Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beauty Will Rise

Every time that I stood by Lila's incubator, I felt helpless. The top was always closed and our physical contact with her was limited. I felt like all I could so was stand by her and pray as I watched her fight for her life... I remember the day I was there and I had to watch them suction her lungs for the first time. Sheer terror and helplessness went through me. Here was my baby girl laying 2 feet away from me and there was nothing that I could do for her. Minutes later after she was stable, the nurses asked if I had been able to give her a kiss yet. They said to come up and I could kiss her on the head. I felt so scared for fear of bumping a tube or messing something up. I kissed my baby girl on the forehead. I will treasure those 2 seconds forever because that was the only time that I got to kiss my sweet Lila while she was alive.

My heart hurts today. I long for my baby hold her, to comfort her, to love on her. I can't do that though.

I long to look into her sweet eyes and tell her that I'm here. Here to be her mother. Here to wipe away every tear and comfort every hurt. Here to watch her play with her big brother. Here to watch as she walks into school for the first time. I can't do that though.

Right now, I can't do any of those things and it makes me want to scream. Scream that it's not fair that my baby girl was taken from us after 16 days.

All I can do right now is cling to the knowledge that she's with the Lord....He will take care of her far greater than I ever could....And that out of the pain and will rise.

This morning, I was listening to a cd by Steven Curtis Chapman that my sister-in-law gave us. It seemed that every word of every song seemed to speak to right where my heart is. One particular song "Beauty Will Rise" speaks of the beauty given only from God that will come out of the ashes. Hearing these lyrics comforted my heart when all I wanted to do was fall apart and sit in my sorrow.

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed 'til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake it still remains
And sift through the ashes that are left behind
But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams we have this hope

Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will SEE it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning
Beauty will rise

Psalm 30:5 "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday, Scott and I celebrated our three year anniversary. I am so blessed to call this man my husband. He has taught me so much about myself and love. Through the crazy ups and downs of the last three years, he has walked beside me and I consider that a privelidge.

I love you Scott! Here's to many more years together!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear Griffen...

One month ago today, your baby sister Lila Elizabeth was born. You never got to know her,  meet her or see her but I know you would have loved her. I know you would have been the best of friends. You would have been 13 months older than her. Yes, I know you would have had the usual sibling arguments but I know you would have been the best big brother to her. I know that you would have protected her and loved her with your whole heart. I know that she would have loved you! I'm sorry that you won't have that opportunity to be those things to her.

I want you to know though that we told her about you when we would visit her at the hospital. She was very sick so we couldn't bring her home to meet you or take you to meet her. We told her how you loved to play with your puppets and chase Gucci around the house. We told her how you love to give wet, slobbery kisses. Daddy and I told her that we pray for all of us when we put you to bed at night. We even hung a picture of our family in her incubator so that she could have us all close by.

Lila lived for 16 days and then went to be with the Lord. She fought those 16 days but her lungs were just too weak.

I want you to know that Lila touched so many lives. Many people were praying for her all across the world. All for your baby sister and our family, even you. People that hadn't prayed for years were praying for us. That's the miracle of Lila's life. Even though she didn't know, she was affecting lives and helping people turn to Christ. That's what I want you to always remember about your sweet baby sister....she pointed people to Christ. That is one of our prayers for you, that you will grow to know and walk in the love of Christ. That you will lead others to Christ through the life you live and by showing others your heart for Him.

Your dad and I love you so much! Everyday, while Lila and I were in the hospital, your daddy would make sure to be home to put you to bed every night. We loved going to visit Lila but we loved being able to come home to you too. You were 13 months old when she was born so you were very active!! You love being cuddled and read to but you love wresting on the floor too. We loved coming in the door to hear your happy squeal and big smile greeting us everyday. You didn't even know but you were and are such a bright spot in our day.

I just wanted you to know that on January 17th, 2011, you became a big brother to Lila Elizabeth. Even though you'll never know her, I wanted you to know her story and the miracles that God worked through her life.

I love you sweet boy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lila's Celebration of Life

Here are some of the beautiful pictures that a dear church friend, Cassie Rainey, took of Lila's Celebration of Life on February 5th.

This is the painting that a friend, Bethany, had done for Lila's nursery, something we will hold dear forever.
 Some of the few but precious things we have of our sweet girl. 
 These are the verses that the sweet girls from church made for Lila. Several of them were posted on her isolet. We prayed each of them over her each time we visited her. Her nurse told me at the service that as Lila was taking her last breaths, she prayed the verses over her because she knew how much they meant
to us.

 My sweet husband speaking at the service. His strength and love amaze me everyday. The way he has led our family through so much is a testimony to his love for Christ!

 I love this picture as everyone looks up and at the cross! That's what I want everyone to remember of Lila's life...that it pointed to Christ and the cross.

