Monday, September 29, 2008

Bible Study Glitch

Well we have hit bump number one in the Bible Study road! Our curriculum will not be able to be in by this Wednesday so we will NOT be meeting this Wednesday, but NEXT Wednesday October 8, 2008. We will still meet at 9:30 am in the worship center of McLane Church. If you would like to get your workbook on your own you may, they will be 11.00 that day if you need to get one then. If you can let me know if you want a book so I am sure to have enough on hand that day!

Again I am so sorry for the confusion! We will be starting "He Speaks to Me" a Priscilla Shirer Bible study on October 8th, Wednesday at 9:30 am. I hope to see you there! If you have any questions please email me at!

Remember to check out the new Bible Study Blog for more info!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" Psalm 42:9

This was my bible verse in one of my devotionals today. Somedays this is truly what it feels like. I know God has not forgotten me. I know that, but some days the grief can be so gripping that it is difficult to breathe. So difficult that it is only by God's grace that I am able to get up and care for the boys he has so graciously blessed me with. I am so very thankful for those boys. They keep me going and remind me of the good in my life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where Do Babies Come From??

Interestingly enough the conversation was not nearly what you might have guessed by the title.

We spent the evening tonight at a popular summer hangout Sara's at the Peninsula on Lake Erie. We had great food, amazing ice cream and hung out with some of our very favorite people. Our friends Bill and Shelli were there with there new baby Michael. Our boys were just enamored with the little guy. They wanted to touch him and talk to him and kiss him and hug him and hold him (you get the idea) and sweet Mikey slept through it ALL! It was so bittersweet to see them loving on Mikey wishing they had that chance with their brothers in Heaven.

On the way home we stopped at a store so Howard could run in real quick and get something he needed for school. As we waited in the car, Luke and I had another heart to heart:

Luke: Mommy it was really great holding baby Mikey!

Ben: Baby Monkey, Baby Monkey! (unfortunately for Michael, that is what Ben calls him)

Me: Yes Luke, you did a great job holding him and being gentle. He really liked you.

Luke: Yeah, I would be a good big brother for a baby brother or sister. Maybe like Isaac or Asher, but one that could come home.

Me: You would be a great big brother Luke, you already are.

Luke: I know but I didn't really get to hold Asher much and I like holding babies. Ben isn't really a baby anymore. I like babies.


Me: No, Ben, you are a big boy.

Luke: Right mom so we need a baby. You should tell God about it now because it takes a long time for them to come out of a belly.

Me: Yes it does take a long time, they have to grow. I would love for you to have a baby brother or sister someday. We will just have to wait and see how that happens.

Luke: Mom! I know how it happens! You pray to God and he puts a baby in your belly. That is how you got Me and Ben and Isaac and Asher! We will just do that.

Me: That is true. It is up to God. We should tell him what our hearts want.

Luke: Okay well, I will tell him at bedtime tonight and at breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow, that should do it. We need to tell him now though because it takes a really long time and I really want a baby for our home now. I can help you hold him while you get things done. I really want to do that mom. I'll take care of this, we need a baby, one that we can keep.

Me: (Speechless...sitting in the front seat now facing forward I had nothing more to say so I didn't)

Ben: I'm for you, I'm for you (rocking OUT to a little Toby Mac)

Huh...again the wisdom of a five year old astounds me. :-)

Bible Study Blog

So, I am so excited I decided to create a separate blog for the Bible Studies I will be facilitating. So if you are interested in coming or just want to check in on things feel free to check out Be Still and Know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bible Study News

Well it seems that the details are falling into place and the Bible study I spoke of before is going to happen! I am so excited!

Here are the details thus far ( I will let you know if anything changes)

The curriculum: Priscilla Shirer's He Speaks to Me

When: Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:30ish

Where: McLane Church Worship Center, Edinboro PA

The only cost will be the cost of your member book. We will have them available at the first meeting on October 1st or you are welcome to get one yourself ahead of time.

There will not be childcare. I just don't have it in me to organize childcare, and I fear that having childcare in the building would be a distraction, and the purpose of this study is to go deeper into God's word. So...if that is an issue for you, maybe you could pair up with another mom and one could attend and the other could attend the one starting in January, Discerning the Voice of God, also by Priscilla Shirer. I hope you will join me if you are in the area!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Ground You Walk on is Holy

I cannot seem to stop the tears today. I do have faith and the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that the day will come when my entire family is reunited. I have faith, I have hope, and I am blessed, but the pain still cuts so deep.

