog post I ever intended to write. This post has been drafted, edited and re-written quite a few times over the last week.  It is not a nice thing to write about.  I would have much rather been spilling the beans about some happy news right now. Going “public” about this is not going to be ok for some people.  But for some, it might help as I have been through this before, four years ago and I got through it.  We found happiness again.  We found contentment in God’s plan for us.

The moment you find out you are expecting a baby – the moment that second line appears on that little stick, is the moment you begin to have hopes and dreams for your unborn child.  In those few weeks that we knew, the things we talked about and the things we dreamed of in secret are and were no different to the hopes and dreams any other expectant parent.  At that moment, you set an extra spot at the dinner table.  At that moment you dream of a child who will fear the Lord.  At that moment, you hope and pray that your baby will be happy and healthy.

For us it was indeed a true gift from God.  Four years ago after loosing another baby at twelve weeks, and having multiple health issues afterwards, we were told in no uncertain terms that there would be no more children.

In human terms, this baby was not meant to happen, and yet God in His infinite wisdom, proved the doctors wrong.

The excitement and elation were cut short and substituted for immense sadness when I miscarried.  Those few days that followed are a bit of a blur as I was also sick with a throat and chest infection.  There was a lot of taking of tablets that numbed all the pain, stopped the cough that I thought would never go away, and it allowed me to sleep.  Sleep in the past few weeks has become my dear friend.  Every night I seem to crash earlier and earlier.  Every day I escape to catch up and try to gain some energy back.  The headaches are still bad, and the women I know who also have had miscarriages talk of the same thing.  Last time I had them for months.  It is the hormones leaving your body doctors say.  It is a daily reminder that things are still not right in your body.  Your body is trying to work out what happened.

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Right now, I’m doing good.  We are doing good.  There are moments when I get mad when I think about why this had to happen.  Again. There are moments when I just get so sad.  I am a good mum.  I am so good with babies. My family would have been perfect with another.  God, why give and then take so quickly?  Why doesn’t it happen to others?   Tears appear triggered by silly things people say.  Tears appear triggered from acts of kindness, kind words from people who know.  Tears appear when I hear of other mums going through the same thing.

I’m allowing those tears to happen.  It’s good.  It’s all about the process you will go through, and a process I am allowing myself to go through this time.

Sunday in church, we had an amazing sermon, all about how we do not need to know “the why” in the things God has planned for us.  It was a moment that reaffirmed for me that this is God’s plan for us.  He worked this into the script he wrote of our lives for a purpose.  It has in the past, and it will again now make me, and my family, stronger.  Stronger in the knowledge that though life and Satan may batter us from all sides, we do have that hope and a future to look forward to. Those two babies that we never held, never called by name, are in heaven with Him and bring that number of fulfilment two closer to the day when He will wipe every tear from our eyes.  Revelation 21:4

There is also that huge thing called Grace that gets us through as well.  God promises us that TODAY, not tomorrow or yesterday, but every day His grace will be sufficient for us.

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Image source:  Jeremiah 29   Psalm 139

they grow up and it becomes different

Lately I have posted photos of things I do with my kids. Like these photos of what it’s like around here, just before dinner.   Via email and in person,  I have had feedback like “I wish this was my life”, “I could never do that with my kids and stay sane.”  Just wait one small teeny tiny moment….

{april 2006 my brown-eyed munchkins :: photo credit the amazing rob :)}

Even though we have been totally blessed with very easy children, life hasn’t always been like this.  My life WAS filled with making bottles, cleaning bums, washing clothes, rocking babies back to sleep, not being able to go out because of toilet training, waking at night with children teething… the list can go on and on.

It DOES become different.  They WILL and they DO grow up.  Thankfully.

Now I get a cup of tea made when the kids come home from school.  They choose their snacks, they dress themselves, make their own breakfast, they help with the chores and do them well.

BUT…

as they grow up, you have different challenges to deal with.  Friends. Teachers. Homework. Back chatting.  Peer Pressure. Friends. School. Zits. Friends. (I know, I’m repeating myself..) that little thing called Hormones. Freaky moments discussing THAT boy.  The Internet. Email. Friends.

When they are little, it’s a physical tiredness.  When they grow up, it’s an emotional tiredness.

You worry. You pray. You stress. You catch yourself sighing for no apparent reason.  You want to lock them up till they are 25 so they don’t have to go through all the crappy things you went through as a teenager. You want to protect them from all the bitchy girls and all the boys who you know are little slime-balls.  You want to finish all their homework just right, so that they get that feeling of success. You want to wipe away every tear and rock them to sleep at night when they can’t sleep because of something that’s making them sad and they can’t tell you what it is.

{october 2011 :: growing up too fast. photo credit: the amazing kel}

All you mums with teeny tiny ones:: Make sure they know you love them for who they are.  Tell them so. Tell your boys they will make great men one day, and your girls great women.  Tell them that they are always welcome to have private chats on your bed.  Tell them that nothing will shock you, tell them you will keep their secrets.  Make them responsible members of your small community at home by doing chores.  Encourage them to seek out what they are good at, not to make excuses and give everything a go.  Tell them they have a heavenly Father who hears all their prayers.

When they become teenagers:: Tell them this time will soon be over.  They will look back and remember all the good stuff about high school and forget most of the crappy stuff.  Tell them that the zits won’t last forever and one day looks won’t matter so much. Don’t finish off the homework and make everything perfect at school for them.  That’s not life. Protect them from the Internet.  DO peer over their shoulder, know their email passwords and tell them that it’s because you love them that you will check up on them.  Remind them to pray and encourage them to have personal devotion time.

Above all:: Pray daily for your children.  Pray that they become outstanding adults that will fear and love the Lord.  Pray for your friends and family who also have children.  Pray that God will give you a gentle heart when it comes to your kids and a forgiving spirit also when they DO do the things that disappoint you.

You may see some nice, edited snapshots of what life is like around here, but remember: This blog is what I want to share.  Like any other blog, it’s not every little detail of our life.  Far from it.  Savour those busy, tiring moments.  Savour the days you have to do everything for your children. Don’t let yourself become jealous of someone else’s life.  Someone who is probably a lot older, has more wrinkles, more stretch marks, and more grey hairs.  xx

Teach your children to choose the right path,

and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Proverbs 22:6