About Me

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I'm just a 28 year old woman that married the man of my answered prayers on July 18, 2009. We have our sweet Ella that was born in September of 2010 and our precious Charlotte that was born in February of 2012! On March 24, 2013, our first son was born, Josiah Warner. After a complicated pregnancy, he was born very prematurely and lived less than an hour before going to be with Jesus. Through life's ups and downs, I'm trying to figure out how to follow Jesus. I mean, really follow Jesus. The kind of following where things start to change. It's time to put action to the passion

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Update On Life!

I just realized it's been a little since I've blogged. And, the insanity that surrounds the holidays can be blamed for that :o)

Before we got married, John and I decided that we would have Thanksgiving and Christmas alternate from year to year between both of our families. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving in Orlando and Christmas in Texas. So, this year was flip flopped. We headed out to my mom's home on the coast (about an hour away) for Christmas week. It was fun to feel like we were getting away, but I was also pretty glad to make it back home to our own bed!

Because of everything that's happened lately, this Christmas just felt a little different at first. I was supposed to be 21 weeks this Christmas. But, surprisingly, I only had one big cry fest during the day on Christmas Eve. I was really doing just fine in the beginning of the day and then, we went to Denny's. What an unassuming place to have the start of my tear fest.

There I am. Eating my build your own grand slam, complete with chocolate chip pancakes. Mmmm, chocolate chip pancakes have always been my favorite breakfast! Well, that and biscuits and gravy. I mean, come on?? How can those two meals NOT be a favorite! Anyways, there I was and out of nowhere, everything hit me. It's Christmas and I'm not pregnant. This Christmas was supposed to be sitting  by the tree and dreaming of what our little one on the way would look like. I can honestly say I wasn't expecting for Christmas to be that hard. I felt like I had gotten through all of the big emotional landmarks until the due date hit, but I guess I was wrong.

But, after I balled my eyes out in the car on the way back home, I retreated to bed for a long nap. It is amazing how a little bit of sleep can make things somewhat better. And, from then on, I slowly got out of my funk and enjoyed the rest of the Christmas weekend! Including lots of after Christmas sales so we can actually have a decorated home next year, haha. I keep telling John, "I can't wait for Christmas next year! I just want to set out all of our new decorations right now, even though I would have to put them away tomorrow!" But, I guess I can wait ;o)

I must admit, it's a little weird going into 2010 so soon. It's funny how I was only pregnant for 10 weeks and 5 days, but with that came a lot of dreams and plans for the future. It's been tough to kind of switch that off and remind myself there's not a baby on the way. It's so crazy how in the grand scheme of life a couple of months is not long at all, but in such a short time, things can change so much. Before I walked through this, I never really thought I would be this affected by being pregnant for such a short time. Boy, was I wrong. Even though we don't have a baby on the way anymore, may the Lord be glorified through us in the upcoming year of 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Learning About Contentment

How in the world did Christmas become only 9 days away?! I am sitting on the couch looking at our lovely first Christmas tree. That's right, it's a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! Yup, a few measly branches, a single red bulb ornament, and Linus' light blue blanket covering the base. At first, I was not digging the idea of ANY Christmas tree in our apartment. The reality is that we were out of town for the first few days after Thanksgiving, then a few days after that we were housesitting, and now we'll be heading to my mother's for Christmas week. Therefore, who wants to spend money on a tree, ornaments, decorations to only see it for a day or two? And, let's face it, I've been openly "bah humbug!", so the idea of going through trying to decorate our teeny tiny apartment, just seemed ridiculous...all until my husband mentioned the idea of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree! It was only $10, already had it's decorations, and how cute to have the movie come to life (plus, I get to express my bah humbug-ness in a cute way). And, I justified my negative Nancy attitude with the fact that if the Lord does bless us in the future with some kiddos, it will be so fun to have the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and watch the movie with the tree right next to the television :o)

All of that to say after getting our little Christmas tree, I used a gift card and Christmas'd up our front door. John was so excited to have some Christmas decorations out and that's ultimately why I did it all. The last few days I have had some precious time with my Jesus. And, in those moments, I have prayed that the Lord would really grow and instill in me the attitude of a Godly wife. What does that look like? What does it mean to outdo my husband with honor? How can I create a household in which he will always want to rush home?

One thing that has always stuck out to me from our wedding, was when our pastor, Keith Harmon, gave us both some tips of wisdom. One of those directed towards me was to never rush to defend my husband, but rather to always lift him up in prayer. I am sure that has saved me a lot of frustration already! But, today was one of those days where I spent extended time in prayer over him and over our marriage. I am so honored to get the chance to try and become the wife that he will always be head over heels for...especially when a lot of junky stuff is going on.

And, another thing that has stuck out a lot lately in my personal time with the Lord is the issue of contentment. I have always struggled with the idea that I am never 100% content with just the Lord alone. And, today it hit me, I won't ever be this side of Heaven. I will have moments, like I did today, where nothing else but the Lord matters to me. But, unfortunately, I will never 100% feel that way all of the time here on earth.

Even though I can sit here today and tell you that I am a woman that has experienced a lot of dark trials in my life, including the hardest of losing my first baby, that Jesus is far greater and better than anything I could ever dream of in the universe. If my husband went home to be with the Lord tonight, or if we were never able to have children, or if one of us gets cancer, or if I get pregnant again, bring that baby in the world just to lose the child moments later, or if John loses his job...Jesus is still greater and the love of my life. He would still be worthy of praise in all of those things and He is worthy of praise right now. I cannot explain in words how much I really do love Him. And, because I do love Him that much, I long for the day when my love for Him never gets distracted by anything else.

One day, in Heaven, that love will be fulfilled to it's true potential. There are moments in this latest trial, where Heaven has seemed more desirable just because of my baby and not because of my Jesus. But, the day will come where it's not even possible to put anything above Jesus' rightful place. May it be on earth as it is in Heaven...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Been Two Months

Well, December has already involved some packing and unpacking with more coming our way! We are housesitting again this week and at the end of December (Christmas week) we'll be headed to my mom's house for the week. If there's anything in the world I truly hate, it would be packing and unpacking. But, I survived the task for Thanksgiving in Texas with John's family, so I am sure I can figure out a way to survive the rest of this month :o)

And, yes, you read correctly...we are housesitting again! We are housesitting at the same place we did in October. I had the miscarriage on Thursday, October 8th and that Sunday we were off to housesit! At first I was thinking that I just wanted to be home during that time, but in the Lord's amazing plan, He allowed the housesitting to feel like a much needed escape. I am still so grateful that we had the 2.5 weeks here while I was recovering from my surgery...and it was free cable (which was an excellent distraction) and we got paid!!

This time around, we're here for 7 days. Our first day was this past Saturday. I was the first one out of John and I to arrive at the house that morning. As soon as I walked in, I was amazed at how quickly I was transported back to two months ago. The smell of the house, random rooms where I collapsed on the floor crying, the bathroom where I took long showers wondering how I was going to make it through the rest of the day, the living room where I restarted my 30 Day Shred regimen trying to lose the few pounds and get the stress out, the pool that I stared at because I wasn't allowed to go swimming because of the surgery, the kitchen where I heated up meals people gave us or made TV dinners for us because I didn't have energy for anything more, etc etc etc

Wow.

I am one of those people that for some reason, I take a smell and instantly connect it to a memory. It can be something as simple as, thinking I am buying a new deodorant, applying it and instantly remembering it is the scent I wore while dating John. Then, before I know it, I remember the feeling of dating some cute guy named John ;o)

Or, it can be walking into the home that I tried to recover from my miscarriage in and the scent instantly takes me back to the despair of those few weeks following that extremely dark time. And, wow, was it dark.

And, once again, the Lord's timing is perfect. I am so glad we're here housesitting again. God has used it to show me how far He has brought us since October 8th. I am not quite sure that I would have ever realized how much God really has healed our hearts. Now, don't get me wrong, He's definitely not done yet. It is still very tender and it's just going to take more time. But, I have gotten to a place where I can at least function throughout the day.