It seems unimaginable that thirty eight months and two days ago I sat in a hospital room with my husband and kissed my second son's forehead as he slipped away. I watched my strong husband hold his beloved son as he took his last labored breath. We exhausted ourselves praying that our son would beat the odds. He would live. Then we were blasted with the truth that God chose something different for our family. Isaac now lives with Him.

Three months into the grief journey we found out we were expecting our third child. We tried the best we could to pick up the pieces, hand them all to God and look forward to the arrival of our new miracle. We were told that having another child with Isaac's same health issues was not of concern as he had contracted a virus inutero and my body was now immune to that virus.
We enjoyed every moment of this pregnancy knowing that there are no guarantees but secretly thinking that there was no way God would command us to walk that road again. Blessings abounded and our third son was bigger than his older brothers, by a lot, he always measured big as if to assure us that he was a different child that came with new hopes and dreams of his own.

Benjamin came into the world perfect and healthy on a blessed day in July of 2006. I sat in a hospital room with hope. I would get to take this boy home. Luke would get to be a big brother. Isaac was not forgotten, but with Benjamin came hope and healing. It was as if God was reassuring us that we would make it.

Then just seven months ago today, I sat in a hospital surrounded by closest friends and family and watched as my fourth son slipped away.
It seems so unfair. TWICE! Really,God, Really? TWICE? Who are we that you would ask us to carry this burden? How on earth are we supposed to do justice to this cross you have chosen for us?, we are just an ordinary family who wants to live a simple life, love eachother, and honor you. This morning I woke up with those words on the tip of my tongue. I headed for the Bible to see if He had anything for me to soothe my aching heart. He led me to the book of Exodus, the story of Moses. Coincidence? Not a chance!

I read the story of Moses...(this is my translation, I encourage you to read it for yourself from your Bible, as I am loosely paraphrasing)

I started in chapter 3. Here is poor Moses, minding his own business. Tending sheep for his father-in-law, he was just an ordinary guy, doing a quite ordinary job. He led the sheep through the desert to the mountain of God. There he saw a bush, it was on fire, but it wasn't burning up. So he decided to take a closer look. The Lord appeared to him in the flames and called him..."Moses, Moses!"

Moses must have been a little freaked out, but said "Here I am". God warned him not to come any closer, and commanded him to take his shoes off, stating that the ground he walked on was "holy". That ground had undoubtedly been walked on before by people, perhaps even Moses, with their shoes on, but in this moment on that particular ground, something bigger was happening. God revealed himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses looked away, afraid to look at God.
The Lord admitted to Moses that he had seen the suffering of His people in Egypt and was concerned. He revealed his plan to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt and told Moses to "go". He was sending Moses out to command that Pharaoh let them go.
Moses must have been shocked. He said to God, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt? I can only imagine he peed his pants! I mean really God? An ordinary Shepherd guy to go and stand up to Pharaoh!? And God just said, I will be with you! He didn't say it would be easy, he didn't say there would not be pain, suffering and wilderness wandering. He just said "I will be with you"

Okay so I read that story and then read it again and again. Trying to get what God was saying to me and my broken heart this morning. I got a few things, and if you bear with me I will try my best to share them.

First, I pondered the idea of Holy Ground. I have struggled for so long to describe what it is like to hold your child as they die. This is it. This phrase describes it exactly. A moment that is tragic and heartbreaking, seemingly scary and sickening, yet there is a peace and beauty about it. When I think back to July 20, 2005 and February 22, 2008, that my friends was "holy ground". Such immense loss and sadness, yet such a sense that there is something so much bigger than all of that, intense pain and immeasurable peace. Those are certainly not moments I would have chosen to experience, but I hold on to those memories like life sustaining air. Those were "holy ground" moments. We all have them I am sure. From the outside it seems as though the worst moment one could even imagine. I mean I knew ahead of time with Asher that it was likely that he would not survive, and I worried about what people would think about standing in my room and holding and loving my dead son, we were planning for this. I can honestly tell you though I wish the outcome were different, it was the most amazing day of my life. A day where I actually saw the body of Christ, and his arms were embracing my family. There was something so much bigger going on that the anticipated awkwardness of people thinking it was morbid. The ground in that room was certainly holy ground.

