Monday, June 30, 2008

Sneak Preview

This past Thursday I took my first flight (ever) to Atlanta, Georgia, where I met up with seven of my closest friends (with whom I had never met.) I am sure it will take me several posts to give you all a true idea of what this weekend was like, Ben is recovering from surgery nicely, but he still cranky and sore so I have limited time. I met with seven other Blogger moms who have lost babies this year (as my anonymous commenter was so keen to figure out). Emily, Kenzie, Karen, Kim, Yvette, Chrissy, Angie, and I met face to face this weekend in Atlanta to go to a Deeper Still conference. Here are just a couple of pictures.
It is so hard to put our time into words. We laughed, hugged, cried, prayed, learned, worshipped, and ate chocolate together! It was such an amazing experience and it was so evident that God was present. It did my heart such good to spend time with these incredible women. I will write more later as I am able to put my thoughts into words. For now just know that it was an amazingly blessed weekend and God continues to show himself each and every day! Once I have Ben closer to recovered I will share more!
Our first night together missing Karen!

We had the opportunity to meet with another mom, Kirsten for a short time. God orchestrated it so that she would be in Atlanta at the SAME time as us from California! It was so great to meet her. For a while we were a group of NINE!

Here we all are with Beth Moore. We had the privilege to meet her, talk with her and have her pray over us. It was an amazing experience.

Here we all are on the steps waiting to get into the conference.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pray for Benjamin

Hello! I am safely back from my AMAZING trip which I will soon share all about!

I am exhausted after flight fiascos at the airport. I will post more soon on all of that.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could pray for little Ben tomorrow. He has to be at the hospital at 8:15 and surgery is at 9. It is a minor procedure but he will have to be put under which is scary! It is likely to be a rough few days. I will keep you updated. Please pray for Ben and for the doctor performing his surgery that all goes smoothly and recovery is quick.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Worries...

Ok guys, I know many of you are faithful readers and for that I am extremely grateful. I also know that when I go a few days without posting many of you panic and worry about me. I am going to give you a heads up. I will be taking a break from posting for just a couple of days. I am going on a little trip and I will disclose details when I return on Sunday. I am going without my family so this is really tough for me and I am flying for the first time EVER so I would appreciate prayers in those areas.

Hopefully my several posts today will make up for my absence! :-) I assure you my posts when I return will be well worth the wait! So please don't worry. I am going to be just fine, in fact probably better than fine! Curious yet?

I do have a few prayer requests for while I am gone.

1. For my husband as he will be with the kids from tomorrow morning until Sunday night without reinforcements and hosting our small group Thursday. He is the BEST!

2. For my boys who are not used to being without mommy and the order she brings to life :-)

3. My mother-in-law who lives next door (where Howard will likely knock when he needs a break)

4. Safe travel for me. I am very anxious about flying as I have NEVER done it before.

5. Ben - he is scheduled for surgery Monday and he currently has a cold so I am not sure they are going to do it, it may have to be postponed again! They just don't want to take any chances with his congestion and putting him under.

6. Luke as he continues on the antibiotic for his tick bite. He has NEVER been on an antibiotic before!

Thank you! I love you all and will update you as soon as I can!

Surrey with the fringe on top...

So today Howard wanted to spend a fun family we decided to picnic at Presque Isle and then rent a Surrey. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot more work than we had bargained for. Let me just tell you that we trucked TEN, yes TEN miles on the thing and can barely walk tonight! :-) The boys had a blast though and everyone we saw along the way got a good chuckle at the two out of shape adults trying to make this Yellow Beast go!

At Perry Monument

Having FUN!

But I must say that no Bolte Family Outing is complete without a detour we never anticipated and today was no different! We actually (literally) ran into our friends Jen and Andy on our trip and they asked if we wanted to go for ice cream afterward at Sara's (the best place in town) and we figured we deserved it after biking ten miles so while we were enjoying a good orange-vanilla twist, Howard noticed something on Luke's neck.

Poor Luke! It was a tick! Around here deer ticks are scary because they are known to cause Lyme Disease. So panic set in and we ran him to the ranger station where they sent us to Priority care. It was easily removed and they did put him on a precautionary course of antibiotics for the next ten days. But that took an additional two and a half hours out of our day! Luke is doing well and even scored a new Speed Racer car because we felt bad!

All in all it was a great day, minus the tick!

Isaac Rose

Our Isaac rosebush our friends the Price Family got me last year for mother's day is in FULL bloom. I have NEVER had such an amazing rose bush! Check it out!

Thanks Dave and Christy! What a beautiful gift to brighten our home!

Gravesite Pictures

No one ever plans to own two burial plots in "babyland" at the cemetery...we are learning quickly that our plans don't count...

Ben leaving a sea shell he found at the beach.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Beach FUN! this two four year olds or an old married couple...for most of the trip we could not tell! :-)
Brothers...Ben would follow Luke anywhere (which Luke does NOT always appreciate)

Me...and my shadow...

Ben LOVED the aquarium

The Bolte Boys at the town boat butt...

If you look closely you will see a plastic crab in Ben's hand. Each of the boys go one as their souvenir and they are BOTH sleeping with them as I type...they have not let go of them in days! Who knew!?

Bet you didn't know this about us!

Howard the deep sea diver...

Luke the deep sea diver...

Kristy the deep sea diver

Diver Ben

Here a crab, there a crab, everywhere a crab crab!

This is Luke telling me how big the crab HE caught was! (typical fishing story :-))

Here a crab...

