Building A Heaven Family Here: Danielle’s Story

Far too often, a woman miscarries a child and carries the pain alone. The world keeps spinning, our schedules keep moving, lives are never paused…except for hers. She’s different now. Changed without permission. No advance notice, just a sudden curve in the road that jerks her onto a terrain she never wished to travel. And if she never tells a soul (other than maybe her significant other and doctor), she may never experience the freedom that comes by sharing her story. She may never see her story bring healing to the next woman walking in those shoes… This is why we share, why we talk about our experiences, and why I am so eager to share other women’s testimonies when they are offered up.

I picture our testimonies like the washing of another’s feet. We take our pain, our loss, our grief, our uncertainties, and sadness, and we pour it over the next woman’s soul. But once you pour it out, something beautiful happens… The Lord takes that pain and hurt and doubt and mourning and before it leaves the basin, it has been transformed by the Holy Spirit into gladness…joy…beauty…hope…peace…

In our book, “Blessings through Teardrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom”, we say that you’ve joined a club of sorts when you lose a child. This club is not popular by any means – no one wants to be in it, but what you will find, if you find yourself here, is that you are loved. You are welcomed with open arms and offered many shoulders on which to cry. You are given doses of hope by the bucketful, and maybe the most important thing you’ll find in this club is validation of your motherhood.

Your motherhood was not lost with your baby – it was born. Your child is as alive as you and I, if not more so. Safe in the arms of Jesus, in a world we do not yet know and understand, your child awaits your sweet arrival. We call you “Mother” here. And beyond that, we have seen time and time again the power and freedom and JOY that comes with taking that validation and channeling it back to your baby by validating their eternal existence as your son/daughter.

One way that we have done that in our family, and I have witnessed time and time again in other families, is we give that sweet child a name. Our EJ is spoken of often in our home, and we have such peace with our story, because EJ is very much a part of it. It’s amazing how we know. We know deep in our mother-hearts that our children are very much alive, and we call them by name. In doing so, we validate their place in our families, and we honor them in our everyday lives.

The story I am blessed to share with you is the story of Danielle. Today, June 29th, was the due date of her precious child. She is a mother of two such precious ones, and she asked that I share her story of loss, hope, and revelation during a time of great grieving. I pray that you will read her story and be encouraged. I pray that you take her words and allow them to offer you comfort in your own time of loss, and we both pray that if you are in this club with us that you would consider what she has to say in regards to your own story. It’s never too late to validate your baby’s life. It’s never too late to honor them with a name.

Danielle’s Story

On November 8th, 2016, everyone in the U.S. was up in arms waiting for our presidential election results. I was at home with my husband, Brad. Our nation voted in a new president that day, but mine and Brad’s world would be affected in an unforeseeable way. That morning, our second pregnancy ended. The second in 9 months. The second in our first year of marriage. I went to the bathroom, and realized soon after that I miscarried. The emotions swept over me. I went to Brad’s home office and told him through tears that I believed I had just miscarried again. I have never witnessed Brad cry, but we just held each other and wept. Bawled, really. Deep sobs of sadness and pain. Why did this happen again?

Through the coming months, I would experience grief. Waves of emotions. Sometimes anger, sometimes tears. Usually uncontrolled. There were other things going on in life during this time that may have exacerbated these feelings. But, mostly it was just this feeling of deep loss. Loss of life, loss of dreams, fear, confusion, and a feeling that everything was out of control surrounded me.

When God Gives a Name…

However, even during this extremely emotional time, I knew God was in control. I never felt mad at God. I certainly didn’t understand why this happened or what the future held, but I knew God was still there, even if I didn’t feel Him. And since we had already experienced one miscarriage, we knew it was vital to ask God to reveal our baby’s sex so we could name him or her. A few months after our first miscarriage, I was praying in my head one night. I prayed for peace and understanding. I was saying a sentence about our baby, and the name Josiah just flowed out of my mind into the sentence. It was then and there, that I knew our baby was a boy. That moment also gave us a name. A name I had never even considered or thought about. I knew it was the Holy Spirit giving us peace of mind and clarity over a tough situation.

In February, a few months after our second miscarriage, while continuing to pray about this same question of whether our baby was a boy or a girl, a friend sent me a blog post about a woman who had a miscarriage. This blog was about how the mother named her baby Rose and all the details of how miscarriage affected their lives. It prompted me to have a conversation with Brad. So, I asked him if he had prayed about the sex of our baby and whether he thought the baby was a boy or a girl. He said he believed it was a girl, but couldn’t remember why he had that thought. It was ok that he didn’t remember why he felt that way, because I also felt strongly that it was a girl. Even with only two choices, it was a big deal that we both had opinions at all, let alone that these opinions were the same. I then told him that I had a name I felt compelled to name our little girl who never made it past seven weeks. This name made me cry every time I thought of it in the weeks prior to this conversation with Brad. To me, that was a verification from God that it was the right choice. I told Brad that I wanted to name our baby Charlotte. For me, this name is an important name in our family, as it honors my grandmother.

However, as soon as I said this, Brad was in awe. He recalled that his parents, before he was born, almost adopted a young girl named Charlotte. To further confirm our choice, Brad’s mom, Kathy, was adopted as a baby; however, her birth name was Charlotte! There was such a connection for this name choice. Many times in the past months I didn’t see or feel God working in this extremely painful situation; yet here He was working out the details of our baby. Who she was. What she would be named. The fact that her father and I both knew she was a sweet baby girl. I couldn’t have felt a stronger reminder of God’s love than at that time.