I also struggle with why for even an instant God thought I could handle any of this. I am just an ordinary person, a stay at home mom who simply wants to enjoy my family and make a good home for them. I never bargained for any of what I have been handed. But...then again, who does? We aren't given those choices. No one would ever choose them. There are no guarantees, and what God plans often looks nothing like what we plan. Not comforting I know, but again, I doubt very much God is interested in our comfort. He asks us to just be obedient. To carry on when we feel we can no longer move because He is there. He is with us and that is all we need to know. heart is still hurting, the tears are still flowing, I do not understand any of this, I have no idea why so many people today are suffering in so many ways. He doesn't ask me to understand, he just asks be to believe that He is there, He knows best, and he will work it all out for the good of those who love them.

So in short, I really didn't figure anything out and it is likely I won't, I mean what could possibly make any of this make sense in our minds anyhow? I ask you to continue to pray for us as we figure out how to live this life God has chosen for us. I pray that through our pain we can bring him some sort of glory.

Thank you all for being faithful in prayer, and for remembering my boys today. There is an emptiness in my arms today where a seven month old baby should be and I struggle with that. We are a family of six and I miss my boys so much!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you believe, you will see the glory of God...

As many of you have suspected (and I thank you for your concern and encouragement), I have really been struggling lately. Wrestling with what I believe to be true and what that means for my life. I have been missing my boys more than ever and I find myself frustrated with myself because I feel like things should be getting easier instead of harder.

I have thought about Martha and Mary in the book of John. I have often thought of the desperation they felt as they watched Lazarus die, knowing full and well that had Jesus come he could have prevented the event entirely. In verse 32 of chapter 11 Mary falls at the feet of Jesus saying "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at this story trying to find some sort of comfort in the outcome. I can so identify with the feelings Mary has in this verse. I have fallen to the ground, face on the floor exclaiming to God that HE could have saved my boys, He could have healed them, He could have saved us from this pain.

The thing is, even days after his death, Jesus did heal Lazarus. His body had begun to decompose, the scripture speaks of the odor that would come from the tomb when opened, and yet Jesus came through. He spared Mary and Martha from the loss of their beloved brother. This is where the disconnect begins. What am I supposed to do with the feelings of disappointment that He chose NOT to step in and save my boys? He chose NOT to save my family from this pain. We have lost two sons, our children two brothers, our parents, two grandsons, our nephew, a cousin our siblings two nephews. The death of Isaac and Asher has taken much from our family. Yes, I know that one day we will all be reunited and that is the only thought that gets me through some days. But some days, it still cannot even come close to taking away the stinging pain. We miss them NOW!

Yesterday in an attempt to bring fun to our lives, we headed to the Cleveland Zoo. We LOVE that zoo and it is only a little over an hour away so we got up and packed our things for the day and headed to the great state of Ohio. We of course took longer than necessary to get there because we are slightly directionally challenged and as we find ourselves lost we often just look at eachother, laugh and admit "This is how we roll!" We explore and find our way back with the help of no man and no map! We like to explore!

So we arrived at the zoo shortly after 11. We ate lunch and as we sat there I watched a family across the room. They had three children and the mom was obviously pregnant. I sat there marveling at the fact that a family could get to have four children! That seems like an unattainable gift to me at the moment. I sat there wondering what it would have been like to feed all four of our boys lunch. I tried to turn my attention back to the children I was blessed to have lunch with and we continued our adventure.

We headed to the stingray touch tank. The boys were giddy with excitement as the graceful animals glided over their hands and splashed them as they waved hello. We could have spent the whole day there. It was such a joy to watch those boys marvel at the awesome creature God created. We stayed about a half an hour and Howard and I were ready to move on. The boys however were NOT! They protested but we nudged them along knowing they would enjoy seeing the rest of the animals as well! We continued on.

We headed up the hill and as we stood watching the polar bears swim, I caught a glimpse of a little boy who looked just like Benjamin. I glanced over and saw a family of six. Mom and dad were watching their four boys, two with red hair, as they watched the bears play. I found myself tearing up. I wanted that. It was almost as if I was having a two year old temper tantrum inside. We continued on but it seemed this family was every where we were, four boys under the age of 5 I would guess, just like we would have if all of ours were here on earth. I wondered if Howard had noticed.