There a crab... (it's a boy!)

Everywhere a crab


If you ask Luke, crabbing was the highlight of his vacation. He enjoyed time with Daddy and Andy catching crabs and he especially loved bringing them home cooking them and "cracking them". I on the other hand would classify this event at the bottom end of my fun scale! I cannot stand seafood and can I just tell you what kind of mess and stench the 31 crabs they brought home made in our home!?
It was hilarious however, at the local Ben Franklin store we found the crab hats the boys have on in the picture. Luke was sure that hat would help him catch many crabs as he could trick them into thinking he was one of them!

Here I sit...

As I stated before the boys and I caught a cold at the tail end of vacation so I have been feeling kind of crummy anyway, but this morning, has proven to be especially tough. Howard just left with the boys to go buy flowers and mulch for the cemetary. I could not even bring myself to go. I am so confused. I had been doing so well, we had a great week and now like a ton of bricks I have dropped back into reality.

I sit here because today is one of those days that I cannot even seem to get it together long enough to enter into the world where everyone else lives. These days are seeming to come a little farther apart but they are still there. I sit here and look at the faces of my precious boys in photographs and am stunned that two of them are not with me. I know it is real, but sometimes the memory seems more like a dream than something that really happened. Sometimes I wonder how I am even able to sit here and breathe in and out with the depth of the pain in my heart.

I know the only thing pulling me through is God. He has kept his hand upon us as promised and he continues to give us enough grace to get through each and every day. I am completely unworthy yet eternally grateful. I know that I will make it through this day. Days like this are tough and many tears are shed, but I know that God grieves with me and will hold me up and carry me when I cannot go on. He will bring the appropriate people to carry my mat just as he did the paralytic in the book of Luke.

This morning while I was getting breakfast for the boys here is a conversation that took place:

Luke: Mommy, what if God gives us another baby sometime soon?

Ben (aka Luke's parrot): God...Baby?

Mom: I think we will be thankful for any babies God gives us, what do you think Luke?

Ben: Kank you God (translates to thank you God)

Luke: I think he is going to let us keep the next one here at home.


Mom: I hope so Luke, but we must remember God knows what is best even when it makes us sad. He will take care of us.


Luke: Yes, mom I know! He always takes care of us but he knows I REALLY want another brother or even a sister and I think he is going to give me one.

Mom: You might be right Luke, God knows what we want and he wants us to tell him and pray to him for the things we want in our hearts.

Ben: Pray!!??? (reaching out his hand) Kank you God for ceweal! (cereal)

Luke: It is going to be great someday in Heaven with ALL of my brothers!

Mom: Yes it is Luke!

Luke: I can't wait to have a PJ party with them!


Mom: Me either...

It is conversations like this that remind me of how my boys have been touched so deeply by Isaac and Asher. While Ben still is processing, Luke is so wise in so many ways. He has such an understanding of life, love and death. I pray that he grows up and has compassion and understanding for those who are hurting because he knows what it is to hurt and long for something.

It is just good to know that Isaac and Asher pop into Luke's head at random times. He has not forgotten and he is never afraid to talk of them with me. I truly believe this is just another example of God's grace shining down on us through Luke and Ben.

Ben also was reminded of Asher this morning. He went to a shelf near the door and went to pick up a picture that he often does and he kissed Asher's sweet little face and said "baby bwoter". I said yes Ben it sure is...and as he went to reach for me to kiss it he dropped it. It didn't break but the frame fell apart. Ben looked at my face knowing he had dropped something important. My initial reaction was to pick it up and put it way up so he could no longer reach it but in that moment I was able to reflect and realize how great it is that Ben wanted to give his baby brother a kiss and that he had access to pictures of him so he too could remember. I assured him that it was okay and I decided just to switch the frame to something less fragile so he could still pick it up and carry it around when he wanted to.

I do believe that there is healing that is taking place within this home, yet I know that we still have a long way to go. We are broken, but we are broken together and that is a beautiful thing really. I pray that God uses our brokenness as a family for his glory.

As for the cemetery, I am just not sure. When Howard gets back with the supplies I am not sure I will even be able to go along and I am certain we will not be ordering the tombstone today. I want in on that and yet I am just not ready. I do not want to push myself because it is an important thing and I want to be in the right frame of mind. So I guess we will take baby steps and I thank God for an understanding husband!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Four months already??

Well I must say that today was the crash after the high. We had such a great week and were able to really relax, but things have taken a bit of a turn as they often do. Last night we spent the night in a hotel and were so looking forward to getting some good sleep, but Ben has come down with a cold and he was up ALL night!

We finished the drive home and I sit here tonight full of emotion as I am uploading pictures to the computer. I am so very thankful that we were able to take the time and just be together at the beach, but as I look at my pictures two very important members of my family are missing. Instead of four Bolte feet there should be six! Instead of two little boys playing in the surf there should be four. I say should, but I know with God in control there is no "should". Everything is working according to His plan. Sometimes I just wonder why His plan has to hurt so much.

Today marks four months from the day I held Asher in my arms and shared him with the world. I miss him so much. I find myself wondering what it would be like to have a four month old. Would we have gone to the beach this year? I am glad we did, but I would have given anything to stay home with Asher. It is like I am always being stabbed with this double edged sword.