Building a Heaven Family Here…

When you don’t feel the love, or don’t see the path you’re to take, or can’t understand the journey you’ve been on, God is still working out the smallest details to give you peace of mind, allowing you to rest, to heal, and to love your unborn baby in a deeper way. Right now, Charlotte is back with Jesus. We don’t believe she’s an angel looking down on us but we know she’s not alone. Her brother Josiah is with her. There are countless relatives with her. And, as of this June, her great Aunt Joyce is in Heaven with her. My Aunt Joyce sang to so many babies here on earth, because, man oh man, she really loved babies. I am comforted thinking that she is in Heaven singing lullabies to our sweet babies. I have peace knowing they are all so loved. That these babies only knew love. That they never knew fear or evil. It’s comforting to know that Brad and I will see them again, in redeemed and whole bodies, in Heaven one day when God calls us home.

Through it all, I am thankful. I am still grieving our loved ones, but I can have peace and be thankful. God freely gives the gift of salvation that allows us to know Him and come home to Him after this earthly life is over. And without God working on our behalf behind the scenes, we wouldn’t know this peace or be able to have the courage to share our story.

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A beautiful necklace my friend, Cessily, gave me for Mother’s Day this year.

Sing and dance with Jesus, our beautiful loved ones.

Josiah             3-30-2016 (due around November 29, 2016)

Charlotte       11-8-2016 (due around June 29, 2017)

Joyce Miller   6-2-2017

 

 

 

My World in April

April showers bring…

april

While the world around me is buzzing, obsessing over Spring, Easter, taxes, sunshine, rain showers… April, for me, brings one thing to my mind, and one thing only… EJ.

I’m probably the only person on the planet thinking about that baby for an entire month straight, but I can’t help it. You just say the word, “April”, and there it is… “EJ’s day”. I can’t escape it, and I wouldn’t want to even if I could. I am EJ’s mother, and it is only right for a mother to love, celebrate, and long for a child that is no longer with her.

Sometimes the wondering still kills me. And then, I quickly come back to the awareness that I have four beautiful children, three of whom may have never existed had it not been for our loss. And my heart is able to rest in that gratitude.

EJ turns six this year, as does our precious Isla. She is a force. The world is blessed to have her in it. She’s like a jewel that the Lord placed in the crown of the earth. She shines. She is still the one that brings EJ up the most. A part of my mother-heart believes that somewhere deep inside that soul of her’s, she is connected to EJ in spirit – like a twin of sorts.

She planned our celebration this year – “Something fun,” she said, “like Chuck-E-Cheese.” She knows what six year olds like.

I guess this post doesn’t have much of a point, but more of a confession. A mother, even through miscarriage, never stops remembering, never stops thinking, never stops caring, never stops loving… And, especially in April, I go to bed hoping that I’ll see that precious one in my dreams. Just a peek, Jesus. Please.

 

If you or someone you know has lost a child to miscarriage, please consider checking out a book written from our hearts…

miscarriage

Blessings through Raindrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom

We are currently working on a print version and each chapter concludes with an intimate opportunity to journal and release the words you may have been holding tucked into your soul for long enough…

You’re in my prayers tonight, friend.

xo,

Kristi

 

Join the Conversation of Hope, Miscarriage Mom…

April 15th stopped being referred to as “Tax Day” for me a long time ago.  That date forever changed once my doctor assigned it to my second child as the much-anticipated due date.  In the heat of August 2010, ultrasound photos in-hand, I started to envision the child I carried in my tummy and the happy future that was sure to come with this surprise baby.  Just days after seeing my little one in the womb, I was forced to say an abrupt and heart-breaking good-bye.  Every hope and dream I had been carrying came to a crashing halt.  I’d never felt such a hurt in my heart.  I’d never been faced with such an agony that literally pulls at the pit of your being.  It was an experience that changed me, deeply.  My eyes lost their innocent sparkle that night.  My heart became tainted with worries I never knew I could carry.  Miscarriage can wreck a woman, friends.  I was wrecked that lonely weekend in late August – mind, body and spirit.  But, thankfully, that wasn’t the end of my story.  It was only the first chapter.  The healing that came in the months and years to follow is why I am who I am today, and why I can say with joy and boldness that my child is still very much a part of me, our family, and my life.

When I opened up about my experience on this blog, it also opened many doors to speak with close friends about their own.  During an impromptu play date with two of my close friends, who are also bloggers, we just started talking about our miscarriages over coffee cake.  The kids played and we chatted away…sharing our stories…our challenges…the surprise and disappointment we felt at the lack of resources available to moms like us.  It was then that we decided to change that, together.  This project has been a long-time coming, so I am thrilled to announce that we have finally released our e-book, “Blessings Through Raindrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom.” You can find it by clicking here.  Betsy Moore of BMooreHealthy, Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family, and I have set out to create a resource for other moms who have experienced loss through miscarriage.  Whether you are experiencing one now or had one many years ago, this book was created with you in mind.