We continued on and really did have a fun time with Luke and Ben. With Ben it is like he is seeing everything for the first time EVERY TIME! He squeals with excitement and names everything! Luke is our studious guy who wants to read each and every animal info plaque around the habitat of each animal. He always surprises us by using words like nocturnal, predator, and female. Then surprises us even more when he can tell us what they mean. They are little sponges who cannot drink in enough. What a blessing!

As we headed down the hill, I had expressed to Howard how much I was enjoying the day but could not help but think that there should be four little boys with us, and that was when he admitted he had been thinking the same thing all day. We shared our thoughts and feelings as we walked down the hill (it is a SUPER long hill)and I cannot tell you what that did for my heart. He is my very best friend and he knows my pain. It is maybe not exactly the same, but he too is missing our boys and wondering what life would be like with them. It was just good to share. We don't do that often enough. Something so small gave me hope. It was like just sharing those thoughts and feelings with someone who was having them too soothed my aching heart.

It was a good day. Each day I struggle with the God who gives and takes away. I know he loves me, but I do not understand. I am learning that it is okay to not understand. He is God. He knows best. I will continue to trust because without that I have no hope.

"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" This is what Jesus said to Mary after raising Lazarus from the dead. He always makes good on his promises. I have to say that, though I will not see my boys this side of Heaven, I will believe, expecting to see the glory of God! I will struggle and miss my boys, I am still on the road of grieving, but I will see the glory of God!

So to all of you who are reading this who are struggling with pain and suffering, it is okay to question and it is okay to not understand. The truth is you just have to keep on too, WILL see the glory of God! He does not reserve it for only those like Mary or Martha, it is for all who will receive it. It doesn't make it easy that is for sure, but He will bring us through!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There are just no words...

May The Name of The Lord Be Praised

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; May the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21

This was part of my devotional today and I am still meditating on that now even hours later. The Lord has given us much and has also taken much from us, yet because he knows better than we do, I will praise Him even when I don't really feel like it. And if I am being honest, there are many times I just don't feel like it! Sometimes I really wish I understood what he is doing here, but I know a God worth praising certainly cound not be finite enough that I could wrap my mind around His mighty plan.

Thanking God for providing me with that reminder today!

Picture Day

Well, yesterday was picture day for the Bolte family. I have to say since I did most of the anticipation last week, I just tried to go about a normal day yesterday not thinking about the photos. (I even made chocolate chip, zucchini cookies! a whole other post)I have explained before that thought I absolutely LOVE pictures and take hundreds each month, the idea of a family picture turns my stomach. It just tears at my heart knowing that our family picture will NEVER be complete this side of Heaven.

So, last night after dinner we all got ready and headed down to the lake. At about 6:30 our photographer, Katie, met us there and the photo shoot began. I will say that another of my fears was that Benjamin, being a typical 2 year old, would not cooperate. He didn't. :-) But being at the lake she was still able to get some shots of him as he played and did HIS own thing. We got several family shots, shots of each of the kids, the kids together, and Howard and me. Katie had the patience of a saint! She did everything besides stand on her head (or did she do that too?) to get them to look at her and smile.

Luke is a ham, but it is tough to get a picture of him smiling normally. He gives the big cheesy smile and loves to make lots of silly faces, and Ben just likes to do the opposite of whatever you ask of him. So it was interesting, but so much less stressful than trying to get it done in the ten minutes they give you at Sears or JC Penney.

It was a perfect and beautiful evening. The lake was gorgeous and the sunset was amazing. I cannot wait to see the pictures. It was sad thinking about the fact that all of our family would not be present in the picture, but it was evident that God was. How can you look at a sunset like that and doubt God's presence?

I cannot wait to see the photos. She should have a few up in a day or so on her blog. You should check her out, especially if you live in the area. She is great!

So, I thank you all for your prayers. Many of you remembered the rescheduled date even though I did not mention it again. It meant so much to know we are thought of so often. Your prayers were evident and it was a fun and peaceful evening overall. We miss our boys but are so blessed to have each other.

I just can't say it enough...we are blessed beyond measure but broken beyond mending...and that is ok.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Lesson Learned

So it was brought to my attention by SEVERAL sweet friends that it has been over a week since I wrote about what is going on with me. No worries. We are fine. This past week was "Fair Week" in that our town has a fair that runs Tuesday through Saturday and what do little boys like better than, animals, tractors, mud and cotton candy!? We have been enjoying each other. It has been a busy week and I will try to catch you all up to speed this week.