A beach vacation with a less than beach ready body was difficult too. Asher being my fourth baby has done quite a bit of damage to my figure. Someone today actually asked if I were pregnant again! Talk about a downer. Not that I would not love to be pregnant, but that I had a baby four months ago and still look like I am pregnant. For some reason I am having a REALLY tough time getting this weight off. I try and try and try, but some days are really hard and I do tend to emotionally eat, and I also have great intentions of exercising and yet I always feel exhausted. (for the record I do not need to seek professional help. I am okay, just whining :-))

This grief thing is tough work. I AM working through it and I do see God so clearly keeping his hand on our family through each and every twist and turn. I will continue to follow Him and be obedient even though I am not crazy about his plan sometime.

As I stated before today is four months since Asher joined his big brother in Heaven. We are coming off of a vacation high and it is probably not a great combination. Tomorrow Howard wants to go and take care of cemetery things. Ordering the tombstone, and getting some flowers planted for Isaac and for Asher. I have not been to the cemetery since we buried Asher. I know it sounds weird, and I am not even sure why. I can't put my finger on it but I just have no desire to go and stand in front of two of my children's graves and try to wrap my mind around the reality and finality of it. I am content to stay in my safe home and just rest in knowing that this is not the end.

Ordering the tombstone was the TOUGHEST thing for me with Isaac. It seems so out of the order of things to walk around an establishment gazing at granite and fonts and designs trying to pick out something that depicts the life of your child (in a way you can afford). It crushes me that try as I might I will NEVER be able to pick something that I know Asher would have loved. I never got to know my boy. I am not sure if he would have loved tractors and things on wheels like Luke or if he would have loved balls and animals like Benjamin. It is on my list of things to ask him when I get to Heaven but until then I will never know. As a mom that is a tough thing to swallow. We want to know our children's' ins and outs. We know each and every quirk and like and dislike. I long to know Isaac and Asher. I long to hold them one more time. How can four months seem like yesterday and yet like an eternity ago?

How strange it is that though I miss them both more than my words could ever express I would NEVER wish them back. I know that the place they now reside is far more glorious than anything I can imagine. I know that they are playing at the feet of Jesus Himself and they will never know pain, disappointment or heartache. For that I am thankful. I would never want to take that away from them. Heaven is the ultimate goal and they beat us to it. I do wish things could have been different in some ways, my heart aches for them each moment of each day and yet I would not take them away from the joy they are experiencing now.

Please pray for me as we embark on the next step in this journey. I know that though this makes it all seem too final, that this is truly not the end, I do not understand God's plan but I will continue to submit and pray for his will in my life and in the lives of each of my family members. He is in control, he is on his throne and he is never changing and that is the only thing that allows me to pick my head up off of the pillow in the morning and continue breathing. I know he has a greater purpose for all of us and I cannot wait to see what it is!

Happy four month birthday sweet Asher Bolte. You have brought such joy to your mom and dad. We are so very proud of you son. You have continued to bring people closer to the Lord and we cannot imagine a more important job for such a little guy! Please kiss Isaac for us. Your brothers down here miss you both. They speak about you ALL the time. What a glorious day it will be when all of us are united. We love you both so very much! We will continue to share your lives with everyone who will listen and we will continue to be a voice for you as you have been two of life's greatest surprises. Children TRULY are a gift from the Lord. You are both immense blessings to our family!

A taste of the beach...

Four Bolte Feet!

A hat Ben LOVED (can you tell?)

Check out this fish! Luke insists he is bigger, I am not sure!

Four adorable beach bums!

Happy boys!

Luke on the beach

Ben on the beach

Luke again

Ben and daddy on Father's day

My little poser

Saturday, June 21, 2008

So much to post...grab a cup of coffee for this one!

Well, all I can say is that it has been an amazing week. A tough week date wise, but a good week. We left for vacation in Lavallette NJ on Saturday, June 14. Isaac was born on the 14th of July so it marked a month until my second boy's third birthday. Then the 20th is the day he went to be with the Lord. Tomorrow, June 22 marks Asher's four month birthday and I am still having such a hard time with that.

Anyhow I cannot imagine spending a more perfect week reflecting and truly being still.

As I said we left home on Saturday morning and arrived in NJ that afternoon. The house we rented was perfect. RIGHT on the ocean. We vacationed with two otther couples and one of the couples has two children around Luke and Ben's ages. There were ten of us all together.

God has been calling me to be still for sometime. This week, though I kind of dragged my feet about spending the money was worth EVERY penny. I finally was truly able to be still. There were no phones, no internet and we didn't even watch TV. We were so far removed from the world that we had NO clue about anything that was going on and it was a great feeling. In our own world. In a brand new town where everything was fresh and new.

When we arrived we checked out the house and then quickly ran down to the water. It was amazing. (I will post pictures of all of this later) Then the girls were off to the grocery store to get supplies for the week. While we were gone, Howard was sitting out on the deck listening to the ocean waves crash on the beach and he heard some music playing just up the boardwalk. He began to listen and realized that it sounded like a worship band. So, he grabbed the kids and went to check it out. He said it was really cool and that he had spoken to the pastor of a local church in Lavallette and that we had been invited to their contemporary service Sunday evening.

That same night I had the opportunity to meet face to face with another mom I have been corresponding with wo also lost her baby just a month after Asher to trisomy 18. She was also vacationing in Lavallette and was leaving the next day. It was so great to finally see her and hug her! I am so thankful that God has brought so many people into my life to help carry me on this journey!

We relaxed Saturday night and all day Sunday. We truly took time to be still and just enjoy eachother. We had nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Then Sunday night after dinner we headed to Union Church of Lavallette. We were greeted with open arms and we were so glad we had been invited. The service was worshipful and thought provoking. It was a smaller service and we are not used to the intimacy that we saw in this church. It was so great! At the end of service we all joined hands and prayed for any needs of anyone within the group. It was really cool! We spoke to several people after the service and then headed home.