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This book is extra special, because it has been written in the form of conversations. Picture the three of us sitting in front of a group of moms, sharing our stories, crying, hugging each other and finding ways to move forward side-by-side. We pray that this book helps other moms find peace through all the sadness and grief attached to miscarriage. And we’re not the only moms sharing our stories in this book.  Many other mothers have so graciously offered up their testimonies of loss and hope as well.  I found myself in awe of the strength of these warrior-mamas.  Each of our stories is so unique, but there are also many common threads that will forever knit our hearts together.  I am so full of joy to finally share this book with you. You can find it here:

miscarriage link

IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL FIND:

Totally Blindsided: Receiving the News

Finding a Lifeline: Longing for Support

The Warrior Within: Finding Strength in Fragile Moments

The Ripple Effect: Learning to Lean On and Love Through

Next Steps: Moving Forward in Hope and Health

Blessings through Raindrops: Finding Meaning and Choosing to Celebrate Life

From the Other Side: A Spouse’s Perspective

Additional Resources

Our Hope for You

A Shared Experience: Stories from Other Miscarriage Moms

And so much more…

At the end of each chapter, you will also find a question/questions or reflection point(s).  We thought it necessary to, not just talk at you, but, let you have your voice be heard as well – even if it’s only your own eyes that will ever read the responses.  We have found that both writing and talking about our loss has added to our healing, and sometimes, it’s been through the gentle leading of a friend or mentor during conversation that has prompted some of our most valuable revelations.  And, because we know that often times you just need to hold a book of this nature in your hands and write your thoughts all over its pages, we are eager to offer a paperback edition in the very near future.

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If you have any questions about the book, or if you are having difficulty downloading it, feel free to send Betsy, Becky and I an e-mail to miscarriagebook@gmail.com, or contact me directly at kloverhouseblog@gmail.com. From the bottom of our hearts, we hope and pray that this book helps you find an anchor of peace while going through one of the most challenging times in your life.  

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. You are never, ever alone. Welcome to the fiercest, most accepting club we know; it’s an honor to walk this road with you.   

xo,

Kristi

FIND ADDITIONAL MISCARRIAGE-RELATED POSTS ON KLOVER HOUSE HERE:

I Think It’s Time

Celebrating our Heaven Baby

A Pregnancy Ritual and a Very Intimate Detail about EJ

I Chose Truth

Babies and Banana Bread

Dear Daughter, Let’s Talk about Abortion

Dear Daughter,

Let’s talk about abortion.

abortion

Abortion, by definition is:

The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus.

 

It’s a hot topic right now.  Honestly, it’s a hot topic for me everyday, all day, any day for reasons you will know and for some you may never be privy to, because they are not my stories to tell.  But, because of the election coming up this year, it’s a point that many are talking about, and not for reasons I am happy to report.

You see, dear daughter, our nation is currently in a battle between good and evil, right and wrong, and we, as a people, are walking around in a gray fog.  Nothing is simple.  Everyone is afraid to speak up.  Well, if you’re conservative, anyway, because they’ll call you names.  They’ll make you look like a restrictive, unloving, terrible person. (John 15:18, Mark 13:13) Your life and words hold a mirror to their issues, and they don’t dare go any deeper than the surface of life.  They aren’t ugly, they’re “free”.  They’re not under the influence of selfishness and evil; they’re liberated.  Are they?  Are they free?  Is an addict on a high, free?  Sadly, no.  They are bound, because their freedom is false, but it’s too difficult to be sober…to feel…to be broken…to deal… So they lie and live in a fantasy.  Such is the state of our culture.  They lie to themselves to get through without breaking down.  The blood on our hands looks less offensive when you’re already wearing rose-colored glasses.

You see, dear daughter, the stuff below the surface hurts.  It’s downright overwhelming at times, and it’ll make you think way too hard.  It’ll keep you up at night.  It’ll make you cry in the shower.  It will haunt you while you sip your coffee.  It will seem so much bigger than anything you could ever change.

Who wants to think about rape and incest when they can think about lattes and play groups?  Who wants to read about itty bitty babies being stuck with needles and how it has been proven that they try to flee in a womb that was created to first and foremost protect its creation?  We’ve got shopping to do, errands to run, friends to call, and nails to get done.  We don’t have time for thinking so much it hurts and praying so much it impedes on our comfortable lifestyle.

To them, it’s uncomfortable, maybe even morbid, to attribute humanity to a “fetus” whose limbs are ripped apart and whose brains are suctioned away.  God forbid we be a morbid people.  That would make for such a depressing life, right?  So we sweep it away and just make it simple.  Don’t sweep it, honey.  They need you not to turn away.

You’ll hear:

It’s not a baby…

It’s an effect of something evil…

It’s an inconvenience…

It’s going to suffer anyway…

It’s not wanted…

It doesn’t matter…

But it does, baby.  It matters so much.  They matter so much.  They are me, you, your sisters, your classmates, your children.  They matter.  They matter.  They matter.  I get caught up, uttering it like a prayer bleeding from my heart.

Sweet daughter, it does matter.  It is real.  It isn’t an effect – it’s a person.  If God is in control, who are we to determine who lives and dies? If we are waiting for convenience, we will surely wait forever. Someone out there wants it desperately. It does matter.  It does.

I read a headline today calling one of the conservative front-runners horrible names because he was quoted telling rape victims to “suck it up”.  He’s being told to “go to hell”; he has undoubtedly ticked some people off.  He’s insensitive?  He’s ignorant?  He’s cruel?  Do they even realize the names that they are calling him…the attributes they are giving him are laughable in the fact that they are for the dismembering of infants?  They are discounted as worthy, simply because of their origin.

Dear daughter, I hate to even think the thoughts, but I was recently challenged by someone we love on my stance.  “What if your child…”  And I answered the clearest that I have ever answered anything in my life.  I know it was the Holy Spirit in me.  So, here is what I said to them and what I have to say to you, my sweet angel.