This past Saturday, we attended a tree planing for all babies in our area who have gone to Heaven. It was a rainy day but it was a great day to be surrounded by other people who are walking the same road. I attend a support group monthly with these parents and it is such an honor to know each of them. It was especially great Saturday because we all brought our entire families.

After the tree planting, which was at a local Nature Center, we headed in for lunch and an amazing program they put on for the kids. As lunch was winding down the kids began to run around and play together. It was good to see the children having a good time as we all chatted at the tables. That was when it happened...probably the lowest parenting moment I have experienced.....

My boys were running with some of the other children and they were all laughing when all of a sudden I heard a familiar voice shout "You IDIOT!" I looked over and Luke was looking right at me knowing his world was about to come crashing down. Things were so crazy I didn't even see who he said it to, but was certain it was my sweet boy who had said those mean words.

I looked at Howard and took a deep breath. I called Luke to me and took him outside. I was stunned because I have no idea where he heard the word and I had no idea how I was going to handle this. We are very careful about what the kids are exposed to and when they do hear something inappropriate we are sure to address it.

We sat down in the hallway and this was our conversation:

Me: Luke, do you know why mommy brought you out here?

Luke: Yes, mommy, I do.

Me: Why did I bring you out here?

Luke: I said "Indiant"

Me: Do you know what that word means Luke?

Luke: No, is it a mean word mom?

Me: Yes Luke. Where did you hear that word?

Luke: I don't know mom. Why is it a mean word? What does it mean?

Me: Anytime you are calling someone a name it is not a nice thing to do no matter what. That word means you are telling someone they aren't smart. That just isn't nice. Our rules are to be kind and be safe...calling someone names isn't kind.

Luke: Oh, (as he begins to weep) I didn't know that, really mom, I didn't.

Me: I know you didn't Luke, but you should not ever use a word if you don't know what it means.

Luke: Yesterday at the Fair I said the ride was exhilarating and you laughed about that, I don't really know what that means.

Me: Well exhilarating IS a good word, that ride was was exciting and fun, but if you aren't sure what a word means it is better to ask mommy or daddy before you use a word.

Luke: Okay mommy. I am really sorry.

Me: I know Luke, but I think you need to tell that to the person you said that word to and then you need to come sit with mommy and daddy.

Luke: OK mom.

So, after this incident, I have to admit I was mortified. My children are usually very well behaved and are wonderful in public especially. We always get compliments on how well behaved they are. I guess in some ways I have used that as validation that I am succeeding as a parent. This shook me. I wanted to crawl under a rock. I could not help but thinking "Oh my, everyone in this room must think I am a horrible parent!" They must think that we use that word at home and we most certainly do not! Funny how we are quick to take credit for our children's successes, but we want to make it known that we could not possibly be responsible for their failures. When the truth is kids make decisions. It is our job to guide them as they make those decisions so they learn to make good ones. Sometimes a poor decision is part of the learning process.

After giving it much thought, we do often define ourselves by our children and their actions. Their actions reflect our parenting, right? In thinking about that, I thought about how TRULY mortified our Father must be when we do things that do not reflect his teachings. We all make mistakes often, we are imperfect broken people who do wrong things. Think of all the words we use that God would CERTAINLY not approve of. Yet he handles us with such incredible grace.

Though this incident is one that made my heart sink and embarrassed me terribly it did make me look inward. It made me take a look at some of the things I do, maybe without even knowing the magnitude, that would likely make God wince. We all make our own choices. God gave us free will and we surely all abuse it at times. Luke certainly did not reflect our family values by using that word, and he certainly learned a lesson. Often times we do not do a very good job reflecting the Light of our Heavenly Father, He is perfect and good and we fall short, but he will continue teaching us and loving us allowing us to make poor choices along with the good ones, learning from them all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today marks seven years since our country was broken by the terrorist attacks. Since I began on this journey of grief, I have become much more aware of how many people are actually grieving each and every day. My own suffering is certainly not unique. We all suffer. Today I am reminded of how many families are still grieving the loss of loved ones who were in the Trade Center Buildings, a plane or nearby.

Lets all take a moment today to remember the almost 3 thousand lives that were lost seven years ago, and join me in prayer for the families of those victims.

Lets also take a moment to remember and pray for the brave men and women who put themselves in harms way in our Armed Forces to make us safe from further attacks.