Today was one of my rougher days (since today was the 2 month mark) and I am still so much better off than I would have been 2 weeks afterwards. I was able to take care of the house and dogs today (which, the last time we here, John did most of everything). I was able to make a real dinner with a new recipe (and it turned out super yummy which was nice). I was able to even watch A Baby Story or two (on Discovery Health and/or TLC, my favorite channels that we don't get at home since we don't have cable!).

It's been a very sad day. That's the best way I can describe it, just sad. But, my adjectives two months ago would have been much more depressing. And, I do believe that I will always hold that this is just very sad. Therefore, I think I am finally settling into life post-losing your first child. I am figuring out how to live life when everyone else pregnant around me is finding out the gender of their child and I should know by now. I am learning how to accept that it's just not a part of the story for my first baby and it never will be. And, somehow, that's becoming okay.

Lord, hold my baby tonight!! And, let baby Phillips know that I am still in love and still miss my baby like crazy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mary, Did You Know?

My two most favorite Christmas songs in the whole world are "O, Holy Night" and "Mary, Did You Know?". I guess I have just always felt like they both capture all that was known and unknown that night. Both songs exhibit different emotions and thoughts of that special night in Bethlehem. Every time I hear either of these songs my brain and heart are immersed in thoughts of what that first Christmas must have looked like.

Every year I have always pondered on Mary at Christmastime. Maybe it's because all of my years prior I have thought how insane it would be to find out you're pregnant and have never even been intimate with a man! Haha. Seriously, think about it! And, this year...well, this year I am thinking about Mary's role in a whole new light...

She carried Jesus in her womb for nine months. Nine long months Mary could have dealt with morning sickness, backaches, waking up in the middle of the night just because she had to pee, mood swings, a growing tummy, a chubby face, and to end the whole thing, excruciating pain to push out that baby! But, then, there He was...her baby. She could finally see what He looked like. She finally got to hold Him tight. He arrived the same as any other human, but at the same time, completely different.

Then, these men of prestige show up with some pretty kickin' (might I add, expensive) gifts. I know what would have gone through my mind..."Um, how did you get the address of this manger?" Did reality set back in when these men came from afar to worship? Did she realize, "oh, that's right, this isn't just my baby"? Did she have a sense of overwhelming love for this baby that she waited nine months to see, just to remember that this child will have a purpose of no baby's destiny before?

Mary, did you have any clue that your baby would one day help me to pick up the pieces of my broken heart?
Mary, did you know that the Son you carried in your womb for nine months and took care of for so many years, would one day take care of me when I had to peel myself off of an ultrasound table?
Mary, did you ever wonder if that tiny little baby of yours would heal the hearts of everyone that would turn to Him?
Mary, did you ever begin to understand that over 2000 years later there would be a girl strangely jealous that you got to hold your first baby and she never did?
Mary, did you know that you would be able to see that girl's baby in Heaven before she ever got the chance to lay eyes on her child?
Mary, did it really hurt as bad as I'm imagining when they took your boy and hung Him on the cross?
Mary, how did you deal with the pain of those three days?
Mary, did you still hurt and miss Him even after you knew He conquered death?
Mary, did you ever think that people would actually come to love your precious baby as much as you did the night that you first laid eyes on Him?
Mary, did you know there would be a girl in Orlando, Florida on the evening of December 3, 2009 that could only find solace in the absolutely perfect baby that you bore into the world?

I think that every year I will always reflect on Mary and what it must have been like for her. But, I think that this year will always be the one that was a little bit different. I am so grateful that Mary was obedient to have that baby. I am so grateful that, even though it was tough, she knew that God had a plan for her child that she could never begin to grasp this side of Heaven. I think I can learn a lot from her this Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NO More Weeping!

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son." Revelation 21:3-7


We read this passage one week to the day from when we miscarried the baby. We read this as our candle was lit in remembrance of our little one. It brought so much comfort and power that evening. But, then...


I never read it again. And, for a reason.


That reason was the simple fact that the idea of our baby being in Heaven was just a reminder that our baby will never be here with us. 


One day I was looking for a Christian book about miscarriages. I came across a book that had all of these illustrations of a childlike appearing angel holding a baby all wrapped in white. And, the words that read on the pages sounded good, but were not Scriptural. Not only did that irritate me, but then I began to realize that those in Heaven get to see my baby before I do. They know if our child is a boy or a girl. And, that just irked me a little bit.


Okay, maybe it irked me to the point of screaming at the angels that could hear me..."You just fly on up to Heaven and report back that none of your types are allowed to hold my baby!! Only Jesus can and any family members of John and I!! That's IT!" Then, I laughed at the fact that any angel assigned to me probably rolls their eyes on a regular basis at the bizarre things I scream. But, I meant it. And, hopefully there's not an angel reading over my shoulder right now, because I probably still agree with that idea, hehe. 


But, something has shifted over the last few days. The idea of no more weeping has taken on a whole new meaning.


Last night, I was telling John how, with each year, the older we get, there is so much more to weep about. Each year, you learn of somehow else diagnosed with cancer, another person losing their job, more funerals to attend, someone that used to be close to Jesus just walks away, more divorces, someone loses their baby, and the list goes on... Each year, there's going to be more to cry about. The closer I walk with Jesus, the more opposition and therefore, suffering, I am going to face.


It's funny how the more in love with Jesus you get, the more things seem to fall apart around you. And, if it wasn't for that insane, growing love for my Savior, I would stay pretty mad at Him. My old camp pastor came to speak to the students about a month ago. I actually had an extremely rough couple of days and wasn't even planning to go that night. But, he talked about doubting God. He talked about how the closer we get to Jesus, the easier it is to doubt Him. When you hear about all of those junky things I listed above, that you start to become hurt because you know the depth of the love of Jesus. And, that extreme, pursuing love of Jesus just seems totally opposite for Him to allow those bad things to happen. Then, he went on further to say, "Don't let the unexplainable in life to cloud the undeniable about God."


Sometimes, you just gotta step out on faith, even when you don't want to.


And, here I am. Slowly (very slowly) slipping back into some sense of normalcy after all of this craziness of the last 2 months. I have an anticipation and appreciation of Heaven more than I ever have in my entire life.


I have done more weeping the last 2 months (heck, even this week!) than I have in my whole life. But, the Lord has reminded me these last few days, that one day, where my baby is waiting, that there will be no more weeping. Not a single stinkin' tear. Not one more breakdown on a bathroom floor. No hurt. No pain. No more suffering. 


A place where Jesus will be in His rightly exalted place. A place that my baby will have only known. A place that I long for now. If you asked me about Heaven a few years back, I probably would have said that I would like to get married, have kids, and live a little before I get there. Now, I greatly anticipate the place where I will finally get to see Jesus face to face. And, until I get there, I want to work on bringing as many people with me as I possibly can. 


And, another thing I am working on, until I get there, is handing my husband, my baby, and any possible future babies into the care of Jesus. I need to be willing to love Jesus more than any of those people. I need to be willing to hand them right on over back to the One that created them, every single day of the rest of my life. 


I follow the blog Bring the Rain (and I suggest you check it out) and she is currently pregnant after her last baby lived less than a full day. Her last post talked about her struggle in trusting the Lord right now. How she has tried to do this on her own, because the last time she let the Lord handle it, her baby didn't make it. Wow, how tough is that? And, I am learning how to let the Lord handle things, even when I don't want him to. 


God allowed for my baby to only live in my womb a short while, before taking our little one to Heaven. And, I am now learning to accept that and actually be excited of the idea of some distant place of no more weeping. A place that my baby has experienced in full.


On this post-Thanksgiving weekend, I'm thankful for the opportunity to experience Heaven one day. And, I'm thankful for my new expectant heart to spend an eternity there! If you want more information on how I have the certainty of going to Heaven one day, please email me at jemarsz03@aol.com and I would love to chat about it more!



Sunday, November 22, 2009

He Loves Me

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9 [emphasis mine]


The last several days I have been overwhelmed with a truth that seems to be such an elementary Christian principle...