Those who believe abortion is okay under certain circumstances have a deeper issue.

It could be fear, anxiety, shame, anger, selfishness, resentment, unbelief, embarrassment, hatred…

The baby is not the problem – the issue is.

What if we saw rape and incest as evil, but a child as redemption?

What if we told the doctors to save?  To do their jobs and their best and try to save both lives?  

What if we rejected the bad report and believed for a miracle? And if the miracle didn’t come, we leaned on Grace and loved anyway?

What if we gave a family the gift of a child if we weren’t ready or able to do it ourselves?

What if we changed?  What if?

We don’t want the headache.  If we outlaw abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother…  It won’t fix the problem.  It will most-likely turn us into a nation of liars.

It won’t fix the fear.  It won’t fix the shame.  It won’t fix the rebellion.

But Jesus and taking that courageous step into motherhood can.

Before I brought a child into this world, I stood in the shower with an active babe kicking wildly in my belly.  I was at the end of the road, and delivery was near.  I had just read an article on Facebook about a woman who had tragically lost her life during childbirth.  It engulfed me in thick fear, daughter.  Suddenly, I saw my child as a danger.  It could kill me.  This could be it.  The enemy had managed to make my own beloved a threat.  The tears rolled fast down my cheeks that night, and I begged my husband to “save me.”  If it came down to a choice, “choose me.”  “Of course,” he said.  “We can make another baby; I can’t make another you.”  A fear and response that I’m sure many have expressed.  Oh, but it was a mistake, dear one.  For, there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another. (John 15:13)  My fear and doubt took my belly, swollen with promise, and villainized it.

The moment I knew my child outside of my womb, everything changed.

The veil was torn, and I saw the intended depth of my humanity.  It was so much bigger and deeper than me.  My motherhood went below the surface that day and became my purpose.  I would lay my life down for you a thousand times.  No question.  My husband can find a new wife, but the world only gets one you, and you would be worth that sacrifice.  Those mothers don’t know.  They are me in the shower, being swallowed up by fear.  Their husbands are those fathers choosing the one they love over the one they didn’t know they’d love more than life itself.  They don’t know, daughter.  They don’t know.

You can be a voice of change in the darkness, dear one.  You can tell the world about redemption and hope and faith and love.  You can make them think.  You can make them uncomfortable, but aware of a better way.  You can invite any who will listen to go deeper and beyond the surface of this life.  You can stand with the victimized and violated and show them the truth of God’s love and bigger plan.  You can be the friend that pushes fear aside and tells your peers that a baby is not the enemy to their bright futures.  Choose the hard road, the narrow one, my child.  Choose to stand up for the weak and the forgotten.  Choose to love the unloved and the neglected.  Honor their lives with your tears in the shower and your prayers late at night.  I think that the angels rejoice over you when you do.  They sing over the infants playing at the feet of Jesus.  They say, “You are loved!  You aren’t forgotten, and your life matters to them, precious child!”

And if, in the sad and terrible chance that we ever face these scenarios that they speak of, we will walk that road together.  I would cry, pray, and hold you.  I would hail you as a hero, and honor your bravery and love.  And together, we would kiss the face of the most beautiful baby that ever lived, because he/she would be part of you

Abortion is not the answer, baby.  With it comes a whole host of new heartache.

For now, dear daughter, I will do my best to raise you up beneath the shadow of the Most-High God.  I will raise you up to be a mighty woman of God, who prays and believes that anything is possible – even the ability for our God to make beauty from ashes.  I will raise you to hope for better things, to pray for the lost and shallow, to believe for a lifetime of witnessing the miraculous.  That’s what I will do, and it is my prayer that you and your generation will not carry the weight of the sins of mine.  Believe in life, dear daughter, and protect it.

xoxo,

Mommy

Psalm 8:2

Psalm 8:2

If you, or someone you know has experienced abortion, and you are looking for something to help heal your heart, free you from guilt or shame, please consider the book, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven,” by Jack Hayford (aff. link).

a pregnancy ritual and a very intimate detail about ej

hello, friends. you’re probably all asleep as i write this, but i’ve got something on my heart tonight. i just finished my nightly cup of hot tea. it’s a pregnancy ritual that started during my first pregnancy (ava), and is still going strong today. not sure why it’s only during pregnancy, and on the hot, humid, summer nights to boot, but it is. a cup of hot black tea with one tsp. of sugar and a splash of whole milk. my grandma has made us tea that way since i was little, and it is by far my favorite way to drink it. i take my prenatal vitamin with it, brush my teeth and hit the hay. except for tonight, that is – i’m writing this first. and i’ve got about 30 minutes before the vitamin-induced nausea kicks in.

hubby rented ‘heaven is for real’ tonight. i have been wanting to read the book ever since it came out. i don’t know why i haven’t yet. maybe every time i think of it money’s tight or something, but i am going to make a point of buying it now.

i never questioned or doubted this little boy’s story from day one. i believe 100% that heaven is in fact real, so i embraced the movie with my whole, open heart. i didn’t watch it for some cinematic wow.  i watched it with the faith of a child, longing to catch a glimpse of Heaven.  to imagine angels singing, the beauty of every sight, the possibility of seeing Jesus as He really is. breath-taking. so many moments left me in tears – not necessarily sad ones either. i would describe them as being similar to tears of feeling overwhelmed. like when you bring your new baby home, and emotion just hits you, and you can’t do anything but cry…those kind of tears.

the part that caught my heart and attention the most, however, was the scene in which he tells his mom about his heaven-sister (seen in part in the trailer below). i.broke. bawled like a baby. wept. my husband looked over at me, like he often does during intense or moving scenes, and he knew what to expect. my face buried in my hands, eyelids clenched so hard, silent sobs and gross sniffles. all i could say between breaths was ‘don’t look at me!’, but a moment later, as i explained myself to him, i realized that i was explaining something to myself at the same time.