I also must say that in reflecting on all of this today I am brought to my knees in gratitude. I am so thankful to be an American citizen. I am thankful that I live in a country where there are people who are willing to fight for our safety. We are so blessed!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Stanfield Daily News :-)

Praise the Lord!

I just heard from Kenzie and she was filling out discharge papers! They watched baby Faith all night and she had only one noticeable deceleration, no pattern so she is looking great! Kenzie will be heading home today on bed rest. So she will get to spend more precious time with Deacon before Faith arrives.

Please continue to lift this family in prayer. He will sustain them!

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”- Isaiah 46:4

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stanfield Update

I have gotten many emails and comments asking about Kenzie and baby Faith. is what I know for sure...

Kenzie and Faith are doing well. They are going to keep Kenzie another day or so because of some decelerations in Faith's heart rate. They are just erring on the side of caution and making sure there is nothing to be concerned about. Please pray for baby Faith to remain strong and for her to stay put for a while longer. Also please pray for Kenzie as she endures whatever is necessary to keep Faith safe. I know she is REALLY missing Deacon, though he is being well cared for and spoiled by grandma.

Kenzie also mentioned that her blog, email and facebook have somehow all been erased. Dusty is working on the blog thing. I do know that they will shut a blog down if you get too much traffic until they can verify the blog...maybe that is it. Either way it is added frustration. You can feel free to leave her a message here if you'd like and I will get it to her. I know she covets all of your prayers and is so honored that so many people are praying for her family. God is answering those prayers and they are being sustained by His grace.

Thank you for your continued prayer. God is in control! I will let you all know when I hear more!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not Today!

Thank you all for your prayers. I guess today was not the day! Our photographer called and had to reschedule for next Tuesday so if you could save those prayers for that day, that would be great! Again thank you all for your wonderful support. I love you all and am so honored you were willing to pray yet again!

What Might Have Been

This was us eight months ago. Asher was still with us, safely tucked away in my belly. We knew what we were up against then, but were trying our best to revel in every moment the Lord allowed. How I wish we could have frozen time. These were the last pictures we had taken. As I try to prepare for today's pictures, I cannot help but think of what might have been. I cannot help but think of the sweet boys that will be missing from our 2008 family photo. So much joy yet so much sorrow.

This is the most complete family picture we will ever have. Isaac is missing. My four boys have never all met. What a tough reality to live with. Though, I am sure they will know their brothers when they get to meet them.
Why do the simplest things have to hurt so much? Lord please lighten this load, it is becoming much too heavy!

Livin' Large

This to me, is proof God does in fact have a sense of humor.

I just sat down for my daily devotion and the verse today in Streams in the Desert is this:

Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. Psalm 4:1

I could not help but chuckle, actually I am still laughing as I type it. I had no idea my being fat was Biblcal!

As I am preparing for tonight's pictures I am finding that I am in fact "enlarged", though I am sure it has more to do with Oreos enlarging me in my distress than God "enlaraging" me.

PS- Before you all comment to me on the true meaning of this scripture, I assure you I do know this is not what the verse is about coming through distress living a larger life than before. It is actually a pretty powerful verse that speaks to the testimony of the Psalmist who wrote it, I just thought it was kinda funny when read literally!

Pictures Today

Well I come to you today to ask for a few extra prayers for my sanity today. :-) I am a HUGE picture person. I have a billion of Luke and since having Isaac, having pictures done has become something I HAVE to do for the kids rather than something I want to do. We ALWAYS have pictures of the boys done for birthdays and this year I just couldn't. Now I am feeling guilty, plus the family picture we have hanging in the living room is from when Ben was only a month old (he looks a little different now).

SO...we are having a family picture and pictures of the boys done tonight. It always is so bittersweet because I just love seeing the boys captured on film, but when it comes to a family picture, someone is always missing. It literally makes me sick.

Not to mention that Ben is 2 and well, doesn't cooperate so well (which gives me panic attacks). So instead of going to a studio we are having them done at the lake by a local photographer (who does SUPER work) and who is also a mom (so she will hopefully understand 2 year old rebellion). I am looking forward to seeing what we get in this setting as opposed to a studio. I am hoping Ben will just play a bit and we will still get a few good pictures.