ALL of our time was spent exploring the town of Lavallette, finding shells, napping on the beach, catching crabs (that is a post in and of itself) and just having fun with friends! Wednesday we went to a super cool aquarium and the boys got to see sharks being fed and seals being fed. They LOVED it!

Thursday morning we got up and our frineds watched the boys while we went to Bible Study at our new found church! Pastor Todd told Howard that the topic was to be on angels so we felt it would be good to go! It was! Then Pastor Todd took us to lunch at a great little place on the Bay. I cannot even begin to tell you what this man meant to us. He is such a great guy! So easy to talk to, so easy going and so encouraging. We shared our story with him and he shared some things with us and I have to say of all of the people with whom I have spoken about our upcoming decisions regarding growing our family, his words have spoken the loudest (again a post in and of itself). Lets just say that he spoke to my heart that day it was like he knew just what to say and I left that lunch feeling more hope than I had felt in quite some time in many areas. I felt truly lifted up and hopeful. He prayed with us and we are so grateful God brought him and his church into our lives.

Friday morning was perhaps another of the most amazing moments in my life. I somehow caught a bit of a cold on this vacation and so I could not sleep. So, I got up and watched the sunrise. It was early and I am anything but a morning person but WOW! I stood there amazed at the creativity of our God. He did not have to create us with eyes to see such magnificent sights and he did not have to create such amazing things for us to see, but he did. As I stood there watching the waves roll onto the beach as the sun slowly peaked up over the Atlantic Ocean I was so thankful that God created such things for us to enjoy.

I then spent about two hours alone walking along the beach picking up beach glass and chatting with God. It was tough to be up that early in the morning but it really gave me some time to reflect and connect with God.

Then today we had breakfast, packed up, took one last walk on the beach and now we are in Clearfield PA. I will do a few specific posts once I get the pictures uploaded to explain special parts of our trip. Thank you ALL for continuing to check on me! I will write more once we are home!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Renewed in New Jersey

Okay okay! Wow! I am so blessed to have so many people loving me and checking in on me. Just for the record I am doing just fine. We are having a family vacation courtesy of the Economic Stimulus Payment. (Just doing our job to stimulate the economy). As I type this I am sitting on the Jersey Shore. I have not been on the computer this week because you get dirty looks for sitting on a laptop when you are supposed to be on vacation, good thing I checked though, my email runneth over!

Thank you all and I will post again soon. We are leaving our beach house tomorrow :-( We are dreading it as this has been one of the most amazing weeks EVER! Thank you all for checking on me and praying for me! I love you all!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My last lesson on angels and then I am done (I promise)

First off let me say that I am not at all offended that some people are not agreeing with me and I am glad that I can say that most everyone who has disagreed has at least done so in a respectful way. Thank you. It is actually through these conversations that people decide what they believe and I think that is cool. I may not agree with you but I do respect your right to have a mind of your own.

It seems to me that angels are something that are easy for people to believe in. They do good and provide comfort without the commitment. They make no demands. It is easy. I am not here to belittle anyone or to take anything away that provides you comfort. The reason I am pushing this issue is that in the last three years I have seen so many people putting all of their faith and trust in angels and that energy should be going into the ONLY one who can provide comfort, God. God is the one who sends the angels to comfort us. I guess I just don't want people mistaking the comfort that angels bring for the glory of God. Angels are in fact God's creation. It is my belief that it is inappropriate to allow the world to define what angels are and are not, the answer lies in the Bible. Yes my perspective comes from a Biblical view as someone stated, but that is where my truth comes from. I believe the Bible to be truth and because I believe truth to be universal, that is, what is true for me is true for everyone, I want to be sure I am clear on this. (you can argue with me all you want on that one but Jesus didn't just die for those who believe, he died for ALL of us so it is the truth for everyone)

In my mind when we put so much emphasis on angels and how wonderful they are we are taking the focus off of God. Our trust should always be in God, not angels. My goal here is not to take anyone's comfort away from them, it is merely to direct those who are hurting to a more solid rock on which to stand. The Great Comforter.

This quote comes from one of my favorite books written by a mom who lost two of her children to genetic disease, Nancy Guthrie in the One Year Book of Hope

"In a culture that considers talking about Jesus a little pushy and worshipping him, a bit extreme, an interest in angels is acceptable and even fashionable. Angels seem like a safe form of spirituality. People who want a spiritual placebo, are quick to bring their search for God to a dead end and search for angels instead. But what a tragedy if we worship the created instead of worshipping the Creator. Don't settle for sentimental and shallow spirituality of angel worship and miss out on the Glory of God."

She sums it up perfectly. I knew when I posted this that people would disagree. I had debated for a long time whether or not to do so, but then I realized that this is MY blog and MY story. I do hope to minister to those who are hurting and because of that I do not want them to rely on false comforts when there is something so much greater.

