Wednesday, June 29, 2011

American Flags and Yellow Butterfly

Tonight, Luke, Nathan, and I went to Alexis' grave to put American flags around it. While we were there a yellow butterfly came and fluttered around us. Luke and I got so excited. I know that God sends me yellow butterflies to remind me that everything is going to be okay. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Will Carry You (Song and Story Behind It)

This is an amazing story of faith from the lead singer of Selah and his wife:

(Grab the tissues)

This is the song sung live:

(This song was sung at Alexis' funeral by a sweet friend)

(Grab some more tissues)

Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Strong Enough by Matthew West

You must
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe
Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I'm finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough

Strong enough

Cause I'm broken
Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Oh, yeah

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough

Grief is Like an Earthquake

"Grief is like an earthquake. The first one hits you and the world falls apart. Even after you put the world together again there are aftershocks, and you never really know when those will come."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

One year ago, Memorial Day Weekend 2010, is such a strong memory. I remember being 17 weeks pregnant (and looking about 25 weeks pregnant) and being a week away from finding out the babies' genders. I was so eager to find out so we could name them, buy stuff, and put together their nursery. It was also one of those times that we said, "This time next year, we will have two 7 month old baby twins to bring to the beach." Lee and I, as well as our family, looked so forward to so many things with the babies, just like we did when we were pregnant with Luke. So when we went to the beach this weekend, I couldn't help but be a little sad. I know that sounds strange since we are so blessed to have our two precious boys, but I do get sad when I realize she isn't here. All of those plans and hopes are not going to happen the way we planned and hoped. I just have to remember that God's plan is greater than ours and my hope is in Him and my future. I am often reminded of the verse, Jeremiah 29:11 –

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Journey to Become a “Real Mother”

The Journey to Become a "Real Mother"

For me, the journey to motherhood began when I was a small child. I can remember so fondly playing with babies. I didn't just play with them…to me they were as real as they could be. I named each one of them, dressed them, cared for them, and took them with me everywhere I went. I had a particular baby named Lauren who looked so real that sometimes people thought she was. I would carry her everywhere and would cry if I had to leave her in the car. I knew that no good mother would leave her baby in the car when she went to eat or shop. I longed for the day when I would be a "real mother."

As the years went by, babies turned into Barbies. Whenever I played with Barbies, it was always the same storyline…Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, they get married, they "buy" a big house, and they have babies. I remember stuffing toilet paper into the Barbies' clothes so they would look pregnant. Yes, I was quite realistic. I longed for the day when I would be a "real mother."

Some more years went by and I began baby-sitting. Oh how I loved baby-sitting. I loved playing with the kids so much. I loved reading books to them and telling them stories. I loved making them snacks and food. I loved rocking them and singing to them and putting them to bed and watching as they fell asleep. I loved it all. I jumped at every opportunity to baby-sit, even through my young adult years. I longed for the day when I would be a "real mother."

Then when I was 18 I met the man of my dreams, my now husband, Lee. We dated and from very early on discussed having children. We both said we wanted 3-4 kids and we looked forward to raising them and watching them grow up. We got married at 21 and figured we would wait a few years to be more settled. I longed for the day when I would be a "real mother."

God had greater plans for us. About 10 months later, I got 7 (yes 7) positive pregnancy tests. I was so thrilled. Lee and I made plans, picked out baby names, and got everything ready. I remember seeing that little heartbeat for the first time and finding out his gender. I remember so carefully assembling baby items, laundering and folding baby clothes and putting them away, and so perfectly laying out each thing that he would need. I longed for the day when I would be a "real mother."

Then on January 15th, 2006, after 26 hours of labor and a c-section, I finally heard the greatest sound in the world, my 8lbs 15oz 20 ½ inch son, Luke Ryan Webber, cried for the very first time. It was one of the greatest days of my life. I remember the first time I ever got to hold him (even as tired and drugged up as I was). I looked into that sweet face and was just overcome with thanksgiving. Finally, I was a "real mother."