SO we would appreciate a few extra prayers seems a silly reason to ask for them, but something as simple as this can really get me down. So bittersweet!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Looking in the Relationship Mirror

I have noticed a lot lately that I feel isolated. Alone. I am surrounded by people. Wonderful people who love me very much, and yet I feel alone. I often wonder why friends or family don't do this or say that. I have felt many relationships slipping away as I feel many who used to be there for me no longer are. Everyone seems so distant. And as I have looked closer I have found that often times it is my fault.

A couple of years ago our pastor had done a series on relationships. I remember him saying something like, "If you are having trouble in your relationships with others, you should first examine your relationship with God." This statement came back to me as I thought about the broken relationships in my life. The truth is that our relationship with God is the center of our being. All other relationships revolve around this one. If we take fault with another person it is likely because we have neglected that area of our relationship with God. It is like looking in a relationship mirror.

As I thought about all of this I thought about those I was having difficulty relating to. (Now I will say in being honest that as a bereaved parent, relating to other moms is unbelievably difficult and I really do have to be gentle with myself in that area because there are certain situations I am just not ready for. Everyone means well, but once you have been on this side of the fence, it is impossible to just leap back over. It takes time... This has nothing to do with anyone else...just me, it is still hard to walk into a room full of pregnant moms or newborn babies.)

We all have our struggles. We all have so much that happens in life that drains us. Leaves us feeling as though we have had the wind knocked out of us. I have spoken before about feeling this weight on my chest, somedays it is barely possible to just breathe in and out. All too often I find myself gasping for air.

I have had HUGE things happen in my life. I have experienced pain and suffering on a level deeper than I knew existed. I have found myself gasping on many occasions. The thing is that there is not a person on this earth that can fill my lungs with the life sustaining air I need, only God. And the more I struggle to make others fill my void, the more frustrated I become because it is impossible to fill it with anything other than God.

So, I am finding that if I just take the time each morning to fill myself with God, I find myself enjoying my relationships for what they are, not what I wish they were because God has already filled that need for me. God is always reminding me that people disappoint and He never will. That is not to say there are not many many people who are very insrumental in my journey, there are many of you who have provided an encouragement that has picked me up and allowed me to keep moving forward. God will always bring those people to me at the right time, but I need to seek him first!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Urgent Prayer

PLEASE pray for the Stanfield Family tonight! Kenzie is still in the hospital and contractions are persisting despite medication. She is 26 weeks along and we really need to pray the contractions stop and that baby Faith Clare is able to stay put for a while longer. They are asking we pray Romans 4:20-21 over their family would be awesome if you would go to their blog and let them know you are praying!

Another Family in Need of Prayer

I was just sent this blog by a friend and after reading it am asking that you all go here and pray for this family today. I know what it is like to be where Nicole is and I know how much all of your encouragement meant to gave me such strength to know so many were praying. Let's do that for them! This little baby is such a blessing and God is still on His throne. They have posted specific prayer requests so I ask all of you prayer warriors to storm the Gates of Heaven today for this family!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Erradicating Hidden Idols

Grief is so unpredictable. You can be walking along enjoying life and all of the sudden the bottom drops out. I have had a really great few days with the kids. I expected Howard's going back to school to be really tough on all of us and though we miss him it is kind of nice to be back into the swing of things.

This morning the bottom dropped out. It is just one of those days that I just want to go back to bed. I look at my boys and I desperately want to enjoy them because I KNOW what a blessing they are. I know how incredibly blessed I am to have them and I should revel in each moment the Lord allows me with them and yet my grief for my other two boys clouds all of that and makes it tough to even see anything clearly. If I had my way about it I would probably just go back to bed and pull the covers over my head and not come out today. That however is not an option. I do have two of the world's most amazing little boys to care for today and that is what I will do. Thank you Jesus!

I look at Ben and how amazing he is and how great it is to see him look at everything as though it is the most wonderful discovery. He is experimenting with words and boundaries. I wonder if God will ever allow me the privilege of watching and assisting in the growth of another child this way. Will I ever have the chance again to know what it feels like to bring a baby home from the hospital, nurse my newborn baby, to see Benjamin be the big brother? I for sure have been blessed with the children I have, but I am left wondering if this is it for us. And if it is I pray that God will remove the longing for another Bolte baby from my heart. I love my boys more than words could ever say and if they are the only two children I get to raise on this earth, I will know that God knows what is best and has blessed us abundantly.