‘i’m not crying b/c i am sad. i am crying b/c it is so awesome.’

awesome.
‘extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.’

awesome.

God, you are awesome.
the fact that our ej is in Heaven with you, growing, thriving, constantly and eternally surrounded by joy, peace, beauty, angels, love…everything wonderful…that is awesome. that throws me to my knees inside. how incredible is the God we have?!

i don’t want to give the entire scene away, but i have to include this, b/c it is so powerful and why i am writing this post. the mother asks her son for his heaven-sister’s name, and he tells her something along the lines of, ‘she doesn’t have one. you never gave one to her.’ she agrees, saying that he was right, and that they didn’t know if she was in fact a he or she.

i think that was the moment that broke me.  i know it was.  it brought back my dream of ej. do you remember? you can read that post afterwards {here}, if you’d like. i want to tell you something that i have only ever told my husband.

ej is a daughter, and i believe her name is jade.

when i first lost the baby, i told myself many things to ease the pain and silence the ‘whys’. one of the lies i tried to buy was, ‘the baby was a boy, and maybe my body just can’t carry boys.’ lie. in a sense, i was cursing myself, speaking limits over my God-given body and eliminating the thought of ever carrying a son. the brain can think pretty irrational things when your heart is being torn. now, 10 wks pregnant with our fifth child, i am confident that there is a great chance that this is a son, and that this pregnancy will be healthy, regardless.

one thing this lie caused me to do was doubt – doubt the reality of my dream and doubt God’s message to my aching heart. i asked my husband when we were out to dinner last year for ej’s birthday celebration what he really thought – do you think ej is a boy or a girl? he said with absolute certainty, ‘girl’. even in that moment, three years after God speaking to me so clearly in that dream, i waivered. i wanted to put my trust in Him completely; i wanted to believe that what happened was so real, but there was still that little sliver of doubt lingering in the back of my mind. after tonight, He reminded me so strongly of my dream and the tender way He introduced me to the truth. i am so grateful for that encounter, and i will not be afraid to put total trust in what He told me anymore. ej is a baby girl and her name is jade.

i am sure we will call her ej forever, b/c that’s what we have called her and what the girls are growing up calling her, but it means something to me to tell you about her fully and to confess my fear and doubt to you. i hope our story encourages you. i hope it grows your faith. most importantly, i hope it reminds you that you have a loving Father in Heaven who knows you, understands your heart’s cry, and longs to speak to you.

and if you have a heaven-baby – a miscarriage, a stillbirth, an abortion – name him/her. your baby is alive and well, waiting to see you someday, and you, as his/her mother/father, have been given the awesome gift of bestowing a name. thinking again about that movie, his sister had aged, she was probably at least six, i would guess, and she did not have a name. the Lord, in His power, did not assign her a name. that floored me. even in eternity, He seems to say,’ your mother and father will give you a name, and even if it takes several decades, it doesn’t matter, b/c i know you.’ He knows the name, but it’s our gift to give it. let that sink in.

and just as an aside, b/c i don’t take it lightly, if you have experienced abortion, i pray that Holy Spirit would visit you right now, that He would minister to your heart, heal your deepest wounds, and lift the heaviest of burdens from your heart. you are forgiven, and you are not any less loved or adored by Jesus. i pray that you would come to that understanding and that you would have peace. you cannot change the past, but you have the gift of the future. you have the gift of dreams each night and endless opportunities for God to visit you and speak gently to your spirit. you have the gift of meeting your little one in Heaven one day. live like it. think like it. smile b/c of it. the story doesn’t end here. we don’t end here, and they didn’t end there.

well, thanks for allowing me to share this intimate part of my story with you. be blessed. until next time…

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celebrating our heaven baby

i was standing in panera last week around 8:30pm. my mom was watching the girls for me while i ran to the store. i decided to stop and grab us some bagels for the next morning’s breakfast. as i was waiting for the employee to get my order together, i received a text from my hubby who was away on a business trip. it was so touching and so unexpected. he had in so many words told me to plan on going out for a celebratory dinner in honor of ‘ej’ and him/her awaiting us in heaven.  it took all of my will-power not to burst into tears right there in front of the girl behind the counter. i felt the water in my eyes and pushed a smile.

so tomorrow is the day (i am writing this on monday night), and he asked me a few times today if i had decided on a place yet.  no, i haven’t.  still haven’t and it’s nearly 10pm.  blame working on dresses all day…blame dancing with the stars…blame exhaustion…blame denial.

