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Brain, Christian

Why Blog?

There are chapters of life where there are peaks and chapters filled with valleys. And then there lies all that is in between. We all own this reality.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-8 affirms this truth.
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

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The last of the firsts…

I hope. This day last year was the saddest, most empty day of my life. I know Chad would concur. A couple days prior, we felt Christian had been snatched out of our hands. By this day, we felt we were able to hand him back to God with honest hearts. 
Dear Christian, 
One year has passed. I believe we have hit every “1st” by the strength of God. I absolutely am in shock a year has passed. We are broken in so many different ways…still.  Today as I grieve your loss, I have the gift to only think about you. I am in the hospital, in a quiet room, able to cry however I want, pray as loud as I want, and just think about you. I have caught myself going to a place where I play the ‘would you rather game’. Wondering if it would have been easier had I had a warning, never had you or had you for a lot longer. All scenario’s are not glorifying to God and show nothing of my faith. In fact, God rewards this foolish thinking with an all consuming frustration. My faith is in a trustworthy Creator who knows and does what is best. At times I need to admit the grief I am experiencing in losing you, sweet child, and allow myself to be comforted by the One who loves you more than I. You know our Savior in a way that I will not know for many years to come, Lord willing. 
Today I hurt and cry because I desperately miss you with my whole being. I want you back! I want to cuddle you, and change you, and hear you giggle and fuss. I want
to smell you and play with you.  The whole experience of your loss is overwhelming. It does not own me, yet; it follows me everywhere and is always ready to meet me when I decide to look back. It’s this necessary piece of our humanity. I am so thankful God has providentially chosen us to miss you, love you, and patiently wait to be with you in our Savior’s presence. Sweet baby, we have learned so much about our God that words on a page are incapable of capturing. We have been taught the most beautiful lesson in love through your life and death. A beautiful lesson that begins and ends with Jesus, His sacrifice and how our hope for a future forever is in the palm of His hand, waiting to be taken. Sweet boy. Your life has opened many many gates to sharing God’s truth, our hope and the nature of our loving God. We miss you and love you more than words, 
Brain, Christian

Schizophrenic Update

Our Christian would have been one Wednesday. I awoke with tears flowing. What followed, I could have never dreamed. My husband never let me go-he held my hand, my heart and walked with me through the emotional day. I could not love him any more than I do in this moment. In fact, the love that has come from the loss of Christian’s life is blinding. It is an avalanche of God’s love, perfected in friendships and relationships with people He has given to walk with us. We are thankful for each of you. Many of you showed us love, gifts, and kindness today that will never be forgotten. I actually wrote down every single thing and person God has given us through this journey to ensure I will not soon forget. Providentially, we had to stop by Brayden’s school for something, and we were surprised and shocked to be gifted the most cherished box of handmade cards from each child in my boy’s class, complete with pictures and sentences of encouragement, cards from parents, and a very generous monetary gift. On went the tear faucet. As I read each and every card, I saw the gift of life in each child God created, His loving teacher and the parents. What big hearts! So. much. love.

If that is not encouraging enough, this last week has held many good things I will claim as praises. 
1) my legs are working better! I can hobble around. It’s ugly, but hey! I can figure it out. (Safely with a walker-complete with some smashingly hot tennis balls). I am not bed bound as I had humanly feared, and I attribute this to ALL to your faithful and appreciated prayers. I hope you see the progress as the answered prayers they are and that they would bolster your faith and strengthen your prayer life. God has given us a miracle in mobility. Please continue to pray. I am numb up to my stomach, the sensations are rare and the muscle weakness is pretty bad.  I need to eat my wheaties and actually do the pictograms on the PT chart that have been copied 46 times. There is hope! 🙂 Each day is giving me more and more to be thankful for. 
2) Ready for some gross TMI?? If not, there is a little x in the upper left hand corner. 
Tuesday morning, my staples failed, and brain fluid started flowing out. Like a lot. It was gross and scary. So we saw the surgeon right away and he looked at me, and stapled my head shut again, no anesthesia. True story. It’s ok, out squirted a shower of cervical spinal fluid. He bravely freaked out, and immediately put in 4 sutures in to stop the leaking. NO ANESTHESIA. Are you kidding me? Maybe I do have super powers. I then started crying and they kindly gave me a horse tranquilizer. Many narcotics later, it’s all better. Amen. 

The surgeon  also ordered an MRI to see how much residual tumor is left, so we will know how to move forward. The next appointment is next thursday with my ‘fix the annoying blonde’s  brain’ team. The seizures are still a coming. They are shorter than before the surgery, but still present. So that is something to pray for. Please no more seizures! The hope is they will go away, so I can be an independent mommy.

3) Chad was scheduled to go to work today, and on the way there, they cancelled work due to the fires. While I am sad for San Diego, I am thankful I got my man today! This was a gift as I LOVE my husband, and enjoy every extra minute I get to be with him.  
4) Regardless of the fact we redated our anniversary to July 18,  we did celebrate {eat out} on our anniversary, at a super packed fancy restaurant. I am so glad I made reservations. 

5) I have been getting hours upon hours of this preciousness:

6) we had a peaceful celebration of what would have been Christian’s 1st Birthday at the cemetery. It was a warm breezy early evening, and I couldn’t help but be thankful for the lives God has graciously given us to love, nuture, and raise. 

 7) My big outing this week was getting my nails done with mamabird, and frequenting the ever trashy walmart. I made eye contact with a bald guy in above the knee pink shorts wearing a pair of rolled over uggs. It was beautiful… and of course I couldn’t grab my phone camera quick enough. I nailed the corner of the aisle with the motor cart and scared a small family. Sooooorrry! But not really, because it made me giggle, and well….it feels good to giggle. 