The thing is I still have this super strong desire for more children and that thought terrifies me. In a recent discussion with my amazing husband I was brought face to face with something that needed to be brought to the surface. He asked me if I honestly thought we could risk going through the loss of another baby. Now this was the FIRST time he had ever shown any doubt (at least with me). He was ready to have another baby months ago and has just been waiting for me to feel ready. He has been my rock, my unwavering pillar of strength and in a sweet conversation with me where he very carefully chose his words so as not to completely freak me out he confessed his fear, his doubt and his desires.

I am so thankful that he loves me and trusts me enough to do this, but it completely threw me for a loop. I told him that I really felt I wanted more children and that I was sure that we would just have to pray and have faith that God would give us the desires of our heart, to which he rebutted "yeah, we did that". Stunned, I said "what?" and he went on about how while we were in the hospital with Isaac he had never prayed so hard or completely expected God to move and yet Isaac died anyway. Then through my pregnancy with Asher, Howard never once doubted. He fully and completely believed God was going to deliver us from this tragedy. He was going to save Asher. There was just no doubt in Howard's mind.

He reminded me that we prayed so faithfully for our boy, we held on to the Hope that God would perform a miracle and yet again, our son was ripped from our arms and we went home empty armed and broken hearted. Not once but twice God allowed this agony, this unfathomable emptiness in our lives and there is certainly NO guarantee he would not allow it a third time. Howard went on to say that it certainly wasn't about faith. We had faith so having faith that he would give us a healthy baby seemed irrelevant and, prayers? really, if God has a plan, why even pray anyway?

I sat there in the dark car stunned, tears streaming down my face my boys sleeping soundly in the backseat. I had no answer. It was like now not only was I grieving the loss of my boys, but I was also losing the one person who always came at me with "well, pray about it" or "you just have to trust" he always made it sound so simple.

Howard was (gasp) showing his humanity and it scared me. I have always been kind of irritated by his incredible faith. He never questions never worries and trusts like no one I have ever known. Whenever I come to him with a worry, he always has a simple answer, like well, is that thought coming from God? or maybe you should pray about that. Now, he was wavering.

We came inside and put the kids to bed and I got online searching for answers. I did much genetic research hoping to have some better statistics to throw at him and that was when God spoke. I stopped typing frantically and closed the computer and I sat and listened as my God reminded me that my help comes from Him alone. Howard is in fact human. He is so very worthy of all of my love and respect. He is the most amazing man that I have ever known and I am so blessed that he chose me to share this life with him. I marvel at that fact every day. But, Howard is not God. That seems kind of silly and quite obvious, but I think sometimes I put so much of my faith and hope in him that I lose sight of where my help should be coming from.

God no doubt intended for us to marry and for our spouse to be our helpmate. But it is completely unfair of me to put Howard up on this pedestal. He is human. He too lost two little boys that he loved dearly. He too is broken and hurting, though he doesn't always show it. He deserves a wife that can love him and his humanity. That can be here to listen as he doubts and worries just as he does for me. Howard and I will remain united with God in this. We will remain in prayer and follow his prompting, together as a team with God as our one and only.

I guess I needed that reminder that night. That sometimes idols sneak in without you even realizing it. I was using Howard as one. I needed to change my perspective. I need to love honor and cherish Howard, but never put him before God. God specifically says that we are not to have idols before him. NOTHING is to be more important to us that God Himself. These idols come to us in many forms, sometimes money, people, jobs, cars, hobbies, pets, the truth is, anything we put before God is an idol and I know I am going to take a closer look at my life to excavate the idols that are hiding beneath the surface. Do you have any excavating to do? Let's go on a dig!

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. Exodus 20:3-5

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Prayers For the Stanfield Family


I just heard from Kenzie and the contractions are still persisting even with medication. PLEASE join me in prayer for this amazing family. She is asking that we pray Romans 4:20 over their sweet family tonight.

20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

I just got word that The Stanfield Family could really use your prayers tonight. As many of you know, they are expecting a baby in December, a sweet daughter, Faith Clare. Kenzie is in the hospital tonight in preterm labor.

They are trying to get her contractions to stop and she will be on bedrest now. Please pray for this family as they remain focused on God and his might and power. Though this is a scary time, God remains on his throne. He will hold the The Stanfields and baby Faith in the palm of his hand keeping them safe.

Please join me in prayer for this family. If anyone can pray them through, I know you can!