ej’s first ‘celebration day’, i don’t remember doing anything.  i pulled the baby box out, sat it on the bed and cried.  no one really even brought it up.  i don’t know if they forgot, didn’t want to ‘go there’ or what, but i’m glad that will have been the one and only anniversary that felt sad and lonely.  i hadn’t really talked about everything and wouldn’t blog about it until my ‘i think it’s time’ post that june.  the following year i definitely had finally arrived at some much-needed peace.  finally, in 2012, i felt that ava was old enough for me to talk with her about ej a little bit.  she didn’t understand who ej is, but she was happy to help me bake a cake and we celebrated together while daddy was at work.  last year, we did the same.  tomorrow…we will bake brownies or make rice krispie treats.  i’ll let the girls tell me which ej would prefer.  🙂

ava talks about ej quite frequently now.  she says things like, ‘i’m sad that ej is a heaven baby. i wish he was a house baby.’  sweet girl.  she tells me that ej is a boy and that Jesus carried him to heaven and someday Jesus will carry him back down to us.  i don’t try to add thoughts or words, or ‘correct’ her theology, b/c the truth is – i don’t know.  i’m sure Jesus did carry him home, it’s the carrying back down part i’m not too sure about, but it doesn’t matter.  what does matter is that we have a healthy child waiting for us in eternity, we have three gorgeous and healthy girls here on this earth to enjoy, and we have our faith that carries us through all of the ups and downs and gives us meaning to go along with the mess.

i’m not sure where we will end up tomorrow…where we will celebrate.  part of me is thinking of going somewhere intimate, while the other part of me wants to do something/go somewhere appropriate for celebrating a three-year-old.  i’ll probably have to consult the family on this one too.  no matter where we end up though, i know it will be perfect and special, b/c the memory made will be one of family, unity, faith, hope, peace, joy, thankfulness, togetherness, and trust in God, in His plan, and in our place in His hands.

if you would like to read more about my sweet ej and what that baby has done for me personally in my walk with God, or if you are looking for some encouragement or a voice to say, ‘it’s going to be okay’, please click here and you will be taken to a compilation of all of my miscarriage-related posts.  God bless you and keep you.

we love you, ej.  happy celebration day, my little love.

talking about you for the first time.

being thankful for isla rae.

i have four children, not three.

for the grieving mother.

 

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i chose truth.

consider yourself warned…this post will probably appear to be all over the place, but i often write as if you and i were having a little chat. that said, please allow me to tell you a little story…

monday was a very crappy day. we’ve hit a ‘stride’ in this house, and it isn’t a pretty one. i probably shouldn’t even refer to it as a ‘stride’, b/c it’s more like a derailed train. ava’s found a whole new dimension to her personality. i am currently challenged; we’ll just say that. isla is in this really cool, super sweet stage (from which ava has decided to ‘evolve’ as of late), but i feel like i can’t even enjoy it or her, b/c of my other two needing me like crazy. eden, bless her little self, is a doll, but she cries the moment i a) put her down, b) turn my gaze from her, c) walk in a direction that is not towards her…and d) all of the above. yep. monday (and tuesday) were pretty stinky.

as soon as the mister caught the vibe i was admittedly giving out at dinner on monday evening, he suggested that i escape for a little while. okay, i may have kind of told him that i was going to run away, but instead of scolding or laughing (both of which would have probably sent me into a meltdown), he suggested i take eden and go out for a while. so i took my birthday money and headed to the local old navy for jeans. thank you, husband!

i had gotten a text earlier in the day stating that 20% off coupons could be claimed at customer service, so i headed there first. eden, who of course was supposed to fall asleep during the car ride, was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we arrived at 7:30 pm. the kid hadn’t slept since we rolled out of bed together that morning. (she doesn’t sleep without me by her side either. last night was actually her very first night sleeping in her crib! she cried for 2hrs straight during ‘nap time’ yesterday, and about 45 mins. off and on when we put her to bed, but she did it! she fell asleep in her crib – without a pacifier too! the stinker rejects binkies.) anyway…

i walked up to a beautiful, older lady working in the customer service booth (alone), and i told her that i had come for the coupons. as she was taking my info, she asked eden’s age. i told her and pushed the carrier’s cover away from blocking her face, so she could do what all sweet ladies do and smile and coo at the baby in the stroller. she did just that. she went on about how beautiful eden is and how she is a perfect baby-doll, and i did what i do, and thanked her, mentioning what a sweet, loving baby she is. and then the conversation took a little detour – one i am usually tempted to avoid, but for whatever reason, i chose truth.

‘is she your first?’, the woman asked.

‘nope. she is actually my third. i have three girls. well, actually, i have four children, but only three made it. i have another.’

it just kind of spilled out. all that vulnerability just fell right out of my mouth.

and then something pretty wonderful happened. she said, ‘i have a baby like that too.’

ahh, there you are God. yep. He is in every appointment we have with our fellow humans. all we need to do is engage in truth.

her older eyes teared up a little, and she said that it had been her third pregnancy and after all of these years it still makes her emotional. i knew exactly what she meant. we talked a little longer about that, how we are growing our Heaven families here. she and i made those few minutes of random conversation actually mean something. i could’ve rushed. she could have just handed me the coupons and not struck up a conversation in the first place. i could have left my ‘Heaven Baby’ out of the conversation all together…

but then, she and i would have missed out on the warm fuzzies that come with making a heartfelt connection with another person. we would’ve traded those meaningful smiles, and understanding eyes for a superficial encounter.

i love that our ‘Heaven Babies’ are still being honored and remembered in the most unlikely places.

i hope this encourages you to let your heart do the talking. you just never know what could happen b/c of your willingness to chose the unashamed, unbridled truth even in what may seem as the most insignificant of moments.

