Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Please Pray!

I just heard from my friend, Tiffany, about her niece who was born today.

Baby Carter Joy was born early this afternoon weighing 7 pounds and 15 ounces.  She was taken to the NICU because she was not breathing well on her own.
About an hour later Tiffany texted that Carla (mom) and Carter were being transported to Vanderbilt for open heart surgery because the vessels in Carter's heart are flop flopped so she's not getting oxygen.

Please pray for Carla and Shawn as they face the next few hours, and especially for the doctors who will be helping baby Carter.

Thank you!
Becca

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Regrets...don't let them fester!!!

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5


Nights are often hard.  Maybe because I am tired and worn out from the day.  Or possibly because I have kept my mind busy all day and when I go to bed is when I articulate things in my head.  I think of Audrey all the time, but it seems to be harder when details start playing out in my mind.  Things I wish I could have or would have done, or things I regret.


One thing I will never be able to change is that I did not have a blanket to cover Audrey with ... to tuck her in ... to keep her warm ... before they closed the casket.  I will never forget my hesitation, my yearn to say "STOP, WAIT!"  Maybe I could have grabbed a blanket to put over her.  Why, oh WHY didn't I do this one little thing?!?!?  I really struggle with this.  


Then I wake up the next morning and have a renewed sense of JOY in my heart.  It still hurts, and it always will, that I didn't do this one simple thing.  Oh I know it doesn't really matter.  She is with Christ and is perfect.  Her heart is healed, she has no problems with her body now, and she will forever and ever be safe with Jesus.  But I am still human, and sometimes feelings take over.


"What kind of Mother are you to forget something like this???"  I can just hear him saying...


Do you suppose it is the Devil lurking into my mind???  I do!  I really do!  I think he will use any and every way he can find to get me to start thinking about regrets, about what I miss, about how my heart aches for Audrey.  Don't get me wrong, as long as I am here and separated from my daughter I will always have an ache for her, a desire to hold her and talk to her.  But I think the devil is pretty pleased when I remain in that state of sadness and depression about what I am going through.  It is hard ... excruciating at times ... but nothing I cannot handle without God by my side.  And when I allow Him, the Lord Jesus, to be the focus of my thoughts, then and only then do I find the peace and joy that comes in the morning.


I pray the Lord will help me keep my focus on Him and the promises in His Word.  
1 Peter 1:6-7 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need by, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ."




Love,
Becca




Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update

Just an update to let you know that the funeral for baby Jerry is going to be tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., visitation starting at 9:00 at Mt. Olivet in Nashville.  Keep Jackie, her mom Laura, and the rest of the family in your prayers as they go through this difficult time. Also please pray for them in the coming days, weeks, and months as they return to their daily routine.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the way many of you have reached out to this family!  The prayers, notes, and meals are a blessing to me and I know they are to Laura and Jackie as well.

Love,
Becca

Friday, June 25, 2010

RAIN

“It rainin out there … angels havin tears of joy that they get to hold baby Audrey today.”
 -Chad, May 10, 2010

I received that text from Chad on the day Audrey died.  He had gone to the flower shop to buy roses for Audrey.  When we woke up that morning he realized he had not bought her flowers, and he loves to buy flowers for all his girls.  This was his last opportunity to buy them for Audrey and walking by a window he noticed it was raining. 


Every rainy day makes me think of that day.  The room we sat in with Audrey that day was on the corner of the building so we were surrounded by windows.  It was not storming, just constant steady rain as we said good-bye to our little angel.  A dreary day here.  A beautiful day in Heaven as she joined the Lord and was made perfect.

Sometimes I hate the rain now.  But most of the time I am thankful for what God has done to bring me to my knees.  I am not thankful that he took my little girl, but if that is what He thought was best then I have to believe it was.  I never really thought of it the way Mercy Me expresses it in their song, “Bring the Rain.”

"Bring The Rain"
-Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty 

Oh how thankful I am that I gave my life to Jesus Christ long ago.  It does make me wish I had worked harder at getting to know Him and becoming more like Him since that day.  But today, in this storm I am facing, HE is my shelter.  HE is my strength. 

If I never had to face a trial, I would never learn the beauty of leaning on the Lord.  And what a blessing I would be missing if I never had to cry out to Him!  

Wow … that was really hard to say, but I know it and I mean it!