God's love. 


I'm not quite sure that I have ever felt this enveloped with His love as I have the last few days. As life hurries on by, I think about how I was supposed to be 17 weeks today, the holidays have somehow already shown up, and  how I had an awkward conversation with someone I bumped into that asked me extremely random questions about my miscarriage...I feel an insane sense of God's pursuing love in a way I never have before. 


I think it all started with the lines of the same worship songs that I have been listening to over and over and over again this last month. I have needed songs to push me to Jesus when I sure as heck don't feel like walking to Him. And, here's what I've kept hearing...


"He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, 
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us" -David Crowder



"No one has ever known
This kind of love You've shown
There has never been a greater love
Than Your son
No, Not one" -Christy Nockels



"I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were crying too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet" -David Crowder


"Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight
And, all the twinkling starry hosts
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels Heaven can boast" -Christy Nockels

"And this is my prayer through the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flame
And, I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain" -Hillsong United

This last one, by Hillsong United, reminded me of those verses I put at the beginning. I want, no need, to have the faith that is proved more worth than gold. I do not want to go through all of this junk and not end up on the other side with this kind of faith. I really do want that kind of faith. I sure don't feel like I am anywhere near it right now. But, how much would it stink to look back on these moments a few years from now and think,

"Wow, that miscarriage really broke me. It broke me to the point of never being the same again. And, because of that, here I am. Miles and miles away from the One that tried to carry me through it."

And, beeeelieve me, I have been pretty close to having that statement be true of me.

Even though it's tough to think at times this could be possible, this is what I want to say to when I look back at these moments a few years from now,

"Wow, that miscarriage really broke me. It broke me to the point of never being the same again. And, because of that, here I am. I'm still resting in the arms of the One that carried me through it. That first baby He gave me has changed my life in a way that has forever brought people to His same redeeming love that He shed on me."

Oh Lord, let the second be said of me.

The other day, I thought a lot about how much I love John. Good grief, I can't even begin to express the depth of my love for that man. Sure, he drives me crazy sometimes (had to include that in there, husband!), but I have never felt such a strong love for another human being in my entire life. I would literally, 100% do anything for that man. And, I think my brain exploded when I thought of the simple fact that God loves me more than the love I have for John. Then, the tiny remaining pieces of my brain exploded again when I thought that God loves my baby more than I do. There's a strange peace that has come with these all so basic truths of the God I am so desperately trying to serve.

He just wants to me lay the junk down and really let Him love me through all of this. I'm not so good at that. I am an overachiever through and through. The thought of not doing 110% at something or displeasing someone's expectations of me can be more than enough to bear. And, from the moments I walked out of that doctor's office on October 6th, just trying to make it to the car before I lost it, I have felt like I have not handled this in my normal, over-spiritual self.

It's almost like when I totaled my car at the age of 17. I was so terrified to call my mom and tell her that my car was now smashed upside down after flipping three times. I thought, "oh crap, she's gonna KILL me". Of course I finally called and she never once mentioned anything about the car being totaled. She could care less because her daughter was okay. Once I got over the fact that I potentially disappointed my mom and realized that she just loved me and wanted to hug me and check to make sure I was okay, I was able to really let my mom hold me and I could cry and cry over how scared I was, how I didn't know what to do next. And, she completely accepted me. And, she never once mentioned all of the insurance woes, the money lost, the medical bills, etc.

That's how I feel right now. I'm finally getting over the fact that God doesn't care if I haven't read my Bible much through all of this. He doesn't care that I am not excited to sit in a pew and see a bunch of happy faces, complete with beautiful newborns getting pushed in a stroller. He doesn't blame me for this baby's death, even though I have struggled with that many times over, wondering if it's all my fault. Which, by the way, is ever so convenient for the enemy because my pit is always thinking everything is all my fault.

But, instead, my Jesus, He cares about me curling up in a ball and completely letting Him take care of me.

I am sitting here teary eyed right now just thinking about how much He loves me. How much He loves my husband. How much He loves my precious baby. How much He loves you. That one song up there by David Crowder, "All I Can Say", could have been written by me. Lord, I didn't even know You were right there crying with me, too. Even those times I cried out in severe anger and hurt towards You. I never knew You were crying, too. And, You still loved me...

Jesus, I've never seen You, but I do love You. Just like that verse. And, the crazy thing is, I know that you love me more than I could ever even begin to fathom. Help me to never ever become numb to the fact that You love me with a strong love. Teach me how to love my husband and others the way You desire for me to love them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Stupid Day

Can an inanimate object, like a day, be stupid? Technically, probably not. Realistically, absolutely, especially if you're talking about a day like today.

You know how one small thing can ruin a whole day? Whenever I'm out at a restaurant or holding a door for someone or whatever, I try to smile. I try to speak kind words. Now, a lot of times than not, I probably fail at this, but when I don't know someone well, I try to be sweeter than my normal self. Mainly because I know that you never know what someone else is going through. I even remember doing my best to be sweet to the poor ultrasound lady that discovered our baby stopped growing. For some reason I've been thinking about this a lot the last few days, but I remember thinking how tough it must be for her to have to break that news to someone. And, I remember telling her thank you several times, hoping that even just a glimmer of Jesus could shine through in those horrendous moments.

Yesterday, I had my first dentist appointment in a million years. I was scared to death. Not about the pain, but about everything that they might found wrong with my teeth (which was only one small cavity, praise Jesus!). The dental hygienist and the dentist were so amazingly sweet and made me feel really comfortable. The lady (the hygienist) was so precious. She had no idea that I was in tears, missing my baby on the way to her office. She had no idea that the last month and a half have officially been the hardest of my life. Heck, she never even knew that my current non-pregnant looking body was actually pregnant last month. But, she was so sweet and really put me in a brighter mood.

Now, with moments like those, come the complete opposite. Moments where you are just trying to live your life and get through the day. Today was actually one of my better days. So, tonight I actually styled my hair and put on a cute outfit. Lately, I put on a cute outfit and do my hair to try and help myself pretend that I am doing better than I actually feel. But, tonight I really did feel just that confident.

Then, the awkward comment from someone that probably doesn't even know I ran into another room to cover up my tears happened...

In my normal state of mind, I probably would have been annoyed at the conversation, but not duck for cover. But, instead, the most unsuspecting comments lately send me into tears over the actual thing or tears that I am not fully "back to normal" yet. I was just telling John the other day how I have never cried this much over something in my whole life. Part of that is probably because I normally don't cry all that much and the other being that I really am just that sad. And, I feel like I have walked my share of sad times, but nothing quite as bad as this.

In so many different situations, while life buzzes around as normal, I feel like I want to stand up on top of a chair and scream that I'm not okay. I want to scream that even though I dress cute some days or that I make it out to social functions sometimes or that I drag myself to church when bed feels more comfy... I'm not doing all right. Sure, overall, I recognize that I am one blessed woman. Things could be so much more terribly worse than they are; I wholeheartedly know that. And, in some moments, I really am doing good. But, there are definitely moments, usually around other people, where I just feel desperate to explain to everyone that I miss my baby. But, the even more awkward part about all of that is, I don't actually want to talk to them about it at all.

How weird is all of that? I am not even quite sure that any of it makes sense to my own self, let alone anyone else. I really do feel like I have no control over any of it. I still highly recommend C.S. Lewis' "A Grief Observed". In the second to last chapter, he talks about being on the other side of his grief; how he's never going to be 'over it' but that he's settled into a place of remembrance rather than piercing sadness. Then, at the end of that chapter, he writes about how all of that stuff was from yesterday and today life stinks again. I feel like I could have written that. If I wrote this blog earlier today, it would have been much more positive than this one. But, then tonight happened. Oh well.

And, in closing, I'll answer the question that I've heard from a lot of people :o) I know you guys are wondering, so it'll be much easier to just answer it here!

What's in the future? Are you going to go back to school? Or you going to try to conceive? Or what in the world is going on?