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pinterest and prayers

i’ve caught myself lately looking at pinterest a little differently. you know how you get those notifications in your e-mail that read, ‘so-n-so has repinned 1 of your pins,’ or ‘so-n-so started following 1 of your boards’? well, i usually just glance at them quickly and delete them. a few weeks ago, i received a notification, and i didn’t recognize the pin (the pinner renamed it, so i didn’t know right away which pin it was), so i clicked on the link just out of curiosity. it was this pin. my miscarriage story. the emotions came flooding in. i still think about that post, and i rarely go a day or so without thinking of our heaven baby. ava knows she has a sibling in heaven, so we may have a conversation or two every once in awhile. we keep it light and simple. anyway, so, i followed this pin back to the other pinner’s board and read her caption. she had recently lost a baby, and the post had ministered to her. immediately, i realized why our connection was no coincidence. i was called to pray for her heart.

i was reminded of that today when i opened my e-mail and read that a woman started following my sjogren’s board. you probably only follow an illness board if you’re somehow afflicted by that illness, right? i don’t go around following random boards for the fun of it. i follow what’s applicable to me, and i’m sure others do the same. so, when i saw that this young woman decided to follow the sjogren’s board, i again felt compelled to pray for her. to pray for her healing, her faith, her outlook in regards to that disorder. it’s no fun, and i remember the pain well. i know God has brought me out of that muck, and i’m believing the same for her and anyone else being tormented by that annoying illness.

i believe that God allows trials to happen in our lives, so that we can turn around and minister and pray out of our experience(s). if you swallow up the bad, pretend it didn’t happen, or keep it locked inside, it becomes like a cancer. you won’t be helping yourself or anyone else for that matter, so use it in some way to make a difference. even making the choice to say a simple prayer for a random stranger. it may seem small, but prayer shifts the heavens in a mighty way.

be blessed,

kristi

this is for you.

this is for you.

this is for you, b/c you need a hug…you need a heart that understands you…you need a word of encouragement…you need a reminder that God has His mighty hand in your circumstance & you are far, far, far from alone.

over a year ago now, i wrote the post – i think it’s time.

sadly, it’s one of my most frequented posts. i am thankful for the opportunity to share my heart with so many of you, but i am saddened that so many of you can relate to the tragedy of losing a baby. my heart hurts for you. but my heart also hopes for you, b/c that’s not the end of the story.

as you read in that post, our good, precious, loving Father revealed some pretty beautiful things to me after that sad time in our lives. those things included a dream that settled my heart, restored my peace, & also left me with my baby’s name. during quiet moments of heartache, He spoke to my heart & showed me how, though the loss was deeply felt & will never be forgotten or diminished, it was not a loss. i have the great privilege to have experienced a gain…two gains. had our sweet ej made it to this earth, our isla rae would not be here. perhaps another baby would be here at some point, but not isla rae. likewise, had ej never been formed, i would not have his/her sweet spirit to greet me in Heaven. ej is a gift. isla rae is a gift. they are additional, precious treasures that almost never were. we are growing our Heaven families here. we are growing our Heaven families here. take heart.

a little side note as you reflect upon meeting your little one(s) in Heaven. a friend of mine was talking to me about something entirely different the other day. she was talking about how we as people can actually have wounds in our souls, depending upon the circumstances, emotions, etc. while in the womb. (deliverance-ministry related) although our memories can’t seem to recollect being cognizant of such things, our spirit is communing with our mother’s spirit while we are growing inside of her. i personally, firmly believe this notion, & the Bible supports such a claim. consider luke 1:41 – “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Jesus was in mary’s womb at that time.) our spirit man is very much alive & functioning in the womb. applying this understanding to meeting my precious one in Heaven…our spirits will know one another & it will not be a “meeting,” but rather a reunion of mother & child, separated for a time. look forward to that day, friend. look forward to the miracle of knowing fully, as you are fully known. again, take heart.

back to where i was going to go further, if you don’t mind. you see, i personally believe that each specific sperm & egg (yes, i just said that, b/c that’s what we are, right?) are covered in divine handwriting…what will become our dna – our blueprint. psalm 139:16 reads…

“Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

given the particular marriage of cells, if you will, there never would or could have been another chance to draw our isla rae from the gene pool, per se. she’s it. same with ava bean…ej…every baby ever created. like fingerprints, we are each miraculous, one-of-a-kind creations. we are here with a purpose in mind. now, let me be so clear on this…it is my firm belief that God does not ordain babies to die. He is LOVE. He is LIFE. He is ALL things GOOD. but He knew what was going to happen. He knew what was going to happen & why. i don’t need to know why. my job is to trust Him. this truth always reminds me of one of my most treasured scriptures…

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” – 1 corinthians 13:12.

going back to the idea that each life formed is a one-of-a-kind, never-can-be-duplicated creation, that can also be applied to your situation if you are having difficulty conceiving. i have a friend who was so frustrated, frustrated, frustrated, & rightfully so, b/c she just couldn’t seem to conceive. while thinking of/praying for her, i felt God deposit a little message into my heart. it had everything to do with what i just shared. this was even before my miscarriage, & i felt as though God was saying something about timing. it wasn’t time yet. b/c each baby is so unique & a specific thread in the tapestry of humanity, her baby just hadn’t arrived yet. sure enough, less than a year later, that baby was conceived. i know everyone’s circumstances are different, but maybe, just maybe this will apply to you or someone you know who is trying to hold on to hope. we can always hope.

i hope i haven’t lost you yet, b/c i really want to share something really special. just a couple of weeks ago, i was praying with some mentors/friends of mine, & one spoke to me about the miscarriage. all eyes closed, seeking the voice of the Lord, they told me to revisit the most painful moment of that experience. before i tell you what occurred, i’ll give you a little insight as to where i went in my mind’s eye…