I am suffering, but I have peace and strength from the Lord.  And I remind myself that Jesus had to suffer so that I could have that peace and strength.  And don't forget that promise He made to us, never to give us more than we can handle ... with HIS help, of course!
1 Corinthians 10:13  "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (emphasis mine)

This is something I wrote after returning home from Disney:
On the way home from Florida on Tuesday night we saw a lot of heat lightning.  It reminded me of the time when I was a child and we were traveling home from visiting family in Arlington, Ohio, about a half hour drive from where we lived.  I distinctly remember that there was a lot of lightning, but no rain, and I was scared that it was Jesus returning for the born again believers and I was not sure if I was going with Him.  It wasn’t long after that time that I realized I was not completely sure of my salvation.  After youth group one Wednesday night I made it right.  I had given my testimony in front of the group for extra credit during our summer program.  On the way home Mom asked me what I said, and after telling her what I thought my testimony was she corrected my story that Dad had actually talked with me and not her.  And also that we were in my brothers' room and not mine.  That did not leave my mind for one second that evening.  Later I was lying in bed, watching the cars drive by out my window on State Route 12, and I truly realized my need to give my life to Christ.  There in my bed I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart and save me. 
So two nights ago when I saw the heat lighting, it brought back this memory, but this time it made me hope that it was Him returning for us.  I was hoping the trumpets would sound shortly after and we would all be together again.  
I remember wanting Jesus to wait to come because I had so many things I wanted to experience before going to Heaven. I wanted to get married, have a family, watch my kids grow up…so many plans.  But now it is so different.  I want Christ to come back tonight, I want this suffering and the pain of this life to end and for all of us to be together again in Heaven.  I know I should long to see Jesus first, but my human nature takes over and I cannot deny that I long to see Audrey so much more than anything else about Heaven right now.  But I also believe that when I do get to Heaven and am transformed into my glorious body my human nature will be gone, and at that moment I will want to see Jesus more.  Revelation 22:20 "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."


Do you know that you will be ready when the "heat lightning" starts, when it really is Jesus coming for the Redeemed?  I hope you do!  And if you don't, there is a way you can know.  Please please please do not let another day go by without asking someone about the gift Jesus is offering to us.  

Love,
Becca

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Miracles ... according to God!

Please pray for Rick & Lorelei.
I just received another prayer request from my college roommate.  Here is what she wrote to me:
~~~
Rick and Lorelei have been marrried for 8 years! Strong christians, who do not come from christian homes. They have a longing to be parents, but also had a longing to have a solid foundation and marriage established before kids! So, like many couples, they waited a few years before trying! The were in the early 30's when first married. 
Afer 2 years of trying and NO success, they saught medical help! After 1 year of testing and seeking medical help-they discovered the problem was a male issue. So, the best chance for a baby was Infertility! (IVF)
They prayed about it and began the long journey! They signed up for 3 tries. The first try was in the winter of 2006! They got pregnant with TRIPLETS! (And this is when Mike and I were expecting our first son, Parker) This started a close bond between Lorelei and me. 
In March of 2007 God took all 3 babies home. (She was 19 weeks pregnant when she lost them.) One of the boys got sick and he was not developing as quickly. The Doctors told them, that they could do selective reduction and have a chance of saving one or 2 of them. But they were NOT going to play God! It was HORRIBLE and a very difficult road for them and all of us that had been on this journey with them! Yet, they got back up-went to their support group and tried to "move on!" However, we will never forget those sweet little Boys! (It was identcial boys and a fraternal one). 
The next spring they had their second try but it was not a success. She began to believe that God was calling them t adopt or possibly not have them be parents. Once again they got back up..."moved on" but still had a deep longing to have a baby!
2010 is here and in the Spring they were to have their 3rd and final try! Well, GUESS WHAT? The miracle that they were told would NEVER HAPPEN (or the 1-5% chance Baby of ever happening) HAPPENED! In February they got pregnant on their own! They were in complete SHOCK! A miracle from heaven. I kept coming back to 
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." 
It is a miracle that we are seeing God perform!
 
Well the 20 week appointment was last week! It is  BOY and there is a PROBLEM! BUT HE IS A MIRACLE RIGHT???
What is God's definition of Miracle? They are feeling broken once again!
He has been diagnosed with Spina Bifida!
Today at 1:00 they are seeing the Neuro Surgeon who will be performing the surgery. They are praying that there is not any more daunting news then already given.
There are 4 different levels of SB. They have been told that his severity is less threatning (and lower down)-however, nothing will be known till he is born! I am sure you can relate to the shocking news of that 20 week sonogram? The hopes and dreams of what they thought for a miracle baby has all changed before their eyes!! 
Alot of tears, anger and confusion! But I keep reassuring her that God's way (plan) are much greater then ours! 
Will you PLEASE say a prayer for them?!
~~~



Read Jenn's post about Lorelei here.
My heart is breaking for this couple who now has to wait, just like we did.  And they will not know what God's plans are until he is born.  That really brings back memories for me, memories that are still fresh in my mind!  I also was thinking a lot about what Jenn said, about the definition of a miracle and about God's ways being so much greater than ours.  
Knowing that His plans are better is the only way I can accept what happened to Audrey, but I do not understand it.  