I believe in God with my whole heart and my whole soul. I believe HIS word to be the one and only truth, the only thing that matters. It is God who provides my comfort and it is God who brings the right people to me at the right times to comfort me. I have seen Him working in my life so clearly and it amazes me. I am still hurt and broken but knowing that God is omnipresent with his mighty arm gives me so much hope. I will worship Him with every breath I have in me and I will not bend the truth because it makes others feel good. This life is not about us. It is about Him. He deserves all of the glory. If you believe this to be truth you do not get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are true and which are not. Truth is truth. I believe that Jesus died on that cross not only for my sins, but for the sins of every human on this earth! I believe that he desperately wants us to be in a relationship with him and receive all of the gifts he has to offer. My heart is literally on fire as I write these words. I have such a passion for Jesus and I just want those who are out there experiencing loss of any kind to know that our help comes not from angels, but from the one who created each of us and the angels. When you look to God for comfort, you WILL be comforted.

My views may not be what are popular, but I am excited that Jesus is at work in my life and in my heart and I will not allow this world to distract me from his truths. I invite each of you today to step outside of the box, let people think you are a "Jesus Freak", what the world thinks doesn't matter I assure you when you stand up for truth God will be pleased. Search for the answers yourself, don't just believe what culture accepts to be good and true. God will direct your path if you let him! He can provide a peace and a comfort for even the deepest hurt that surpasses all understanding. He can wash away our sins, he CAN make us whole again.

In short, Jesus ROCKS! He is the ultimate superhero, put your faith in him and don't be distracted by other things and he will accomplish mighty things in and through you!

Q & A

Yesterday this question was posted here and I just wanted to take the time to give an answer. (Thank you for asking and if anyone else ever has any questions please feel free to ask.)

Kristy, One thing I wonder... why do you so "desperately" want another child? will you be happier with 3 children instead of 2 here with you? I ask that because I struggle with the same question, and wonder what you think about it. I have been told not to make a decision either way until at least a year (its been 5 months since we lost our child). I want more children too...but I also wonder why I think I will be happier with more than what I have... I feel like we're "tempting" God a bit or being stubborn if we keep trying...

First let me say I am very sorry for your loss. It is so hard to decide where to go from here, it has only been three months for us and I have no clue where God is leading...if ever you want to have a private discussion about the topic my email is at the side of the blog.

This is a tough question, and when people find out we are considering having more children they are usually completely stunned and think we are out of our minds. I will do the best I can, again thanks for asking! Howard and I have always felt that having a big family was something we were called to do. You bring up such a good point when you ask "will we be any happier". I guess all I can say to that is that each child we have had has brought more happiness to our lives than we would have felt otherwise so I guess I do believe more children would bring more happiness. That said, I do have two healthy children at home and am so blessed and thankful that God has given them to us. I completely get your "tempting God" thought if you keep trying. I guess I just figure that I really have a deep longing within me to have more children. I am not sure what that will look like just yet. I would love to be pregnant again, but I continue to be in prayer on that issue. I know that God will lead us in the right direction so right now I am just praying and waiting for Him to answer in whatever way He chooses. I believe all babies are gifts from God and that God makes no mistakes so right now I believe if he blesses us with another child whether the child has microcephaly or not that he will also get us through whatever storms that may bring. I am certainly not ready for that yet, but when the time comes I will follow wherever God leads.

I hope all of that makes a little sense. I do understand your concern, I am not by any means thinking that the ONLY way I can be happy is to have more babies nor do I think that having more children could ever make up for what has been lost. I also know that there is more than one way to have a baby and we are exploring all options. If in fact God only intended for us to raise Luke and Ben then I will accept that. Right now I feel he is calling me in another direction. We will see. All I can do is Be stll and wait for him to lead in the right direction.


Truth - a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like

This is the definition of truth from the dictionary. So, truth is an indisputable fact.

I think it is odd that my last post was taken so out of context. I NEVER once said I was ever offended by others referring to my children as "angels". I believe angels are beautiful hopeful creatures created for a wonderful purpose. What I am having a hard time with is why people are so very offended that I chose to share the TRUTH about angels on this blog.

Most of the posts speaking of the hurt my words caused said that people use the term to soften the blow and to comfort me. The funny thing is that while I know they are well meaning and I do honestly take it just as that, it isn't true. So why should something that isn't true make me feel better? I am not speaking of someone who says figuratively "aww what an angel" or "look at that sweet angel baby" I am speaking of when people say "at least your sons are angels in Heaven." I am NOT offended by it I will say that again. I know people mean well and I am so blessed that so many people care for our family and want to share our hurt. I was just sharing the truth.

As a society we have become so accustomed to just accepting something because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy. I have said before, there are no words that can take away the sting of death. Nothing can make it feel better. It means more just when someone says I am so sorry for your loss or I love you or I am praying for you. I am ok with the fact that several of you are upset that I posted this because quite frankly I felt led to shed some light on the topic. I put myself out there and I guess this is what I asked for. I don't want people to try to fix me, I just want to feel loved and not alone.

Truth is not relative. If it is true it is true. Just because it would make me feel better that one dollar in my bank account plus one dollar would equal 50, that doesn't make it true. It is not offensive, just a little misguided. I believe there will be people who learn a Biblical truth from this post and there will be some who are also offended. I guess I am going to have to be okay with that. It is my blog and God wants us to live in the light even when it isn't easy or comfy.

I never in any way meant to hurt anyone who may have said those things to fact it has been said so many times I wouldn't even remember. I just wanted to set the record straight about what I believe about where my sons are. I don't believe they are angels but I do believe they are among them. I believe they are at the right hand of our Lord himself and if anything brings comfort it is that, and that is truth.

The truth is that if you accept Christ as your savior and believe he died on the cross to save us from our sins that we will live eternally with him in Heaven. That is what I know. And that is about the most comforting truth I know.

