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Wave of Light

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. All across the globe today, families who have been touched by the loss of a little life, before or after birth, are remembering their missing babies by lighting a candle at 7pm. If you leave the candle lit for at least an hour, there will be a continuous wave of light across the whole Earth in all time zones. It’s a simple way to remember the precious ones we never got to hold, or who we only got to hold a short time. Are you participating? Today we remember Emory and Shiloh who find rest in our heavenly Father’s arms. Shiloh’s due date would have been in just 10 days, on October 25th. Who are you remembering? I would love it if you left a comment with your little one’s name. I think in the midst of grief it’s important to also celebrate the lives of our “angel babies”, however short those lives may have been. They are still a perfectly unique, beautiful individual who’s existence deserves remembrance and celebration.

I remember when I was first dealing with the emotional and physical pain of losing Shiloh, I felt bitter, wondering, “If I was going to miscarry, why did I have to even get pregnant at all? I would rather have not gotten pregnant in the first place, and then I wouldn’t have to feel this way.” But through the grieving process, and through God’s healing my heart I came to a realization that that was the wrong attitude. Even though it hurt so much to say goodbye so early, I don’t regret their existence. Even though I didn’t get to hold them, I know someday I will. To wish them away, wish that they had never been conceived, would be to underestimate the value of their eternal souls, and to underestimate how deeply their lives touched our hearts forever. Their lives have purpose. However short, life has purpose!

I also want to give a shout out to the families who were in the process of adoption and lost their children before they were able to bring them home. In my mind their loss is just as real and painful as mine, and my heart goes out to them.

So tonight, we light a candle. Will you? Tonight I am praying for those who have experienced this sort of loss. Leave a comment and I would be happy to pray for you as well. I pray that the peace of Christ will rule in your hearts.

Philippians4:6-7

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(image credit to Startpage search engine)

Awareness

It’s October! Where on Earth did September go?! Well, out with the old and in with the new. With October comes a need for awareness. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Whew! That’s kind of a big deal! So over the course of the next month, I will be sharing information about both. I will still post family updates as well. So first off, a little information about how Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was started. Here is a word from our former president Ronald Reagan:

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members on work to prevent causes of these problems.

Health care professionals recognize that trends of recent years, such as smaller family size and postponement of childbearing, adds another dimension of poignancy to the grief of parents who have lost infants. More than 700 local, national and international support groups are supplying programs and strategies designed to help parents cope with their loss. Parents who have suffered their own losses, health care professionals and specially trained hospital staff members are helping newly bereaved parents deal constructively with loss…

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 314, has designated the month of October, as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.

NOW, THEREFORE, I RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Ronald Reagan
Former President
United States of America

(information found at http://www.pregnancylossribbons.com/informationsupport.htm)

Thank you Ronald Reagan for recognizing this need and helping to bring awareness to it. Our family has experienced the pain of miscarriage. Just before we conceived Judah we lost a baby, whom we named Emory. And again, just a couple months before conceiving Kaisa (whom I’m still pregnant with, she is due January 2nd), we had another loss. We named that baby Shiloh because it means “peace”. Ironically, Shiloh’s due date would have been this October 25th. So Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month this year is timely for us. We have grieved for the loss of our children that we never got to meet, but rejoice in the comforting knowledge that they are awaiting us in Heaven, enjoying the love of our Savior, who we know cares deeply for the little children.

Matthew 19:14 (ESV)

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

So the tears we have wept were not for Emory or Shiloh. They were for ourselves, for having missed out on the opportunity to know them in this life. But there will come a time for embracing them.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A time for peace…

And since it is also the beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I leave you with this:

(image credit to Google)

God Gave Me You

Last weekend my awesome husband Josh and I spent 2 blissful nights at the beach, sans kids, to celebrate our anniversary. We’ve now been married for 8 years! And having dated for about 5 years prior to that, we have been together for 13 years! Whew, what a ride it’s been so far! We’ve certainly been through ups and downs as any marriage does, and happily, we are at a wonderful place in life right now. God has used all of the challenges, struggles and valleys to shape us and teach us, and most importantly, to draw us nearer to Him.

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We sent the kiddos off the their grandparents’. Judah spent the weekend with Josh’s mom for some special one on one time, and our older 2, Cana and Loyal, spent their time with my parents. They were all spoiled and doted on and I do believe that they had as much fun as we did! Hopefully the grandparents had some fun too. While the kids were blowing bubbles and making forts and creating special memories with their grandma’s and grandpa, Josh and I luxuriated in the quiet! We relaxed, walked the beach everyday, took an uninterrupted nap, ate good food, and did some leisurely shopping, of course picking up a trinket for each child, and goodies for the helpful grand-folk. It was nothing fancy, but it was exactly what we needed. God has brought us to such a wonderful place in our relationship, a place of closeness, understanding, fellowship, and deepened love. I see God still shaping us, individually and as one. I can’t wait to see where God leads us from here on out! Here we are married 8 years and we are awaiting the birth of our 4th child. A surprise pregnancy at that, when we thought it was impossible for us to have such surprises due to my fertility issues. We are so thankful and blessed! I know God has more in store for us, and I look forward to discovering what it is. May we step out in faith wherever He leads us.

Psalm 26:2-3 (ESV)

2 Prove me, oh Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. 3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

I heard this song today and it made me think of you Josh. (And how appropriate that the music video was shot at the beach!)

“God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt. On my own I’m only half of what I could be, I can’t do without you.”

And now for a few pictures that Josh took while we were at the beach:

The obligatory self portrait. It was bright. 🙂

25 1/2 weeks pregnant here.

Happy Anniversary Josh. I love you more than you can know.

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Exploration

My kids enjoy exploring nature, and I am continually impressed with what they discover in our own backyard! When rummaging around in the raspberry patch, scavenging for the last few berries of the season, Loyal discovered a large slug (he is always finding slugs!) and Cana found a snail! I’ve never seen a snail that large that wasn’t contained in an aquarium of some sort! They corralled them into the kiddie pool and spent a long time observing them. Cana even drew them in her nature journal. Here are a few pictures of our little morning adventure in the backyard.

Contemplative

Curious

Judah brought a snack along for the show.

Ah, the simple wonder of childhood discovery.

I must confess, I was pretty impressed with the snail myself!

On the move.

Up close and personal.

My kids are never bored in our modest backyard. God’s creation abounds! Thank you for the visit slithering creatures!

Kindergarten! Homeschool style.

We are a few weeks into Cana’s kindergarten year. We loosely did some homeschool stuff last year, but this year we are taking it more seriously since she is officially Kindergarten age. Cana loves doing school and is overall doing really really well, we are so proud of her! Here she is on her first official day of Kindergarten, in a special first day of school outfit picked out by none other than Cana herself. Here she displays her nature observation drawing of the day.

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We did a special first day of school activity for all the kiddos. I got plain t-shirts at the dollar store and discounted fabric markers at Tuesday morning and let the kids go to town!

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More to come soon!

Us

Us

This is us! The Parents; Josh and Chelsea. And the kiddos; Judah, Loyal and Cana.

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