As many of you already know, I was supposed to start nursing school at the end of this past August. We found out we were expecting about a week and a half before classes started. Therefore, we decided to not go forward with the schooling at this time because we both wanted me to stay at home with our baybay. Well, obviously things are different now. As of right now, John and I actually discussed in some detail about me going the med school route again. (I was about to take the MCAT when I decided I wanted to stay at home with a family one day instead, then began looking at nursing school). But, we are a no on med school for now and a maybe later for nursing school. I haven't even looked into when I could go back to nursing school (like, if I would be put on a waiting list again). So, who knows, maybe one day on that! But, not anytime soon.

As for trying to conceive again, my body isn't even 100% back to normal from the D&C yet. It pretty much is, but not completely. If you read my mind one moment, then read it again a few moments later, it'll probably be two completely things. I am all over the place about that topic. And, therefore, I am probably not the most rational to make a decision on that quite yet. So, all of that to say, right now as I am typing this, I mourn my first child. I don't desire for another pregnancy or some other child to ever fill the void of my first baby. That's all I know for sure right now and that's all I can tell you with any certainty of the future. Like I've said before, this was not just a pregnancy loss for us, this was a loss of our child. Just like we had no idea what the future held the day we found out our baby stopped growing, we have no idea what the future holds now!

We love all of you and thanks for the continued prayers! I could really use them right now, it's been awfully crazy lately. But, more than anything, I am looking forward to eating like crazy over Thanksgiving break with John's family :o)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Ants Have Taken Over!!



So, our apartment has somehow been completely invaded by ants. The sneaky little guys must have been trained by the special forces of the military because about a million of them invaded completely unnoticed.

Until now.

Well, the war is on. John ran out to buy our own weapons to destroy them with until we can call the office in the morning to kill these terrorists. Hopefully our little traps will be sneakier than their own tactics and they will take the bait right on back to the queen. Wait...do ants have a queen? Hm, maybe they will win this war after all.

While John is currently on his hands and knees doing some spy work on these little buggers to see if they're taking on the bait yet, I'll fill you in on life lately (complete with Dancing With The Stars in the background...and Donny Osmond looks especially creepy this evening) I wanted to tell you guys and show you some pictures of some very special things. Let's see where to begin...

Do you remember the post several back about the hot pink daisy in a bouquet we received a day after the surgery? Well, in case you never read that post, or need a refresher, here's another picture:







We received a beautiful bouquet of fall colored flowers from John's family right after we lost the baby. I love anything fall and it was so pretty. But, I instantly noticed the most odd and out of place flower in a bouquet ever. There was a hot pink daisy among a bunch of garnet and gold. The second I saw it, the second I felt like it was in there for reason. While I was pregnant, especially towards the end, I really began to believe that we were going to have a little girl. So, when I saw the pink flower, I freaked out in my brain. I shared it with John some time before we lit the candle for our baby.



Like, I had said earlier, I am not going to bet anyone a million dollars guaranteeing that our baby was a girl. There's no way to know that. And, if I get to Heaven and am greeted by a precious boy, I am not going to be ticked that I clung to a pink flower in a random bouquet. But, it's helped me in this crazy grieving process. And, one more crazy thing happened...

I think it's been about 2 weeks now that we received a package in the mail. It was a Wednesday night, so I took it up to the church, so John and I opened it together. Inside was this beautiful painting...



This print was ordered by our friend BEFORE I ever posted anything about the pink daisy (and that's the only time I've "talked" about it with anyone except for John). Are you ready for this? This was painted by Freida Petty. Her paintings all come with a devotional. You can find her artwork at http://www.fpettyart.com This particular painting was painted after her daughter-in-law miscarried her baby. It's tough to see in this picture, but if you look closely in the center of the flower, you can see the ultrasound image painted there. Then, the devotional continues on to give encouragement to those that have suffered the loss of a child. Isn't that the most beautiful painting you've ever seen?? I absolutely love it!

Can you believe it's a pink daisy in this painting?? John and I even searched around on the internet to see if maybe pink daisies had something to do with miscarriages. Nope, nada. I just adore this painting and I am glad that our dear friend thought enough of us to go out of her way to get it! I am still in shock at how this whole pink daisy thing has happened. So weird! But, in a good way :o)

Now, here is the set-up on one of the shelves above our TV in the living room



We found the prettiest frame for the painting (which our friend included the cost in the package, so thoughtful! thank you again!). And, we decided to frame our ultrasound picture. We bought a frame for it last night. And, I want to find some pink filler sand to put in the bottom of the vase with the daisy. Sometime soon! But, we do plan to hold onto these four items. I don't want to forget our first baby. I don't want to push aside the life that God entrusted us with for 7 weeks and 5 days. 

Sure, maybe one day the Lord will bless us with children that fulfill their purpose in longer than 7 weeks and 5 days. But, even if we decided to get pregnant right away and we did, that will never be our first child. He or she just won't and that's the reality. And, you know what? I'm finally becoming okay with that. I am finally reaching a place where I will probably accept that pretty soon. Not fully there, but I am closer than I was 4.5 weeks ago. Does it mean that I will stop being sad that I never got to hold my first baby? No, not at all. But, accepting the fact that God allowed it to happen will be a much more healed place to live.

I have no idea what God is planning for us in the future and I am still hurting that it doesn't include our first baby. But, if the Lord does bless us with more children some day, then they will always know that they have an older brother or sister in Heaven. So, for now, I am happy that our baby has at least one framed picture, a candle in his/her honor, a beautiful flower in a pretty vase, and a gorgeous painting. There's a peace in knowing there are physical items that will stay with us forever, on display, for everyone to see our first baby.

That's it for tonight!

Oh, the ants, I think we can't determine at the moment who is winning this battle. Well, John is currently playing a game on his iPhone while sitting in his chair. So, the lounging around either means he feels that he is winning and isn't worried about it OR it means that he's losing and has given up. Hmm, well at least they're in the living room and not our bedroom?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Love of My Life!











On November 7, 1983, the man of my dreams was born! And, the crazy thing is that I wasn't even born yet to be able to dream about him :o) I am so grateful that two people fell in love and brought my amazing husband into this world. I am forever grateful to the Lord and John's parents for bringing him into this world.

As we celebrate his birthday today, I am even more glad that he was born than I could have ever imagined. This time last year, we had only been dating a couple of months. Now, here we are married for 4 months! I am so glad he popped the question in February and I am so amazingly proud to be his wife.

He is so many things I wish I could be...he has a creativity that comes so naturally in his work. I am always taken aback by the videos he can create, his graphics, his webwork, everything! I always hoped that I would marry a man whose work I could be proud of and wow did I get what I wanted! I can sincerely say that I think he is the absolute best at what he does and not just because he's my husband ;o)

He takes care of me without thinking about it twice. My husband is such a great provider for us. He takes side jobs and makes whatever cut in his own part of our money if it means a new pair of jeans will lift my mood. I am so thankful that he would work so hard and consider providing for me and my security as his most important goal in life.

Through our yucky trial lately, he has taken care of me and done so many extra little things without even complaining once. I am a complaining type of person and am completely taken aback that he would selflessly take care of me, even when he's hurting himself. I am so in love that he would take care of me and not let me feel guilty for a second.

My husband would have made the absolute best father for our baby. When we were at Disney yesterday, we were in a store looking at all of the cutesy princess stuff when he said, "wow, if we ever have a little girl, we can't take her into this store. She would just have to look at me and ask me for something and I'll buy it! I would say, Ella, well, I mean, okay..." I just laughed and I know it's absolutely true. He will be the type of dad that I prayed many times for my future husband.

John, I never thought I could actually say this to be true, but I love you now more than ever. You know that fantastic song by Brad Paisley I always make you listen to? "Then"? It is so true. I couldn't stop staring when I first met you. I thought I loved you once we started dating. I thought I loved you the night you asked me to be your wife. I thought I loved you the day I married you. I thought I loved you the day I found out we were pregnant. I thought I loved you the day we lost the baby. I thought I loved you yesterday. But, I love you today more than any of those days. "What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more, but I've said that before..." I love you. One thing that I do know is that I am THE most grateful person on the planet today that you were born today 26 years ago. Thanks for walking life with me and I can't wait to walk the next 26 years with you...