We hear the word "Miracle" being used a lot for good things happening, but until the miracle of Audrey I had not thought about how my definition of a miracle is probably a far cry from God's definition.  I remember asking God for a miracle (that she would be healed) and asking Him to let Audrey be part of our family.  He answered both with a yes, but not the way I was telling Him to answer.  We need to stop telling God how to answer our prayers, and learn to simply leave it in His hands.  Audrey IS a miracle, and so is this little boy.  Each child that God creates is a miracle.  I think we have it in our heads that a miracle is only when we see something "good" ... on our terms of good!  Oh how I wish I could see things the way God does.  


But then I would not need faith.


Faith..."the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1
Because of my faith I have HOPE that I will spend eternity with my Savior, and that I will see Audrey again!  And no, I cannot see what God's purpose was in all of this, but my faith is what keeps me believing that His plan is best.  I feel the same as Ella, I thought Audrey would be better off here with us.  Obviously God did not agree, and He is God Alone, In the good times and bad.  I might ask "WHY?" but I will not doubt His perfect plan for our lives.  


Please pray for this family! They need to be upheld in prayer for strength, grace, and unfathomable peace.
I trust Rick and Lorelei are leaning on their faith once again, and I will certainly pray for the miracle that God wants for their family.  If that is to allow him to be in their lives for many years, I will Praise Him. If that miracle is for him to not spend a lot of time on this Earth, I will still Praise Him.  I might not like the way God chooses to unfold His miracle, but that is not for me to decide!  


After all, Lord, You are God Alone!


Thank you all for your faithfulness!  Remember, God is in Control!  
Trust HIM!




Love,
Becca

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jerry is with Jesus


I'm sorry I did not post sooner, I was waiting to see if I had any more I could tell you about today.  But I don't, so I'm just writing to tell you that Jackie's baby did pass away today.  She went in for the C-section a little after noon and I heard from them a few hours later that he had died.  Her mom said that Jackie seems to be OK but that she was maybe not dealing with it.  Pray that Jackie will be able to get through the following difficult days!

Thank you all for praying and asking about this family.  They have expressed deep appreciation for all who have been praying for them.  I would still greatly appreciate more volunteers to take them a meal if you are able to do that.  Doing this would be a great blessing to me as well as this family.  If you do not have the time but would like to help by buying them a couple of pizza's, I would be happy to deliver them for you!  And if you have a few minutes to spare, send Jackie a note letting her know you are praying for her.
Thank you!


Love,
Becca

Jackie Wright
3491 Hardwood Dr.
Murfreesboro, TN  37129

Don't know what to say?

... Say SOMETHING!

In this journey called "Grief" I have found that you start to feel very alone at the oddest times.  For example, when I am surrounded by people is often when my situation seems so insignificant.  Before I go further, I want to stress that my friends and family have been remarkable in the ways they have helped our family, prayed for us, and helped us around the house.  And they continue to be a blessing to us.  Yet there have still been times when I have felt alone, when people have moved on but I'm not ready!!!

I will never Move On.
But I WILL continue on with my life as it is now.
There will be Peace ... through God's plans, not mine.
And I will find Joy, through His love and His grace.

Anyone who has a new child join their family knows that life changes from the moment that sweet little blessing is born.  Ours changed too, but in different ways that it changed when Ella was born.  Ella changed our lives by causing us lack of sleep, uncertainty about how to care for her, and love beyond our wildest imagination.  We counted her ten tiny toes, and her ten tiny fingers.  We talked about who she looked like. The things everyone does the first time they see their baby.

When Audrey was born that unexplainable love came over us again!   We counted ten tiny toes, and ten tiny fingers.  We talked about how much she looked like Ella, how her nose looked like Ella's.  How she slept with her hand under her face ... just like Ella.  But we also have had lack of sleep and uncertainty now about how to live without her by our sides.  The changes are so similar, yet so different.

What do you think? Similar noses?  And look at the hands! =)



That brings me back to the idea of Moving On.  I do not like that phrase, so we have chosen to refer to it as continuing with life as it is now.  And life to us now is that Audrey is and will always be a part of our family.

She just lives somewhere else.

I cannot imagine it.  Let me tell you, people on this Earth have imagined some pretty wild and crazy things that are well beyond what my mind thinks of.  We see it all the time on TV, in movies, and in books.  For some reason the author Stephen King comes to mind, although I have never read his books and I am not suggesting or advertising them.  I have heard people talk about the things he comes up with in these books, but even he has never imagined Heaven.  Even someone who would say they have been to Heaven cannot truly tell us about it.  Do you suppose our English language would even be able to describe it?  I don't think so!

HEAVEN....the Bible says nobody is able to imagine it!  