In short I am very sorry if I hurt any feelings by this post. That was never my intent and I covet each and every one of your prayers and well wishes. I know with all of my heart that these words that have been spoken to me so often are meant with the best of intentions and maybe you don't really believe that people become angels, this post was simply to give those who do something to think about. I just thought it would be doing everyone more justice by sharing the truth. This is my blog and I believe God's word is the truth and I intend to share it. I cannot apologize for that. I was not lashing out, complaining or putting anyone down. I was merely stating a biblical fact that is often misrepresented.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Angels? Misconception...

Note: I am NOT having a bitter day, I am actually having a really good day. I also am not upset that people have said those words to me. I think I stated that. I truly believe that there are a lot of people out there that believe that people become angels when they die. It isn't just something people say (and if you don't believe it, why say it). Many people do believe it and it is a misconception. It is not Biblical and I was just putting the truth out there. I have had this conversation with people who were stunned to find that people do not become angels when they die. I am not meaning to offend anyone, but this is MY space and this is the truth. I have heard these words thousands of times and I just wanted to explain what angels are and are not. We are talking about my sons here and I want them to be spoken of in truth.

As I have said before, I welcome anyone to challenge my thinking or disagree with me, it is a public blog, but it sure would be great to be able to do it with a personal email that way we could all understand eachother. It just so happens that the people who always have something like this to say are always anonymous.

Ok, this has been a long time coming as those who are very close to me know.

When a person dies, often times people try to comfort the bereaved by saying, well he is an angel now, or well, now you have an angel in Heaven. I completely understand that people mean well by that and I am not offended but at this point I feel led to debunk this MYTH! It seems to be a common misconception across our culture and I feel the need to educate. This is likely to be a less than eloquent post as I am anything but a Biblical Scholar. I do however read the Bible and believe it to be truth. Here is what I have found the Bible to say about angels:

When a person dies, they do not grow wings and become an angel. That is a FACT.

So what are angels you ask?

Let me explain...the word angel comes from the Greek word that means messenger. In short, an angel is a messenger from God. Angels are created beings. They are created as angels, this means a person cannot become an angel. They are NOT gods and do NOT have the power of God. Angels are immortal. In our culture people are so fascinated with the idea that often times it almost seems as though some people worship them, we have angel EVERYTHING, but they are not to be worshipped! We are to worship the creator not His creation.

In the Bible angels are used by God. God sends them to minister to his people, to protect and watch over his people, and to bring messages from God. God guides us from within our spirit and he often sends angels to guide us in the physical realm. We have this notion that they are cute little babies with wings, but if you take the time to read stories of angel sightings in the Bible you will find that they almost always appeared as men, and tall men with distinguishing features at that. Also most of the time when an angel appeared to a person in the Bible, the angel had to spend the first moments of the encounter calming the person down and telling them not to be afraid as their presence was often intimidating and frightening (so likely not a baby with wings).

I guess what I am trying to say is that YES angels do in fact exist. God created them just as they are with a purpose to serve him, just as he created each of us, yet we can NEVER become an angel just as we can never become a frog. People do NOT become angels when they die. Not that that is really a comfort anyway, most people who are grieving don't really want an angel, they want their loved one back. So my plea is that you try to avoid using this cliche when dealing with someone who has lost a loved one. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not out to hurt any one's feelings and if you said those words to me you are among the hundreds, I just felt compelled to tell the truth about what angels are today it has been bugging me for a long time and it was time to let it out! My hope is that someone can learn something about what the Bible truly says about angels. They are wonderful beings, just not reincarnated people!

July 2005

Monday, June 9, 2008

Innocence Lost

It is a strange thing living through the loss of a child. Never again is life the same. The only way I can describe it is a total loss of innocence. Nothing is taken for granted any more. When we were expecting Luke and Isaac, we never had a doubt in our mind that the pregnancy would end and we would have a happy healthy baby at home. That was what happened, the natural order of things, you get pregnant you have a baby. But once that boat has been rocked, nothing in life can ever be viewed the same way.

There are NO guarantees in this lifetime aside for the guarantee that God will walk with us and help us along the way. The thought that I ever thought I could micromanage my life and plan everything seems so humorous to me now. I imagine God laughed each time I tried knowing my efforts would be futile.

I see the world so differently now. It makes it hard to live in a world where you are constantly confronted with difficult circumstances and loss. I have no idea how people live day to day without the knowledge that God is sovereign and ever present. Our world and lives change each and every day but our God remains the same. That is the only thing that is constant, the only thing that keeps me sane.

The pain I live with every day is so real and so excruciating at times, and yet it has helped me to live more in the moment. Not to get angry about what life has thrown my way, but to search through it for what God is calling me to do. God never once promised that this life would be easy, in fact it kind of works the opposite. Life is hard, it is really tough sometimes and quite frankly I often wonder what on earth God is doing, but as I watched my boys sitting together this morning watching cartoons arm in arm I realized that though I live with an unbearable pain I am also immensely blessed. I will never again take for granted one moment with these gifts God has entrusted to me. Life with young children is difficult, but I would not change it for the world. Getting angry and bitter will not change reality. I would do ANYTHING to have all of my boys with me, throughout my pregnancy I prayed and prayed that God would allow us to raise Asher even if that meant that he would have special needs. I could handle that. I would cherish every moment of caring for him no matter what, it might be tough, but I would still have him with me. My life would undoubtedly be crazy and overwhelming at times but this hole in my heart would not be there.