Friday, November 6, 2009

He is There...

Today John and I headed out to Disney to meet up with some co-workers of the church. It was not really planned on our end because I was supposed to babysit today, but it was cancelled last minute. First, we headed on over to Hollywood Studios (which actually may be John and I's favorite) and then we made our way to Epcot for the rest of the day.

The beginning of the day, the crew we were with hit up the thrill rides first. I have no shame in the fact that I hate, no loathe, any type of thrill ride. I could care less if other people wanna ride, but not my deal. Therefore, John and I grabbed some ice cream (yuummm, hot fudge is WAY better than Tower of Terror). Then, we wandered and did the Animation Studios tour which we've never done before. Once we were wrapping up our non-scary, but rather delightful venture into animation, we met up with the rest of the gang to watch the one and only Indiana Jones show. It's a pretty cool stunt show, not gonna lie. Sometimes I wish I could do cool stunts like falling off the side of a building, to really land on a bunch of mats. But, let's face reality, I would rather eat a hot fudge sundae then ride Tower of Terror which poses no real risk, so I would be the most scaredy cat stuntswoman in the world. Anyways, I digress...

So, there we are, Indiana Jones is about to start, we're in the third row and feeling like we're practically in the show and I'm holding up the end of the row. It's about to start, the music is pumping, Indiana is about the make his grand entrance by falling from the ceiling and it all hits me...

Noooo, not now. Please, just not now.


The last time John and I went to the show (which was my first time since I was a little girl) I was pregnant. I was pregnant and only a few people knew. The last time we were there I sat and wondered if our first child would be a little boy. I thought about how much John loved to dress up like Indiana Jones and how, if we had a little boy, we would absolutely need to buy him the whole get-up so he can be just like Indiana! I thought about how much his daddy would love to pretend and play Indiana Jones with his first son.  I thought about how much his daddy would love to sit down with him one day and play him all of his old favorite movies, like Indiana Jones.

Out of nowhere, front and center in a stadium where hundreds of people are excited to be at Disney and to see this cool show, I start to panic. Then, the tears started.

Nooo, I can't do this here. Not right now...


I look in the two rows in front of us and there are three boys of different ages all in extreme awe as Indiana fell through the ceiling and navigated his way through a bunch of traps set up. They all sat there in the most innocent joy and really witnessed the magic that only Disney can create. And, I sat there crying and remembering that I'll never get to see my child have that kind of wonder. What things would have made our child react that way? What would he or she have wanted to dress up as? Would he or she be a scaredy cat like me when it comes to rollercoasters or have their daddy's "not a big deal" attitude about thrill rides?

Why don't I get to hold my baby?? Why?!


As soon as the tears began to come in thick, I buried my face in John's chest. I kept thinking, I hope no one sees me, especially the actor's on the stage! I honestly don't think anyone saw me, but I was balling my eyes out during a stupid show at Disney. I kept trying to catch my breath and I had so many moments where I thought, "what if I can't stop crying? Do I run up these metal stairs to try and get away?"

Then, I began thinking of a few random moments of insensitivity we've had from several people lately. I have no doubt in my mind that any of those moments were not meant to be harmful to us, but they keep ringing in my head. It keeps haunting me and I sometimes I wonder if it'll stop blaring in my brain. It's so hurtful and it's tough to know the right way to handle it. That's probably one of the things I am struggling with the most right now. I have no clue at all how to handle that and then I have very selfish moments thinking that I shouldn't have to handle anything right now except for the loss of our baby. I shouldn't have to deal with other people saying dumb things or not thinking of me first...how easy is it to think of only yourself admist a trial? Believe me, I still think I'm right about these situations and I can convince you with a million reasons why, but it shouldn't matter. It is the toughest for me to pursue righteousness in ALL situations when I can barely get out of bed. For lots of people they find it tough to pursue godliness when everything is just going normal, but I don't always cling to the Lord first in junkiness. That's when I go,

"Really, Lord? Are you kidding me? This person and that person don't even love You the way I love You! Haven't I been through enough before? I mean, seriously. I can give you a list of at least a hundred dark valleys I have walked through while remaining faithful and now this?"


And, I feel His reply ever so softly over and over and over again...

"Jennifer, I need you to trust Me. Look at My word. See anyone mentioned in there that didn't deal with junk in their own lives? This person and that person that you think are just skating through life, does that really have anything to do with YOUR relationship with ME? I have this under control...

I was there when you were pregnant and didn't even know it yet...

I was there when I formed those cells to come together and show off how I can create human life...

I was there when you took those tests and almost passed out wondering if you could be a good mom...

I was there when you were so nervous to tell John about your baby that I knew before I laid down the foundations of the earth...

I was there every time you felt ill as I was continuing to form your child...

I was there when you had that first ultrasound and every fear was laid to rest...

I was there when I formed that undying love in you as you watched your baby's beating heart and saw the little body I had made inside of you...

I was there when I allowed your baby to stop growing and you didn't even know it yet...

I was there when you cried out to Me on behalf of the child that you didn't even know was already with Me...

I was there when you were so excited to head to your doctor's appointment that horrible morning...

I was there when the worst fear you've had since a teenager of not being able to have children was realized as you witnessed your child's heart to be no longer beating...

I was there when you held onto the tissue that used to be your baby at 4:30am that horrible morning...

I was there when you were waiting for your surgery with more fear and devastation than you've ever felt before...

I have been there EVERY TIME you have fallen apart, every thought you've had of giving up, every insensitive comment from someone else, every conversation where you find it easier to make jokes of your miscarriage rather than deal with the devastating truth, every time you try to act like you have it all together when you would much rather crawl in a hole...

But, more importantly, I have been there every single time you have chosen not to turn to Me with all of your hurts and struggles. I am there and pursuing you when you don't choose to pursue Me. I love you. And, I love the baby I created for you and John more than you ever could...

Your husband is mine. Your baby is mine. And, YOU are mine. I'm not letting you go that easy. Hang on, we'll get there..."

Jesus, please, I beg you, please...hold my baby tonight. I don't know how all of that works and I could honestly not care about any theology at the moment. I just need You to hold my baby tonight. And, since You're God and all...can You hold me, too? I know You're already there and have been there, but please, just hold us both tonight.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Life As Of Late

Has it really been this long since I've posted a blog?? I've thought about it several times if that counts for anything. There have been so many moments where time seems like it is flying by so fast in a whirlwind and there are other times where it feels like time is not moving at all. This is just such a strange place to be in, but I can't even explain how happy I get in the random moments of normalcy.

First, I will fill you in on the good stuff that's been happening lately! Probably the biggest thing has been that I got a part time job! Honestly, I think the only people that even know that are John and my mom. Before we were done housesitting, I had a total freakout moment that we were going back home and I would just be sitting around all day sad. Therefore, I went online and applied to Macy's for a seasonal part-time job. I interviewed two days later and she hired me on the spot. I was really looking for something that's not going to be a career or something that I could easily get out of if I hated it. I have already had orientation and tomorrow I have register training. I am actually really excited about it! It's nice to be looking forward to something. Hey, I decided to pick a hobby where we get some extra cash flow, instead of dishing money out for my momentary lapse of wanting to learn how to decorate cakes. I quickly reminded myself that I have no artistic talent whatsoever and it would probably be smarter to get money rather than spend more of it.

The second positive thing has been my workout schedule lately. I have been working out pretty regularly (which I completely ditched the second I got pregnant, haha). I can already see a little muscle definition in my arms which makes me sing hallelujah! You know how everyone has that one thing about their body where they think, "only if...". Well, I have always wanted what I call Kate from LOST arms. That's right, I want to randomly flex, I mean rest my arm over my head against a doorframe and make everyone say whooooa. Don't judge. And, I can say that I am closer now to that than I have ever been. Still not to the Kate from LOST status, but I'll keep ya updated.