Christian, marriage, motherhood, Thankful

May Day

It hit me. May is not my favorite month. In fact, this month gives me the burn/ itch. May holds too many expectations, failed, yet to be fulfilled, and impossible to appropriately meet. 2 of my best friends birthday’s fall in this month. 2 great days to praise God for the gift of their life and the many ways they have made life so much more joyful! Yet they both live far away. Next, we have Mother’s day. We unargueably have the best mothers on the planet. They deserve their own day. But for some reason each year, it always gets sliced weird. They get the mangled crust with a cute homemade gift. Not long enough cards. They deserve the world, and then a week at the spa for all they give to us, all the countless ways they generously love us. Usually the day after or 2, is our Anniversary. May 13. Poor wedding planning on our part. We then have our baby Christian’s Birthday. May 14. A day that brought so much hope last year. Our baby would be one. It would be a bold lie to say anything other than I would give anything to ambien my way through the pain, and sadness this month holds. Celebrating seems so off color. Pressing on in my own strength would be a joke, so God has graciously gifted our family with mothers, fathers, family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, pastors, nurses, doctors, teachers to spur us/ me on. To encourage us, and to show us He is here. He is meeting each need before we even have the chance to panic or plan for a solution. He is hearing my heart be poured out before Him and showing me moment by moment how He is going to carry me/ us through. In the times where the suffering is insurmountable-He swiftly gives me the mercy needed to keep breathing. I notice He does this after I see the need. Most of the time, He just gives me what is so unnatural-peace. People I would have never otherwise known, but through His perfect hand, have come alongside me to specifically encourage and fill my heart with His promises and know exactly what scripture to point me to. Hugs, cards, flowers, meals, prayers. People I would have never had the pleasure of knowing had I not endured previous painful trials. And that is so the nature of our big and unsearchable God. Using brokeness, to heal deeper brokeness, to bring us to an ever full and perfect redemption. God will not let me sit here and declare self pity, up in arms at what seems like injustice. This mother’s day my heart is aligned with His and I declare my allegiance to Christ and His work with the life He has breathed into me. He is changing my heart, sustaining me, and giving me far more than I could have ever known to pray for. He is showing me His glory through this recovery and what-feels-like-a-marathon-life-trial. Today I see my God bigger than ever, and worthy of being trusted. I pray that when you look back and take stock of your life and blessings today, you too will see exactly what God has entrusted you with, and the many mercies He has graciously bestowed upon you.

Brain, Christian


I will state the obvious-it has been awhile. Fair warning: this post will not be a Happy!!!! post. Or one where I am so in love with everything!!!! and everyone!!! And my life is better than yours!!!! Yay!!!! January-today has been a totally different world than the business and hopeful fight through 2013. 

I wish I could say I have been laboring hard on some interesting and fancy new project, but I think we all know me better. I have some chipped, half painted nails, an unmade bed and a heaping pile of body coverings in desperate need of folding. Or lets be honest, re-washing for the 10th time. PB and jellies are a a mental obstacle. It is a dry, sad season, and I fear it is beginning to feel comfortable. Christian is gone. Whatever memory I am clinging to is becoming blurry. I still think of him every night and involuntarily mentally re-enact that horrific morning. I see life ahead of the inital stages of grief-it is just forever a different shade than I ever imagined. Yes, God has done great things, yet there is nothing in this life that will redeem the loss. The loss of a huge chunk of my heart. The loss of his warm life in my arms. The loss of ever looking at a baby with the same smile. The loss of the brother for my 3 sweet children who still ask about him all. the. time. Christian is loved and missed in a terrible way. 

The patriarch of my side of the family went and made his debut in heaven on March 1. I say “heaven” boldly. He repented of his sin and placed His trust in Christ’s work on the cross a lifetime ago. I had the opportunity to intently listen to so many people share of the impact and pursuit of holiness that took place because of his life and willingness to give it to God to spur them on, encourage them, lead them. He truly lived his life in a manner worthy of the calling. Hearing how God chose him and used him so mightily was overwhelming. And convicting. And made me so thankful and proud to be his grand daughter. 

As for the journey my health is on, I am not sure if it is more emotionally or physically draining. I am learning: vitamins and prayer don’t fix everything. Some things in life are meant to stay broken. My heart is beating-I get to live life as my husbands’ wife, children’s mama, parents (peter pan-never growing up) child and for that, I can’t complain, right? No, still can’t drive. (so thankful you all cart me around so graciously!) No, still can’t get my meds right, and truthfully, I feel like a burden. My latest MRI shows the companion in my brain has taken up a little further residency, not significant enough for an immediate surgery or dramatic knee jerk plan of action. I have no idea if another surgery is on the table, or if I get to watch the new symptoms become permanent. I get to simmer on the possibilities for a few weeks. 

There has been heaps of bad news. Broken lives. Broken bodies. Sadness. Loss. The truth is there is comfort in similar company and there is a dark heaviness too. My heart, while broken, is regenerate. And for that, I hold onto hope that God’s purpose for my life is greater than rambling on about worthless feelings. I pray by you reading this, you see because I/ you/ us/ other sad people struggle with fallen reality, am not inferior to positive thinking, make it happen for yourself, smile anyway people plastered all over social media. It is a lie. Some things you can’t fake your way through. I choose to limp with a clear conscience. That said, I am ready for some redemption. Ready for some good news, happy times and breakthroughs. More than my wishlist, I humbly raise my hands and wait patiently on my Savior to give me what He so faithfully promises; sweet mercy.