Archive for June, 2007

Ava’s first tube ride as told by Ava:

I went on the big tube. Daddy held me on the big tube behind Papa’s boat. Papa went too slow. Papa thought I wanted to swim with the fish. I slipped in like a big fish. SWOOSH. Papa thought I wanted to swim, didn’t he? And then Daddy held me. I was in the lake with the fish.

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a reading life

Ava introduced her new friend, Molly, to her favorite spot in the house.

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clock riddle

“Look mama, there are five ones on the clock!”

**Is she right?

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daisy chain


[rockyou id=74816355&w=426&h=319]A special thank you to Ruthie & Lydia for this fun craft!

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our great helper

My early morning was colored in varying shades of blue. Thoughts about where God was in all of this loss were tumbling through my mind as I shook out the sheets on my bed. I had just tucked in the corners when Ava walked in holding with a handful of pink and announced, “Mama, I need you to help me put my underwear on.” “In a minute, honey,” I replied pulling the comforter up to the top of the bed. Which prompted the standard and relentless series of “why?” I explained that I was making my bed and would be happy to help her dress after I had finished. Still unsatisfied, she asked again, “Why can’t you help me?”
“I will help you when I’m done. I can’t do two things at the same time.”
“Cause you can’t do everything?”
“God can. God can do everything.”

I looked up from the pillowcase I was stuffing and replied, “That’s right, Ava. God can do everything.” “And He’s everywhere,” she continued. “He’s right here next to me. He can help me put my underwear on. God can. God can help me.” With this new revelation she sat right down and proceeded to get dressed with the Lord’s merciful assistance, and then continued expounding all his mercies to us. “He’s helping you make the bed. And he helps Daddy drive the car to work. And He helps Mama drive too. He helps us do everything!”

I sat down on my bed and looked up at my daughter whose face shone with the sweet knowledge that God took care of her every need. “He helps me color. And He helps us get better. He helps your tummy get better too! He’s everywhere!” she exclaimed throwing her arms up into the air. “And He’s in my heart. Right, Mama?” Oh sweet girl, to have such faith and oh sweet Lord, to answer even unspoken requests.

She returned my smiles as she pivoted and skipped out of my room singing, “God is a nice God. God is a nice God. God is a nice God.”

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“The tenderness of God is twirling in our living room tonight” –Watermark

Sometimes the mercies of God come dressed in purple tulle and sequins with feather boa sleeves, a shiny, plastic crown, and a sparkling wand. I had come across that bit of lyric from Watermark’s song Elianna last night and had been pondering it all day. And then tonight as if on cue our sweet girl swirled into our living room in all her dime-store glory waving a wand and singing, “Thank you for my daddy-daddy, daddy-daddy, daddy-daddy, Thank you for my daddy-daddy, my fair lady. Thank you for my mama-mama, mama-mama, Thank you for my mama-mama, my fair lady.”
It felt as though Jesus had sent us a pint-sized fairy godmother to sprinkle us with joy and merriment.
Five nights earlier, Nate and I sat in the ER and heard words that made all our joy freeze and hit the sterile floors like icicles: Ectopic Pregnancy. Two grim doctors stood in the gray holding cell where we had been kept for the past six hours gripping charts that revealed blood levels of a six to seven week pregnancy and pictures that showed an empty womb and a cyst that was covering the tube that they believed the baby to in. They explained that an emergency laparoscopic surgery was vital and would need to be performed immediately.

I just stared at them in utter disbelief. “What,” I wanted to shout, “this can’t be happening. I’m not even pregnant. I’m not. This can’t be right. Look at my chart; I’m not pregnant, I just had two miscarriages. Can I please just go home? And No, no thank you, I’d rather not have an IV. Please put that thing away. Seriously, put it away.” But I simply turned my head as the nurse guided the needle into my arm and quietly asked her to bandage it up so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

It wasn’t until several hours later that we learned how grave the situation actually was. What the doctors could not see in the ultrasound was that the little baby had already ruptured my fallopian tube, but “luckily, very luckily” it had clotted immediately and a cyst had grown over the clot. “Usually a ruptured tube has a very different outcome,” the doctor explained to Nate. “Usually it means you arrive unconscious in an ambulance with a belly full of blood. Your wife is very, very lucky.”

What she didn’t know was that when my tube was most likely breaking, I was in a Grand Caravan with my cousin and our four little girls driving 1,100 miles across one of the most barren parts of the country. On the first night of our trip, Heather and I accidentally past through Amarillo, Texas without finding a place for dinner. It was another three hours before we found a gas station with a mini-Taco Bell stand. There is nothing, absolutely nothing out there–no gas pumps, no drinking fountains, no Paneras, no Starbucks, certainly no hospitals, just desert brush and road signs.

When I consider the rarity of the cyst and the desolate territory that I had traveled through, I know beyond all doubt that the Lord touched me and sustained me. In these darks shadows of sorrow, I have an undeniable sign that the Lord has given me life and that he wants me alive.

Why He chose to spare my life, but not the life of this baby or the other two babies; why He allows me to conceive only to take these babies to Heaven; why three of my four pregnancies have ended in surgery; how three babies could come and go before the first baby’s due date–these are the questions that I wrestle with as the long hand of the clock pushes further into the night.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.”

That His steadfast love is better than life is the hope that I have wrapped my arms around and cling to. That I am His and He is mine–no turning back. That He is the tower that I can run into and hide in as the storm rages outside threatening to tear down the walls and destroy me. Yet, I will not drown; I will not be consumed; for, he went down into the dark and silent grave and broke free shining like the sun to rescue me, to give me hope. I will awake from this dark night and I will sing in the morning.

Tonight as my tears cleanse my pillow once more, I have hope that the morning will bring new mercies and continued healing. I believe that I will always long for our three little ones whose names I hold in my heart. My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord where I will embrace my children and sing for joy to the living God. So tonight, I will praise the Lord for his sweet blessing swirling in my living room–with weary eyes I will sing:

Thank you for my Ava-Ava, Ava-Ava, Ava-Ava. Thank you for my Ava-Ava, my fairest Lord!

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