The third positive thing would be the extra special gifts we have gotten recently. I want to dedicate a whole post to these two items, so I'll leave it there for now! The truth is, I want to take pictures of them and post them on here when I write about it. And, right now, I am too lazy to do that :o)

Now, for the yuckiness of life lately...

Last Tuesday evening, three weeks to the day that we found out our precious baby stopped growing, I completely lost it. Isn't strange how you can think that you've reached a certain milestone of being okay and then completely lose it all over again? Not even kidding y'all, one would've thought I had just found out. I had no idea I could cry like that again. The same kind of non-understandable noises I made the night of the miscarriage, came back again. I mean, I thought that kind of stuff was only movie material. Apparently not. John peeled me off the floor (I am pretty sure he thought something else was wrong in the beginning because it was so sudden, before I knew it was crying and screaming no, then hit the floor) and I laid down in bed. I tried to go to sleep and every time I closed my eyes, images were flooding through my brain all over again. Total, complete panic and heartbreak like the very first night. And, it just felt like everything was blurry. Again. I watched a bunch of TV with John until I finally passed out at who knows what time.

The next day (last Wednesday) was another complete blur. No shower. No makeup. Nothing but a t-shirt and gym pants. I know I smelled horrible. And, I don't doubt that I looked a mess. It's so funny though how when you're in the middle of something, you could stinking care less if you are presentable or not. I somehow found strength to go to church that night and when I came home and looked in the mirror, I had a flash to looking in the mirror the day of my surgery. I literally had no sleep the night before the surgery and when we had the miscarriage. When I looked in the mirror that day, I wanted to just cry all over again because I really didn't know someone could even physically look as heartbroken as I did that day. Well, apparently it can make a second appearance because last Wednesday was pretty rough, too.

I can honestly say that I did not walk that week with as much grace (if you want to call it that) as I did the week we actually did get the news. I have struggled through this, I am not going to lie to you. BUT, I can say that God has given my strength even in the moments where I refuse to recognize that it is coming directly from Him. He really is jealous for me. And, I feel it. Even when I don't want to know He's there, He shows up. There are some days where I feel like I am hanging by a thread, but I do know the One that's holding that thread.

There are some moments, in such extreme pain, that I find myself wondering if I will ever "get over this". I mean, "Come on, Jennifer. Big deal. You'll get the chance to have a baby one day. Other people have gotten through it without all of this fuss. There are so many people that didn't even know you were pregnant, so it's not even worth your own thought" Some moments, I feel so pulled in two directions. I know those thoughts are crazy, you don't have to tell me it's okay, I know the truth. It's just hard to feel the truth sometimes. I just need to ignore those thoughts or when someone is so completely insensitive (whether they realize they are or not), I need to let myself just be in those moments. John is so much at discernment. I have always declared that is the last of my spiritual gifting. Well, maybe mercy is the least and then discernment right above it :o) But he's so much better about sifting through dumb thoughts or people's intentions. Maybe it'll rub off on me some!

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since we found out the news. Once again, feels like time is rushing by one day and the next it feels like time is standing still. But, despite my total breakdown last week, productive time really is helping to heal. And, I say productive meaning that John and I have both taken active parts in working through our grief rather than pushing it aside. Because, I do not believe that time heals anything. But, I think if you do things to heal, then over time, it helps. We're getting there, even though I would still consider myself pretty unstable, haha.

Love y'all and thank you for the continued prayers!! It helps to know that our precious little one was so loved :o)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roses Among The Thorns

Late last night, John said to me, "It's been a while since you've written a blog, right?" I laughed at the thought that 'it's been a while' for a blog has become a mere two days, haha. The past two days have been full of roller coaster ups and downs. For part of the day I'll feel great and the other part of the day I'll feel terrible. Dr. Peppy informed us that after the D&C it'll probably take 2 weeks before my hormones begin to equal out again. Two weeks will be tomorrow, so it'll be interesting to watch my moods the following week.

I have officially been in the anger phase of grief since about 2 days after the surgery. The funny thing is, I only have momentary lapses of being angry with God. I mostly just get mad at other people. The guy on the road that cut us off and laughed about it, the morons (excuse my name-calling) at Sears that could not seem to get their act together to help me simply get my oil changed so my mom could take me shopping to get my mind off of life, the retarded vacuum cleaner that I almost tripped over the other day, people's comments (even though they probably don't realize how bad it sounds) and the list goes on and on and on...In normal life, I can get pretty much keep my act together. But, right now, I feel like I need to purchase a punching bag to take out all of my anger. So, if you see me start to tense up, just run!! You might end up in my line of fire... ;o)

So, with all of the ridiculous-ness and my ticked off-ness, I have decided to make a list of all of the roses among the thorns lately. There have been so many tiny (and HUGE) blessings along the way that I can so easily dismiss when I start to get mad at the morons (whoops, am I still namecalling?) at Sears...

1) At 7 weeks 4 days, John and I rushed to the doctor's office because I had some bleeding and cramping. That's when everything was completely normal with baby Phillips. A strong heartbeat and growth on track. When the doctor had examined me before that ultrasound, he had told us that if we didn't see a heartbeat, we would not think the worst, but try to sit down and play around with the due date, maybe it just wasn't time for the heart to beat yet. If our little one's heart had not been beating yet, we probably would've had to wait at least a week for another ultrasound to check on the little one. That week would have been torturous, heck, that one day of questioning was terrible enough. So, John and I have both said how happy we were that our first ultrasound was okay.

2) We were both glad (doesn't seem like the right word considering the situation, but you get the idea) that we were blindsided with the situation in the best way. We weren't planning on the ultrasound that day and we didn't suspect one bad thing. I mean, John wasn't even going to come to that appointment! I told him to just skip it, I am so glad that God changed my mind to have him come to that visit. If we would've found out the bad news that first ultrasound, we were already a wreck so it probably wouldn't have been the best. But, the fact that we were blindsided, kinda helped us from wailing and making a scene in the doctor's office.

3) Also, I began to bleed a little right after that doctor's appointment (when we found out) and the very next night, the heavy bleeding began. I could not imagine the terror if our doctor's appointment was just a few days later, we thought nothing was wrong, and then I started bleeding and cramping so heavy in the middle of the night. God timed our doctor's appointment perfectly with us finding out the news.

4) As strange as this sounds, we are glad I began bleeding and had the baby at home the day before the D&C. We strongly felt the D&C was the right decision (and still do), but we were glad that the Lord let us experience both. That way, we didn't have any second guesses if our little one still had a chance or not.

5) God gave us a wonderful doctor that we had never even met 3 months ago. He has been excited with us, mourned with us, and cheered us on for the future. I actually shadowed an obstetric unit for a week in my pre-med days and I know how woman after woman comes in with miscarriages. I know that Dr. Peppy sees healthy pregnant women all the time and also has to break bad news to people all the time. Yet, it doesn't change his level of excitement or his level of grief for each individual baby. It's been nice to feel like a friend instead of just another patient. Is it weird that the only reason I have wanted to get pregnant again right away is to be back in Dr. Peppy's office? Don't tell him how weird I am :o)

6) John and I have the strongest marriage of any 3 month newlywed I have ever met! In our extremely short time of marriage, we have celebrated the excitement of having our first child. We dreamt together of whom our child will take after, will he or she have curly hair?, and how much we loved a clump of splitting and reproducing cells. And, we have also walked the torment of losing our first child. We never prepared for this road before we got married and I think we've done pretty good. We have balled our eyes out together, we've done our best to be strong when the other one is weak, we have had our arguments out of grief where we both just end up crying because we're just dealing with that anger I talked about, and we have lifted each other up before the Lord when the one doesn't have strength to lift their own self up. I had NO idea that I could ever love John more than I did on our wedding day. Wow, was I wrong! I thought I loved him then, but I would walk the lowest of valley's with that man any day (even though I hope for more mountaintops!).