(an excerpt from the post mentioned, i think it’s time.)

i’ll never forget lying in the er ultrasound room, the tech doing her thing, & hubby standing behind her. his face was all i watched. he stood stiff, staring at the monitor (which i couldn’t see), hand on his mouth in serious concentration, never shifting. he looked at me once. his expression didn’t change. i knew what he was telling me before she did. no heart beat. i still wonder sometimes what he saw while he stared. he just said it didn’t look the same. six days was actually one day. our baby died just one day after we watched him/her bounce around like the happiest little being on the planet. no reason. no explanation. just over. when she left us in the room alone to have a minute, a sound came from my being that i never even imagine existed. i wailed. from the innermost parts of my heart i wailed. it’s a horrible sound.

that is exactly where i went. i didn’t have to think about going there. my heart knew. but you know who else was in that room? God.

as we were praying, my friend calmly told me that God was in that place with me. it was like i was having one of those scrooge moments from “a christmas carol” where he is watching his life hovering up above. i was watching myself on the table, gripping my belly, wailing. it was God’s view. i saw my husband standing in front of the ultrasound machine. i was there all over again. there was no sound, but it was as clear as could be. it didn’t take long for me to hear God’s voice speaking to the deepest recesses of my soul…

“I am holding you.”
“I am protecting you.”
“I am giving (my husband’s name) strength.”

those three, short sentences changed everything about that moment for me. the Lord rewrote history. He is the Author & Finisher of our faith, our lives. He set that chapter straight. i remember at the time feeling so alone. so, so alone. after all, i was one with this child. i was the only person literally connected to him/her, & then, i was alone. no one involved would experience the loss like i would on many levels. but God was there, & He was holding me. i was not alone. it’s one thing to say, “yes, i know…the Lord never forsakes us.” it’s an entirely different thing to hear Him speak it directly to your heart. He knew i needed to hear it.

in regards to His statement about protection – as i have gone through & am still going through some amazing classes at my church, i have learned so much about the enemy of our souls, but even more about God. i have no doubt that God was shielding our hearts from so many things that the enemy was trying to accomplish during those extremely painful & weak moments/days/months. we were covered by His blood, sheltered beneath His great wing.

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” psalm 91:4

the horrible plans the enemy had to destroy our faith, hearts, marriage…to steal our hope, joy, trust, peace…God had thwarted them all. we were completely unaware of the mighty things He was doing on our behalf, b/c of His abounding love.

in regards to the final statement that addressed my husband very pointedly…i confess i had harbored some anger in the months that followed. the experience did bring us to a place of healing in our marriage at the time, & we had found a closeness that i believe we may not have found otherwise, but as time passed over the course of that year, i faced many hard days. days that i would cry; that i would feel sad, alone, empty, & he didn’t seem to understand. he didn’t seem phased by it anymore. he had locked it up & moved on. it would hurt me on the hardest days. when God said this to me so clearly, though, & He saved it for last, i knew it was His way of completely sealing my wounds. He literally took me from start to finish. first, He addressed my personal agony. then, He spoke to us as a couple, & last, He wiped away any misunderstanding or resentment i had towards my husband following the experience. my hubby was not indifferent towards the pain – he was holding it together so that i could lean on him as my partner. whether he even realized it or not, God was imparting supernatural, emotional clarity & strength when i had very little myself.

so i write this in an attempt to stir up some hope in you. God is holding you. He is protecting you from the plans of the enemy of your soul. He is giving you, your spouse, your friends strength to be your earthly supports. He can & will reveal Himself to you. take a moment, close your eyes, revisit a lonely hour & pray, “Lord, I know you were in this situation with me. i know you were there. i know you were speaking something to my heart. please reveal it to me, Father, that i may have peace, that i may know Your heart for me in a deeper way, that i may trust You more fully in my life.”

you know why all of this is truly beautiful to me? God keeps showing me He’s not finished. until i reach glory, He is never finished with me. like a hot iron to a linen garment, He is using the fiery trials & pressures of this world to carefully press out all of the wrinkles in my soul. everything the enemy plans for evil, the God of Heaven works for our good. everything. (Gen. 50:20/Rom. 8:28)

i pray & believe that the Lord will meet us when we seek Him.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Mt. 21:22

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Lk. 11:9-10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Mt. 11:28-29

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Ps. 34:18

“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
Ps. 4:1

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Ps. 55:22

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Is. 41:10

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Cor. 1:3-4

“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.”
Ps. 27:13-14


{image source}

gentle reminders.

last night, as i sat alone looking at randomness on here, thinking about the present, dwelling on the past & planning for the future…

i re-read the most intimate post i’ve shared on here.

{baby ej}

and i was ever so gently reminded that i have someone extra special waiting for me.

more importantly, i have someone extra special in Heaven to impress with this little life of mine.

i haven’t been doing a very good job of that lately.

i’m sorry, ej. please forgive me.

i need to make you proud of me as your mommy. your sisters here know what they see & feel the love i pour over them daily…

but you…i imagine you see much more.

you see me arguing with your father.

you see me complaining about a multitude of things.

you see me angry & frustrated.

you see me in ways i would never let ava or isla see me.

who knows…maybe you don’t & the fact that Jesus does should be enough to force the uglies out, but, for some reason right now, it’s not. for some reason though, you are inspiring me to be better.

starting now, i will be.

thank you, Lord, for all three of my inspiring, beautiful & amazing children.