Raising Luke is/has been the greatest experience of my life. Nursing him, feeding him, changing him, taking care of him, loving on him, disciplining him, and watching him grow. Seeing all of his milestones – his first tooth, his first words, his first steps. It's just amazing to watch a child grow from a little blip on an ultrasound into a full-sized baby and then into a young person. I always thought, "I can't wait to be a 'real mother' again".

As the years went on, Lee and I started talking about having another child. We waited a while since Luke came earlier than we planned. When we were ready, boy, were we ready. We were blessed to try one month and get pregnant. I was so excited. I longed to be a "real mother" again and it was happening.

Then on Thanksgiving Day 2009, I miscarried. Wow! I was shook to the absolute core. What had happened? What had I done wrong? Was it not the right time? Why did I get pregnant so easily only to lose the baby? I was hurt, angry, disappointed, and felt so out of control. I longed to be a "real mother' again so bad.

I went through about a month of being so disappointed and even angry. Then one day in a church sermon (can't even really remember the message to be honest), God got a hold of me and brought me to tears and to my knees. I went to the altar and laid it all before Him. I told Him everything I was feeling, how hurt and disappointed I was, and how selfish I had been to think it was all about me and my timing for children. I told Him, "Lord if Luke is the only child I ever have, then that is enough. If you want to give me 0 children or 12 children through my own body or through adoption, Lord I just want to be in Your will. It's in Your hands. I commit my fertility, my children, and my life to You." God knew how much I longed to be a "real mother" again, but also knew that I was okay with whatever He saw fit for me.

Well a couple of months later, I got pregnant again. We were thrilled. Again, we started planning things and Luke kept telling us, "Mommy we are going to have twins." We really didn't believe him, but I indulged him saying, "Two babies would be double awesome, wouldn't they?" Well at my 8 week checkup we found out that Luke was right. We were having twins. Wow, I was going to be a "real mother" twice again.

As the pregnancy went on, we planned and prepared for the double blessing. We found out their genders and gave them names. We had baby showers and again, perfectly prepared everything for them. On October 1st, 2010 at 35 weeks gestation, I heard the worst news I've heard in my personal life, "Baby B doesn't have a heartbeat." To say it felt like a knife into my heart isn't enough. It was just awful. I would not be a "real mother" to Alexis Faith.

We delivered on October 1st, 2010. At 5:45pm I heard the greatest sound in the world, Nathan Reid Webber, crying for the first time. Exactly two minutes later, I didn't hear anything. That's when Alexis Faith was born. That was the worst "sound" in the world.

Laying to rest my precious daughter a week later was by far one of the hardest days of my life. Aside from the day she was born, I don't think I've ever cried so much. But I realized, I was a "real mother" to Alexis. A "real mother" loves her children and wants the very best for them. I love Alexis with an unfailing, unconditional love. I only ever wanted what was best for her. Well she is in the best place anyone can ever hope to be. She is in Heaven with Jesus Christ. I committed her to the Lord before she was ever conceived and again before she was ever born. I know with every fiber of my being that I am her mother, she is my daughter, and we will be reunited again. I am a "real mother."

I have enjoyed watching Nathan grow and develop over these past 7 months. Being his mother is one of the greatest blessings in my life. God sent him here for a very special purpose. He made him a twin for a very special purpose. He is a gift from God and every day with him is cherished so much. I am so thankful for him. I can honestly say without Nathan, my life would be so different.

The journey to become a "real mother" (so far) has been one of surprises, disappointments, joy, sorrow, happiness, sadness, triumphs, and tragedies, but I can honestly say that I am so glad that I have been able to have the journey. Each part of it has brought me closer to the Lord because most of my journey has been too much for me to carry on my own. He has revealed Himself to me so much through everything. He is always there and will be for the rest of my journey.

As I write this, I have it in my heart so much to have more children. I so long to be a "real mother" again.