7) Our housesitting gig, while completely crazy at times, has been a good thing. I had my surgery on Thursday and that Sunday was our first day of housesitting. It's been good to not be at home. I am a little scared to go back and be there every day, but God will give me the strength when it's time. But, our housesitting was at the perfect time to feel like I am on a mini vacation! It'll be even better tomorrow when I am finally allowed to go swimming in their pretty pool :o)

8) We kept our pregnancy a secret in the beginning for a reason. If we happened to miscarry we didn't want a million people saying how sorry they were (still feel that way), BUT our story has helped a lot of people. I have been shocked at how many texts, Facebook messages, emails, calls, etc I have received from people that have found some solace in these blog posts. Honestly, I began writing my feelings on here because it was easier to tell people to go check the blog rather than say our baby died. And, it's been helpful for me to think through my feelings every day and get them written out. And, we decided to make these journals public because that way I don't have to answer a hundred questions of how we are doing. Also, it's easier for out of town family to feel like they are walking this right next to us to know how we're doing everyday. But, I had no clue how many people would be encouraged in the Lord through some of my ramblings on here. And, the coolest thing is that most of those people are not dealing with a miscarriage right now but some have a husband that walked out on them, some are dealing with depression, some have a long term illness, some have just plain not been following Jesus in everything that they should, and the list goes on. So, even though I was really upset at first that God would allow us to tell people about our pregnancy and then a week later find out all of this, He knew what He was doing. He knew that people needed to watch us go through our grief so that they may grow closer to the One that created them (and our baby!). It has been crazy to see some of the responses and know that I am praying for you!

9) The Lord has shaken me up to realize my always constant desperate need of Him. My quiet times were haphazard during the pregnancy and my reason was because I was "just too sick". I think my prayer life kept up enough to par, but reading my Bible and my involvement in church dwindled. Now, while I do believe there is some validity to being too sick for some things and God understands, I knew I could have done more and God was asking me to and I didn't. God forgives and I have moved past that, but God has used this yucky situation to realize that I am always in desperate need of Him. Yes, I really do mean always...good times and bad times, just as much desperate need of Him. God is teaching me a lot and I am thankful for that.

10) Last, but not least, the Lord gave us the most precious first child we could have ever asked Him for. The last two days I have thought a lot about the fact that this child had the chance to go straight to Heaven. I mean, could a mother really ask for anything more? My baby never had to learn from me how to follow Jesus, baby Phillips now has the chance to learn from Jesus Himself. Of course I still wish I had the chance to teach Jesus to our little one, but our foremost prayer before this child was even conceived was that our children would come to know the Lord at an early age. While I never imagined this would happen, our first baby followed Jesus at such an early age! And, in the words of King David after he lost his baby, "But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:23) Yes, I wish our baby could come back to me, but instead I will go to you one day baby Phillips.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beautiful Weather Tries to Heal a Torn Heart

I am not sure that the weather could be any more perfect right at this moment. I just let the dogs out to do their business (still housesitting) and I didn't want to come back inside. The sun is beginning to set, so there's a perfect glow and a crisp wind blowing around. I can't believe how perfect those few moments felt. No near panic attacks (like earlier today at church), no saddened heart over what's been lost, no wondering what our next step should be, no avoiding phone calls like I've done the last 24 hours (I love all of you, I'm just not sure I have much to say right now), no sadness, just a momentary feeling like all was right with the world. I wish I could just bottle up this weather so that whenever I have a day like this one, I can at least have the weather to cheer me up. Even if it's just a few moments of feeling like my life isn't completely upside down, I'll take it!


Today was another day where I woke up and knew it wouldn't be good. But, I really did my best to push that feeling away and get excited for church. Yes, I have made it the last two weeks. John and I saw our senior pastor in the back hallway right as the service was beginning. He spotted us and the second he made eye contact with us, I had to fight tears. I was pretty close to losing it in the hallway. Golly, how quickly I can turn from holding it all together, to near meltdown. It just felt so safe to be upset right in that moment. Our senior pastor is an extremely caring and godly man, so it felt okay to have a weak moment in front of him. He told us he had been praying for us (he called John last week and prayed over the phone) and we are meeting with him tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to it, I think it'll be good. And, I still plan to follow my no mascara rule of the last two weeks, because I never know when I am going to cry! While black tears would probably accurately show how I feel, the streaky aftermath is not so attractive :o)


Church got me thinking today about joy. I sat down in the back row (so many back row Baptists jokes went through my head as we sat there today, but I digress...) and stayed in my seat while I everyone reached their feet and clapped over God giving joy in the middle of bad times. I am not joyful right now and I think that's okay. Follow me here...I have a lot to be joyful about and I am grateful to the Lord for so many blessings (including many blessings He has given through this storm). But, I am not to the stage of dancing around the building in rejoicing to the Lord. The Bible says to "Rejoice always and again I say rejoice", but, I also know that there is a "time and season for everything under Heaven", including grief. Like I said earlier, "weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning". Currently, I am still in the nighttime. And, I believe that God's okay with that. You know how I know?


Jesus.


Before He died on that cross, He asked the Father if there was any way that cup could be removed from Him. He wasn't exactly doing cartwheels of joy in the garden when He was getting ready to die for the sins of the world. The Father let Him know that this was the only way. And, Jesus did it. I don't believe He did through rejoicing that He was so glad He could through this. His rejoicing in those horrendous hours, were through His obedience. He displayed His love for God and for creation by simply walking where God told Him to walk, even when He didn't want to. And, that's what I am doing. I've already asked God if there was another way (after that dreaded ultrasound) and you know what? He said no. Is it the way I wanted to do things? Absolutely not. But, the only thing I know, is that I am walking the road God Himself has asked me to walk on. And, it ain't pretty. But, the cross wasn't pretty either. That tomb didn't start out very pretty either. But, because of the obedience of Jesus, that tomb AND that hideous cross, became the most beautiful symbols this world could ever see. Oh, praise God that Sunday came in full glory! My Sunday is not here yet, but I know that it will. I know that God has the ability to ask us to walk dark roads, but that ability also takes our dark roads and "works it together for good".


I've already seen small glimpses of God's 'working together for good' business, but I know there's more. I also know there's a lot more that I won't see or understand this side of Heaven. And, Jesus felt even lower than me at a point in time. Therefore, I think He was okay with the fact that I didn't jump to my feet with "hallelujah's" this morning. But, He sees my heart pursuing Him and chasing Him and just flat out needing Him right now. He'll bring the joy back in my life. He already gave me a glimpse tonight when I just stepped outside for a few minutes.


I am so thankful that Jesus gave me a true picture of brokenness. It's okay to be broken and to ask for a way out, but if that way out doesn't come, you walk that road. And, at the end of the hurtful road, God works it all out to be a beautiful picture of how He redeems things for good. Oh Lord, redeem this situation for good!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Check Out This New Setup!

My husband turned my blog into something pretty! I just love it! One more reason why I love my husband: he knows how to do computer stuff, while I just give up after one try, haha. So, thank you Mr. John Phillips for making my blog all beautified!

You know how some days you wake up and just know it's going to be a yucky day? That was me today. Literally, from the second I woke up, I felt sad. I mean, come on! Usually it takes a good 30 minutes or an hour until I realize that nothing has changed and my baby is still gone. But, this morning, my lovely brain decided to remind me of the truth within 10 seconds. I sincerely have moments where I freak out and think that these feelings will never end. For example, today I thought much about if or when we get pregnant again. Will I still miss my first baby this much? Every time I take my child to Sunday school or marvel at his/her first steps, will I wish that I also had the chance to see my first baby do those things? Sure, I believe that time will heal a lot, but will I ever really get over the fact that I never got to hold my first child? I don't really believe that there are answers to these questions, but this is just a dumb situation.

Today, John and I went to Disney's Animal Kingdom. I wanted to get out of the house and kick my sad attitude in the butt. Didn't work as well as I would have liked. But, John and I did share some laughs, so I guess it was still worth it. But, several times, when I saw a pregnant woman or a newborn I wondered why I didn't get the chance to have this baby? Once again, not the idea of being pregnant or having a baby (I am praying God blesses us with that in the future), but why I couldn't have THAT baby, my FIRST child. Luckily, those thoughts never stay long. Usually, pretty quickly, the Lord reminds of the fact that He's in control and He has a plan and purpose for every child He has ever created, including my baby. I have no idea what my baby's plan or purpose was, but I am sure it has something to do with teaching mommy and daddy some lessons in how to pursue Jesus on a greater level.