Losing a child makes other things seem so unimportant. I see people all around me stressing about little things and it makes me want to just shake them and make them realize what they are missing out on by stressing. We get so caught up in our own discomfort that we forget to realize that this life is not about us or about our comfort, in fact it is that stepping outside of your comfort zone and following God blindly that strengthens your faith.

I will never again know a pregnancy without thoughts of loss. In fact when I see other pregnant women and I see their naivety I often think, if you only knew, but would never take that innocence from them. It is a beautiful thing, naivety. Something I can never regain, but I feel that I do live my life with ha different kind of passion these days and for that I am so grateful. Isaac and Asher are changing hearts and futures, especially mine and I am one proud mama!

I desperately want to have another baby and honestly I do feel that when I pray about what to do next that God is leading my heart in the direction of getting back on the saddle. I am just not ready, not quite yet. Many have suggested adoption to us, and it is something we have always said we would love to do, but financially right now it is just not a reality. Someday, until then I will continue to seek God's will for our lives and for our family! We just need to remember that God is not interested in our comfort, he is interested in our hearts and forming them to what He wants them to be.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Emotional WRECK!

So I did really great all weekend (for the most part). I held a new baby for the first time since holding Asher which was kind of scary to me but he was just too cute not to cuddle! It was our friends Greg and Ginger's little guy Fionn and he is amazing. It really wasn't hard at all. Just natural really. It seems like it would be harder because my arms are aching because they are still empty but he is not Isaac and he is not Asher and so he does not fill that void he was meant for the Hites family. It was actually really great to see how well he is doing and to celebrate the blessing he is. It was a relief, though at times I saw people looking at me and I wondered to myself if they were thinking I might lose it and run off with him! :-)

As for the baby shower, again I did quite well. I could not be happier for Bill and Shelli! They are going to be great parents and they have a wonderful family who is anxiously awaiting their precious miracle! It was fun, I did find my thoughts drifting a few times, but was able to pull myself back in. I am pretty good at compartmentalizing, which isn't always good but for this day it was. I cannot wait to meet the new addition to their family!

Today on the other hand it is like EVERYTHING has caught up with me. I have been tired, cranky irritable and sad.

As always though God gave me the grace to get through another day.

I had mentioned before my amazing friend Julie (who is probably cringing as she is reading this because she is about one of the most humble people I know, I love you Julie!) brought me Starbucks out of the blue on Mother's Day just because she knew my theory is that Starbucks makes everything better. Well on that day she also dropped off an orange CD (I mention that because she and I have a particular affinity to the color orange). I put it on the shelf and actually had forgotten about it. When I have a yucky day I have a tendency to clean like a crazy woman or organize something because it allows me to control SOMETHING in this world that is SO out of my control. While I was cleaning I found the CD and stuck it in my computer to put the songs on my ipod. I played the cd and immediately began to weep.

The song was this
Cry on My shoulder

You say you're falling apart.
Reached the end of the line.
Just looking for your place in an ordinary life.
No one calls you friend.
No one even knows your name.
You just want to feel loved instead of all the pain.
You no longer have to say.
No one's listening anyway.
Come here and cry on my shoulder.
I'll hold you 'till it's over.
I'll rescue you tonight.
Let my arms be your shelter,
Your hiding place forever.
I'll love you more than life
You're wearing a frown.
Given up on hope.
My heart is reaching out.
More than you will ever know.
Is your burden too much?
Is it more than you can bear?
I'll help carry the load if you're willing to share.
You no longer have to say.
No one's listening anyway.
Come here and cry on my shoulder.
I'll hold you 'till its over.
I'll rescue you tonight.
Let my arms be your shelter,
You're hiding place forever.
I'll love you more than life
You have had some hard times.
Had thorns placed in your side.
I know about what you've been going through.
Tears of pain are falling down.
It hurts so bad you're crying out.
Your problems won't last forever.
Let Me put you back together

The words of that song have been echoing in my heart and mind all day. Just knowing that Julie loves me and thinks of me so often that she would think to burn that to a CD and deliver it to me overwhelmed me.

There are a couple of lines especially that have been stuck in my head all day and the main one is:

"You just want to feel loved, instead of all the pain"

WOW! That is so it! I am so weary from the pain yet I cannot let it go, but when I feel that love from others and from God it makes the pain a little more bearable.

"Just looking for your place in an ordinary life"

Again. I am a person who has a great support system and lots of people who truly love me but I seldom feel as though I belong. I am always searching for my place and with each hole in my heart I have changed at my core. I am trying to focus on God and who He wants me to be but I wish he would be just a little more obvious!

"Is your burden too much? Is it more than you can bear? I'll help carry the load if you're willing to share."

Again, this seems to be the central theme to life right now. The trick is being willing to share. I tend to bear it all as I sit at this keyboard yet in my life I am not always as open. I can be difficult to read and often use jokes and sarcasm as a coping mechanism. I am learning that I need to allow others to help carry my stretcher and not fight it so much. There is no reason to do this on my own, that is not what God ever intended.

Then I think about the last line....

"Let me put you back together" as I listen to that line I think of a piece of pottery once it has been broken, it can be put back together, but it is never again the same. There are jagged edges and shards of the piece that will never be recovered, there is glue sticking out from the cracks and it is in many ways the same piece as it was before and yet it is profoundly different. That is how I feel. I am asking the Lord to put me back together yet I know I will never be the same person I once was. I will always bear the scars of brokenness. It is difficult to continually search for who you are and just when you think you are figuring it out, to be slammed down and broken again. Yet as long as my God gives me breath I will pick up the pieces and allow Him to put the pieces back together into any shape he chooses. It is not easy and it is not what I would have chosen for myself, but I am learning every day that this life is NOT about me.

