2015 wrap up/One Word for 2016

My 2015 has been a year of trust. We started the year with numerous unknowns. One of the biggest ones was the need for a bigger house. The four of us were living in a 2 bedroom tiny ranch style house & were quickly out growing it! We had been praying for over a year about where God might want us (longer, really, we knew even before the birth of Kyrie that things would be a little tight there!). Thankfully, in early Spring God directed us to the right house…. and once the stars began to align we knew we were headed “home.” We moved the end of June! Yay God!

This blog has been a work in progress over the years. It’s not where I want it to be, but part of me is afraid to put myself out there. And for the small handful of you who read it, I’m thankful and I trust you’re blessed. But this past fall I put my TRUST again in this blog and entered into a writing challenge where I was to write for 31 Days straight. Well, I didn’t write for 31 days but I did write more in that month than I did all year. And I was able to share some things that God had been asking me to share for quite some time – another area of trust. I tried not to beat myself up over not writing every day but my goal is to complete it NEXT October, while writing more this year.

Which leads me to my One Word for 2016… DO. 2015 has been quiet for me as far as “doing.” It was a needed season of focusing on my family and myself. I felt God asking me to step down from things I was involved in and even saying NO to good things that came across my path – which was a lesson in and of itself. I’ve never been good with the “NO” answer. But God has been teaching me over the years that just because something is good for Him, doesn’t mean I’m called to do it – it might be meant for someone else. And by saying “Yes” when I should say “NO,” I’m taking the blessing of someone else away from them. Anyways, I’m rambling, but this past year has been one of trusting and waiting on God.

So what will “DO!” Look like? That I’m not sure. One of the things I prayed for while we were looking for a house was to have a place I felt I could open up and share. Maybe God will call me to start a group out of my house, or at the very least, just be more hospitable and not be afraid to invite people over (GUILTY! I have kids… my house is always a mess 😦 )

So DO might mean putting myself out there again. I do believe that part of the reason why God asked me to step down from several things was because He had something else for ME too. So I await what that might be… if anything yet.

But here’s to 2016… a new year where I want to blog more and share what God lays upon my heart. A year where I continue to take better care of my body (slowly losing all that baby weight even though my babies are now 4 & 2!), and a year of DOING whatever God might have for me.

Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Jazmin Quaynor

 

My Rainbow Babies After the Storm of Miscarriage

I don’t know where I’ve been but I have just heard about the term “Rainbow Baby” in recent months. A “Rainbow Baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. A rainbow typically appears in the sky when the sun is coming out while it is still raining. They are called “Rainbow babies,” because they follow the “Storm” of pregnancy or infant loss. A rainbow in the sky symbolizes hope that the storm is over – just like a pregnancy that occurs after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or infant loss.

Don’t you just LOVE that term? I certainly do love rainbows! And to make it such a beautiful explanation of a child that follows a loss like that – it takes my breath away.

Photo Credit: Janelle Allen

Photo Credit: Janelle Allen

Meet my rainbow babies. Yes, both of them. I had three of my miscarriages before our son was born. My fourth miscarriage was in between these two. I can honestly say that these are my rainbows after the storm and my beautiful rays of sunshine. They have been tremendous blessings to me over and over again and I cannot thank God ENOUGH for them.

Longing for my Angels in Heaven… My Personal Journey with Miscarriage

It seems October is the “Awareness” month. Many things are brought to the surface this time of year, but the one that holds my heart is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness.

I know the official Day was last week but I wasn’t prepared to share about our struggle at that point. It’s still hard for me to talk about, but I need to break the silence. I have shared some in the past about the miscarriages I’ve had. We had a long road to get there with a stint of infertility even before them. Getting to motherhood was not the “Hey, let’s have a baby!” experience that I expected it to be.

For whatever reason, God had us pass through the valley before bringing us the fulfillment of a prayer and a dream. 

Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women have had a miscarriage. For many, a miscarriage is a silent experience that many women just want to forget. I have had four. My reaction to each was different. The first one was traumatic, but I was okay with sharing with people about it. There were times that I didn’t want anyone to know about my miscarriage, because I didn’t want people to pity me. I have had feelings on both sides of the coin. But no matter how I felt, I still mourned the loss.

The truth is I have four more babies. Four babies that I will never get to hold, this side of Heaven. 

I know some reading this might say – “But you’ve been blessed with two beautiful babies!” I have, and I know that. God has redeemed my heartache. I know that if I would’ve carried any of those four babies to full term, I would not have the two wonderful kiddos I have now. I thank God for Levi & Kyrie. God wanted Levi & Kyrie to be the babies I hold in my earthly arms. But I still have four babies in Heaven that I never got to touch. Never got to hold. Never got to whisper “I love you!” in their ears or kiss their little nose while they slept.

Thankfully I had a small support system. Along with my family and the few friends (that I let in), I have a wonderful, caring cousin, who had traveled a similar road ahead of me that held my hand and supported me through my pain and help me deal with the emotions I had inside. She gave me ideas of how to make those babies real, and not just “sacks of cells” that didn’t survive. To me, they were babies. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I had an instant connection with that child I carried. It was part of me – it was MINE. When I found out each time that they hadn’t survived, a part of me died with it.

I give no disrespect to any parent who has lost a child of any age, but no one would ever ask them to forget about that child and move on. “Oh you’ll have another.” But for many women who have suffered miscarriage, that is what they’re asked to do. Forget about it. You never held it, it never existed. You feel nothing for it. Those feelings were not good enough for me.

To begin healing and to cope, my husband and I decided to give each child a name. We picked gender neutral names since I was too early on to know who was what. The names of my Heavenly babies are Jordan, Peytan, Riley, & Taylor (I realize they’re in alphabetical order – we didn’t try this!). We named them to make them real – to make them our own.

The ONLY upside to miscarriage is to know that I WILL meet these children someday. I know they went straight from me into the arms of God, Himself.

Through this, God has allowed me to be a support system to others who have experienced miscarriage as well. God has placed several in my path that turned to me when they had their own miscarriages. We mourned and prayed together. Some were given their redemptive babies, others are still praying and waiting. Some mourned quietly on their own, others have felt led to be open about it. But because they knew I had experienced it, they were able to open up some about it to me. I am grateful that I could be a shoulder to cry on when I needed to be, because I understood – my own personal pain was not in vain.

I share all of this with you to break my silence. I must admit that this was NOT an easy post to write and share. I put it off for a few days. What I do ask you, is that if you know of someone who has had a miscarriage – be sympathetic. It’s a loss of a baby. They may want to talk about it – they might not. But treat it as you would the loss of any child.

“Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn’t get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me?” ~Author Unknown