If today wasn't ridiculous enough, I can barely walk. That's right, I am hobbling around like someone that had leg surgery a week ago and not a D&C. Yesterday was a pretty good day, John and I just lounged around all day. It was nice to rest all day because the last few days were pretty tiring. I got the bright idea to begin my workout regimen again in full speed. I am officially insane! I can't even describe how sore I am right now! I did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD yesterday and I think that my ultimate problem is that I used weights that were too heavy. Also, I just plain pushed myself too hard. For the first time ever working out, I felt extremely sick to my stomach. It took about an hour before I felt normal again. Originally I planned to begin the workout every day. But, there was no possible way I could have done that again today. As soon as I'm not this sore, I'll pick back up on the workouts.

Now, for the happier parts of my day! God provides blessings even during heartache. God is still good, even when I complain for most of the day. Well, I got my bracelet today!! Remember the one I told you about? It has three charms, one representing when we conceived (including a crystal in the color of the month we conceived, August), one representing when our baby was transformed (including a crystal of the month we miscarried, October), and one representing when our baby was supposed to be due (including a crystal of the month of our due date, May). I love it! It turned out so well and I am glad it's on my wrist already. Here is a picture!

Here is my new beautiful bracelet! I found it at www.myforeverchild.com




Another blessing today was a package I received from a family that recently moved away from Orlando. I was so blown away that they took the time to send us a gift! It is so precious and I am so taken aback that they thought of us. They sent us "The Clinging Cross". It is a cross that is shaped and formed to fit inside the palm of your hand. It was made to have a tangible way to hold onto the cross when you're going through a tough time. I love it! It fits so perfectly in the palm of my hand and I have no doubt that I'll use it a lot in the near future. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I use it a bunch tonight. Thank you so much for our beautiful gift, Mr. and Mrs. Murray! Here are some pictures!



And, here's how it fits in the palm of my hand




I received even more contacts today of people that lit a candle for baby Phillips! Still so overwhelmingly blessed by all of you! And, if you did it and haven't told us yet, please let us know! I would love to include your name in our baby's scrapbook. As usual, we are so thankful for all of you. We'll keep you up to date and we are praying that God blesses each one of you this evening :o)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lit Candles

Wow. So many people have told us that they lit candles last night in memory of baby Phillips and all of the other precious babies that have passed on to be with Jesus. It has been so encouraging. I fought tears today as three of those people sent us pictures of their candles. We do plan to include those pictures in our scrapbook. I wanted to show all of you the pictures we were sent. And, I also want to say thanks to the people that did light a candle without sending a picture. There are so many more of you that participated and it's been overwhelming. We are such an incredibly blessed couple!

Here is Mary Margaret's candle


Here is the candle from the Chesser household (love the beautiful sign!!)


And, finally, here's the candle from Nana and Pop's house (John's parents)


Baby Phillips was one loved little child. It's been comforting to have people walk this with us. It's nice to know that there are people out there grieving with us. I am hoping to get my bracelet (that I talked about in an earlier post) this weekend. If not, I guess I can make it until next week. Love you guys and thank you again for thinking of all three of us last night!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today has been rough. Last night, starting around 1:00am we really started to feel yucky again. Yesterday, I had a fairly good day. But, once we were all settled in at home, we both had a tough time. We had a long conversation about what to do next and we still just don't have that answer. We know it'll come. But, when we woke up this morning, the feeling of despair was still hanging around. Ugh, what a terrible way to wake up.

I had a lunch with a dear friend today. We hadn't caught up since before the wedding, so it was nice to chat. I know I probably took over most of the conversation, but she didn't seem to mind. It was a real encouragement to have someone say that it's okay to feel this hurt over losing our first child. And, it was super fun to be distracted by the store opening of H&M at the Florida Mall. It was a confirmation to know that God must be exist, I mean, we have an H&M now!! Haha, no shopping, but it was fun to be there for the grand opening.

After leaving lunch and the mall, my feelings started to go south again. Oh well, I guess I should expect that some days will be better (yesterday and the day before) and some days I'll wish that I could just lay in my bed and cry all day. But, I just kept thinking about lighting our candle tonight in honor of baby Phillips. Here are some pictures...

This first one I found still on my camera from the day that I surprised John with the pregnancy. I finally had gotten the surprise out (I didn't make it past 24 hours before constructing my elaborate scheme) and we made it home to relax. I believe this picture was taken pretty late that night, because we spent the afternoon celebrating and telling our immediate families


Here's our set-up before lighting the candle. Around 6:00pm we read lots of Scripture together and both prayed. As soon as we said amen, it was already 6:58pm.


Then, we lit our candle and honestly just sat in silence for several moments. There wasn't much to say and it was tough to know what to do next


The day of my surgery, we were sent a bouquet of flowers. The bouquet was all fall colors which I love. It was mostly gold and maroon colored flowers. But, there was one random hot pink flower in the bouquet. It doesn't match at all and honestly appears to be a huge mistake in the bouquet


The second I saw that flower I just had an overwhelming thought that it had to do with our baby. I told John later (not right away because I didn't want him to think I was totally nuts) that the pink flower makes me think that our first baby was a girl. It's funny because earlier in the pregnancy I told him that I thought we were going to have a girl. Do I believe 100% that our baby was a girl? No, there's not a way to know that. But, I do believe that God allowed that random pink flower to help me in my healing. You may think I'm crazy, but that's okay. If I get to Heaven and I see that we were given a precious baby boy as our first child, I doubt I'm going to be complaining to God that he gave me a pink flower in my bouquet. So, that's how I'm reconciling my craziness :o)




One of the many passages we read tonight was out of Job 3. It's been a big comfort this last week. Basically, Job is saying how he wishes he had never been born. And, in his rantings to the Lord, he tells Him that it would have been better for him to be a stillborn baby because at least he would have been in a place of peace. It's nice to know that my stillborn baby is in a coveted place of peace


After John and I talked about our baby for a while and how crazy all of this is, we decided to pull out our ultrasound picture. I hadn't seen it since all of this happened. It was nice to remember how precious that day was. It was so beautiful to see our little baby and the precious beating heart. John and I both talked a lot that day about our baby's little arms. They were so cute!


It's been a tough day and night, but my husband is amazing. Wow, God really gave me more than I could have ever asked for. I love him so very much and this really has brought us closer together. I am so glad that this terrible situation has drawn us closer rather than apart. He's a great man and I'm glad he's my baby daddy :o)


I wanted you all to be able to see the stuff we bought for our baby's scrapbook. On the left, I put the two different kinds of paper we bought for it. One is light blue with little green and brown polka dots. The other is light pink with different shades of pink stripes on it. The pages of our book will alternate between these two sheets. For the first sheet we brought a green page and the last page a teal one.


In closing, we read Revelation 21:1-7. Then, we blew out the candle. The candle is now on its stand and proudly displayed on one of our shelves above the television. One day, there will be no more pain and no more tears. And, Jesus will be highly exalted in His rightful place. I got the chills as we read that passage. Just to read the words that Jesus had conquered everything once and for all. I began to picture that day in Heaven. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I greatly anticipate Heaven one day. Sure I have always been excited about it, but now is different. I used to live under the mindset that I just wanted to get married first, have babies, and have grandbabies before going to Heaven. But, Jesus reminded me tonight that He reigns supreme. And, I was reminded that His reigning is more glorious than anything I could ever find on earth. Also, of course, I am happy to know that when I do get to Heaven, I'll have my baby's beautiful face to greet me.

For all of you that lit a candle tonight, you were very encouraging to us. We love you and are so glad that you would honor baby Phillips and all of the other fallen babies of this world. And, we still covet your prayers as it has now been an official week since our baby was miscarried. But, Jesus is STILL fairer today!