Friday, June 24, 2011

A Tiny Hand to Hold

It's been two years today, since we lost Ethan. It's one of those things that neither time, nor even Evan's birth can heal. I won't have an answer as to why he was taken until I get to Heaven myself. But really that's ok. There was a day when screaming "why" at God might have seemed appropriate. What I've come to find is that while intensely painful in the short term, Ethan's death has given us insight, appreciation, and a capacity to love our earthly children in a way we could not have if it had not been for Ethan's life. The concept of Heaven itself is a reality, rather than an abstract now. There seems to be plenty of room for question about what lies beyond this world when we stand viewing an older person laid out before us, or ashes as they sit in an urn on a table, but when you look upon a tiny infant, peaceful, without fault in this world, it is obvious that their tiny soul is in Heaven. It's not even that we want to believe it, there is just no question in our minds, and there never was from the moment we saw him. The "why" is not important. It was part of a plan that we will never understand, and I don't believe we were meant to.

At the moment this photo was taken (and it's the only one we have) I thought I was holding Ethan's hand, in some way lending comfort to my precious tiny baby who's life was unfairly cut short.I now believe he was holding mine, comforting me from Heaven.

~One night I dreamed a dream.
I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

"Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Cowgirl

Sometimes you just need a quiet moment...with a cow. This child goes a mile a minute ALL. DAY. LONG. She does not stop....EVER. She is independent, argumentative, willful, too smart for her own good, and just plain stubborn. She only does what she wants, and only when she wants to

(which is pretty much every waking second) Compared to the boys she is difficult...very difficult. But amidst all the sassy attitude, trouble making, and mess creating there are moments like this one. They are few and far between, and possibly even sweeter because of their scarcity. The child who never stops, sits perfectly still here, on a summer evening just watching a cow (named Jenny by the way) graze in the pasture next door. It's moments like these, when my husband and I are side by side sitting on the floor outside her bedroom door, listening to her sing herself to sleep that all the frustrations of correcting and correcting, and correcting this little creature all day every day, suddenly seem so minor compared to the rewards. She is a gift. Perfectly Imperfect.

The Gathering Spot

Our favorite "summer" spot. It's also our favorite spring and fall spot, and depending on the weather its occasionally a winter spot too. When I received this swing for my birthday last year, I had NO idea just how much use it was going to get. I also had no idea the opportunities for conversation (or questions) that it would afford us. Our "fair weather" after dinner ritual is to congregate on the porch....and fight for a spot on the swing. No sooner has the battle for the coveted swing ended, than the biding for talking time beings. And everyone has something to say. At the same time. Last evening was mostly dominated by our 5 year old, Ian who was kind enough to retell an ENTIRE EPISODE of Veggie Tales. The story mostly centered around Junior "Exparagus" (Junior is a talking asparagus) and the army of half spoon, half fork soldiers...who were in fact, not vegetables at all. Which is apparently pretty hysterical when you're 5. Here he is cracking not only his siblings but also himself up!
Ian completely missed the point of the show...but it did afford him the chance to be "in the spotlight", which for the middle child in a family of five children, just doesn't happen that often.