More and more encouragement...

It has been a rocky weekend emotionally for sure, but good overall. I will share more of that later. Right now I want to say that I have some of the greatest friends a girl could ever ask for! I will say that the trip I spoke of earlier is a GO! God is truly taking care of every detail in that area.
I also wanted to show you this gift a good friend of mine made for me and gave me this weekend at the baby shower I was at...

How amazing is that??? It is a tote bag made from our prize winning Isaac and Asher t-shirts from this year! I am so in love with it! It is a perfect gift! Thank you Lisa! I love it and I love you!

Again all I can say is that there certainly are times when I am so weary I just want to give up and then God brings the right people to carry my stretcher in just the right way! Thank you Lord and thank you to those who allow Him to use you to be His hands and feet!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Answered Prayer!

Thanks to all who prayed for Luke. We are home and he is fine. The doctor noticed that he has a bit of dandruff and that is causing a lymph node to swell a bit on the back of his head. The doctor says it is harmless and recommended some Selsun Blue shampoo. The lymph nodes are the body's defense system and they are fighting the dandruff. I feel silly for getting so worried. I took my kid to the doctor today for dandruff!

Thanks again! I am a bit on to baby shower fun!

Please pray...

Well, here I am again coming to ask for prayer. Yesterday afternoon Luke came to me and said, "Mommy, I have a lump on my head". I checked and sure enough he did. He said he did not bump it and it did not hurt, but it is a bump nonetheless. We all know how scary lumps and bumps can be. So I called the doctor first thing this morning and they said that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

I guess I am just a little freaked out right now. We have an appointment at the doctor's office at 2:15. Right now I am scrambling to find someone to come here and stay with Ben while we go as it is right at this naptime.

Please pray for the details to fall into place and pray that the doctor is able to know what this is, pray for my sanity as I am hanging on by a thread and pray for little Luke who is developing quite a fear of doctors and medical procedures.

Today will likely be a tough day for me as once I get home I will be heading out to set up for tomorrow's baby shower so it will just be a whirlwind!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Last weekend I was asked to speak at a Women's Retreat at a local church on the topic of encouragement. I must say I am not satisfied with words I spoke that day. I shared the story of Isaac and Asher as I felt it was important to give a little background before explaining ways I had been encouraged and needless to say by the time I was done sharing their story I looked at the clock and had very little time to speak to the volumes of encouragement we have received over the past several months.

I spoke briefly of the story in the book of Luke (chapter 5) of the paralytic

17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."

It is funny because this story came to me a year or so ago while teaching in the Powerzone (our children's ministry at McLane Church). I was teaching this story to the kids and I began to cry. I wasn't sure why exactly. It is not a sad story in fact it is a remarkable story! So I continued teaching and when I got home I read it out of my Bible again. I had been reading it from The Beginners Bible, but the story was basically the same, but that is when it hit me. This story summed up so much of what we had been through. Now this was before Asher, but it described quite well our situation with Isaac.

As I re-read the story a few things stood out to me.

1. These men carried the man on the mat to Jesus KNOWING God was the only answer for him.

2. When they got to the door and it seemed like there was no way, they MADE a way. They carried him to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus.

3. The story speaks of the faith of the men who carried the paralytic. Not the paralytic himself. It says that Jesus saw the faith of the men and so He forgave the paralytic.

4. When that paralyzed man was at the end of his rope and just did not have the strength to go on, those men did it for him. They carried him to Jesus.

That is what God wants from all of us! He wants us to be stretcher bearers for each other and that is just what I have experienced. Many days I am nearly consumed by my grief but it is on those days that God brings just the right people into my life to encourage me and to pick up their end of my mat and carry me to the roof.

This encouragement comes in many ways. For us it has come in the form of an honest "how are you doing?" (not the kind you say as you are walking past a person, not wanting a REAL answer), it has come in the form of a sweet rosebush, a wooden block, a scrapbook, a gift card for dinner, groceries, meals, a tree, a Willow Tree figurine, a picture frame, a necklace, a phone call, a note, a look, a card, a check, a hug, a prayer. It doesn't have to be huge, just knowing someone is remembering and acknowledging my pain does wonders for my heart.

The photos I share are some of these things I have received that mean so much, many of them from friends I have not yet met. My hope is that after reading this you will pray about how God wants YOU to encourage someone else on the journey they are on. We all have suffering. What can you do to lighten someone elses' load? Who's stretcher is God calling you to carry?
Thank you to all who have encouraged us with your words, prayers, gifts and hugs. It is great to know we are so loved and that our boys are making such a difference. I have received many emails from people who have been touched by our sons, but many of them begin with, I hope you are not offended or I know I am a stranger but I promise I am not a stalker. I want to say to all of you that I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends. I do not consider you strangers. I have allowed you into some of the most personal parts of my soul and feel so honored that you have chosen to walk this path alongside me. You are friends, not strangers, not stalkers and I welcome your uplifting words and encouragement. THANK YOU! God IS using you to minister to me in ways you could not ever imagine. I covet each of your prayers!
Also, I am going to post our address because lately I have had a lot of requests for it. We treasure and keep each and every card we have received and if you feel you would like to send us a note via mail instead of email we would be happy to have it! All forms of encouragement are equally important! We love you all and are so blessed to have so many friends!
5182 Nash Road
West Springfield, PA 16443

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
From the book of Philippians