The day was truly a celebration of Lila's life. A celebration that God is good. A celebration that God can work miracles through so many people's lives through the life of our little girl. A celebration that even through the hardest times we want God to have the glory....Because of Him, we were able to have 16 precious days with our sweet Lila that we will treasure forever because they changed our lives for the better. God is good!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Griffen Jey---14 Months

Can't believe that tomorrow our little man will be 14 months! Seems like yesterday that he started walking and now we can't keep up with him because he's pretty much running. He continues to brighten our day with his smile and constant kisses. Through the last few weeks, God has worked through Griffen so much. From the day I came home from the hospital, Griffen has been so tender and gentle with me. Such an answer to prayer. As I would sit on the couch, he would run up and kiss me on the knee and hug my leg. It's as if he knew that he had to be gentle. Even with me not being able to pick him up, he's been so loving through it all. He has been such a source of laughter and joy amidst the sorrow of the last few weeks. Thank you Lord for our sweet boy! May we daily lift him up to you and know that he is a miracle from you.

14 Month Stats:
-Drinks from a sippy cup with a straw...when he wants. Otherwise, we are still trying to break him of the bottle.
-Sleeps around 12 hours at night.
-Two naps a day about 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours each.
-Size 3 diapers
-12 month clothes
-Four bottles a day and eats 3 meals a day
-Such a good eater!! Very interested in anything we are eating. Will try pretty much anything.
-LOVES blueberries and clementine oranges
-Chases Gucci around the house constantly
-Loves to be outside and explore.
-Trying to learn to jump. He laughs at himself as he tries.
-Points with pointer finger to everything, especially the food you are trying to hide from him.
-Learned to climb into Scott's recliner using the ottoman.
-Walking/running everywhere!
-Loves bathtime. Started sticking face in water and blowing bubbles.
-Says "dada" and "mama". Not always to the right one though. :-)
-OBSESSED with books. Sometimes would rather books over his toys.
-Kicks his ball around the house.
-Loves puppets.

Our little Explorer

Enjoying the beautiful weather with Papa

Storytime with Daddy

Showing off his "big boy" camo backpack from Precious and Papa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Will Carry You

I will carry you....these are the words that I'm clinging to right now. Only God can carry me through this. As much as I want to deny that my sweet baby girl is gone, I know that I must go THROUGH this and not around this. That has been my defense mechanism for 31 years, to numb and deny the things that I didn't want to deal with. I know that I have to walk through this, to honor Lila and to honor God. I know that only His grace and His love can get me out of bed in the morning when all I want to do is sleep. He carries me. I take comfort in that every moment. I had peace today walking into the NICU today to get some of Lila's things knowing that she was sitting in our loving Father's lap and not hooked up to tubes in the incubator. That peace has got to carry me through this because I can't do this on my own. Like Scott said at the memorial service, on my own I'm a mess sobbing on the floor but with God I'm able to walk through this giving Him the glory.

Through conversations with many people the last few days, I've realized I'm not mourning what was but what would have been. I'm mourning the sweet things that only a mother/daughter relationship can fulfill. The tea parties, the pedicures, the shopping trips....these things are gone but so much more has been gained. Through the life of my sweet, innocent baby girl lives have been brought back to Christ, prayer warriors have been on their knees, and Christ has been glorified. What more could I ask for?

Scott and I had a long conversation with our pastor on Friday concerning how we wanted the memorial to be. I remember telling him that I was so humbled by the huge number of people praying for our family and our Lila. He asked "Why is that so humbling?" I remember thinking that was such a crazy question. After thinking for a few minutes, I responded that I was humbled because "I was just a mother praying for the life and health of her baby girl. Who was I to ask or deserve the prayers of thousands?" I don't deserve the prayers that were lifted up by so many for Lila but God did it anyway. And in turn glory was brought to Him, which is all that I could ask for. Now that's humbling!

Here's a song by Selah that speaks to what I'm feeling. It was written by one of the members who lost their baby, Audrey. They wrote this song after she passed away.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 17---God Chose Me

Yesterday, my sweet baby girl, Lila Elizabeth, went to be with her Heavenly Father. She is dancing in heaven with a perfect little body, with no tubes or pain. That's the picture that I want to keep in my mind. That's the picture that I will hold dear to my heart until I get to see her again.

The last few days I haven't been able to write because I feel like I had let Satan's doubts and fears creep into my heart. Doubts about my strength of being Lila's mom. Doubts of how good of a mother could I be if I couldn't even hold her, why hadn't I had an instant connection with her, why my body wasn't able to carry her to term....All doubts straight from Satan.

Through all of this, God has become more and more real to be daily. I woke up this morning and all I could think was "God chose me." God chose me to be Lila's mother, even for 16 short days. God chose me to carry her for 24 weeks, 6 days...days that I will cherish forever. God chose me to be the first one to change her diaper (other than nurses). God chose me to give her her first kiss and first bow. God chose me to hold her for the first time just moments after she took her last breaths. God chose me to tell her all of the hopes and dreams that I had for her. God chose me to hold her close to my heart, wishing that I could never let her go. God chose me to hand her to her nurse for the last time, knowing that I would never see her earthly body again. God chose me to be her mommmy. God chose me to dance together with her in heaven. No one, not even Satan can take that away from me.

I'm standing firm in that today.....God chose me. As much as I don't want to walk down this road, this road of grieving and loss, God chose me. He chose me to proclaim His name and His goodness even through my pain. He chose me to sing His praises knowing that my baby girl is with Him.

John 16:33---I have said these things to you, that in me you may have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have OVERCOME THE WORLD!"