NOBODY!
I would say that also means the writers of the Bible, the ones who wrote about Heaven, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit when they wrote it ... even they could not comprehend it!

1 Corinthians 2:9  "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard.  Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."


~~~
Audrey is still a part of us.  Like I have said before, I have the privilege of being Audrey's mother just like I am Ella's.  And Audrey's time with me was much shorter, but she will always be my daughter.

I know everyone is different, and we have to consider that when we are trying to help people.  But I have heard many mothers say the same thing I would say, and that is to talk about our children who are not with us.  Don't be afraid to bring Audrey up just because she is not here.  Yes, it might make me cry, it might even make you cry.  But crying is OK!  Just like we would talk about our children that God has left in our care, we want to talk about the children that God now has in His care too.

Talking about sadness is hard, I know that.  But I think we tend to live our lives trying to avoid sadness all together, and that is why people find it hard to talk about death, especially when it concerns a little baby.  But that is not all, we are in the middle of a war where young men and women are still dying so that we can be free and live our safe lives here in the United States of America.  But do we talk about it? Not much!  Do we hear about it?  No, of course not.  Let me encourage you to not let the days tick by without remembering these sacrifices.  Most of all, pray for them and their families.  I am talking to myself too, I have not been thinking about them as much as I should either.

I am not asking you to dwell on sadness or never be happy, but do get out of your daily routine and watch for when people are hurting.  Even if they seem to be OK on the outside, they might not be on the inside.  Work on being outward focused.  It will make a difference in their lives and perhaps even in your own!

I want to reiterate that I understand how hard it can be to say something to someone in my situation.  But I just want this to let people know that it is OK to mention our loved one who we had to say good-bye to.  And if all you can say is, "I'm Sorry" or "I'm praying for you," then say that.  You can even say something without taking! A hug says a LOT!!!  A 12-year-old girl did this one morning at church, and it meant everything to me!  I knew why she came back to hug me, even though she did not say a word.  And like someone said, "It was enough said!" It did not need words.

I have a good friend who told me she never wants to say the wrong thing, so I will tell you what I told her.
Do not worry about saying the wrong thing, it means the world to me that you want to say something.  Even if it is not the best way to say it, I need to look at the intentions and realize it was meant to show love and care.

So I would encourage you to Say SOMETHING!

Thank you for listening and letting me be transparent.



Love,
Becca

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pray for Jackie and baby Jerry

Your prayer is needed the most!


Jackie will be going to Vanderbilt to deliver baby Jerry by C-section on Tuesday morning at 11:30.  Jerry is not expected to live more than a few minutes.  It is such a hard situation when the medical field has told you news like this, because you have to grasp reality while holding onto the power and abilities of our God.  We would love to see this little guy defeat the odds, but it does not look like that will be the case.

Despite advice to abort her pregnancy because she is so young, or deliver him naturally which would probably cause him to die during birth, Jackie has decided to give her son a chance and have the honor of
spending even just a few minutes with him.  I admire her for this decision to have him by C-section and also face such a struggle.  They are also facing financial strain as they are making funeral arrangements and dealing with hospital costs.

Please keep this family in your prayers this week, and let me know if you can help in any way.  They do not have any arrangements for meals, so if you are willing to help in that way please let me know.  I would like to provide them with dinner on June 28, 29 and 30, 2010.  Let me know if you are interested, and I would even be glad to deliver it myself or go along with you.  Another thing you can do is to send Jackie a card or note letting her know you are praying for her.  We never know what kind of mark these simple things will leave on a life.  It may only seem like planting seeds, but that is how the fruit grows!

Her address:
Jackie Wright
3491 Hardwood Dr.
Murfreesboro, TN  37129

Thank you, I was so proud to tell Jackie's mother (Laura) that I have people who read my blog who I know will be praying for them.

It is an honor for me to have friends like you all!

Love,
Becca

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I need your help!

What I want most out of my experience with Audrey is to help others who have suffered a similar experience. Each one is different, but whether you have gone through it yourself, have stood along side a friend, or never dealt with this, you can help.  You will receive many blessings by helping and there are many ways you can do this.  I have listed some things that came to my mind and what people did for us, but I am sure there are many more ways.  Please send me an email if you have any input about what we can do to help this community of people.  It is a life-altering experience, and one that I hope changes lives by bringing others to Jesus Christ.


How YOU can help:
  • Pray! Pray! Pray!  There is nothing more important than this.
  • Email me and let me know who needs our prayer and help.  Either yourself, a friend, or just someone you heard of.  (Please make sure it is OK with that person before you send their name to me)
  • Be there - be available at any time.
  • Attend the funeral - Although it is a very difficult thing to do, it really means a lot to people to know that their child was cared for and you want to remember them no matter how short their time on Earth was.
  • Ask about their child - Audrey will always be a part of our family even though she does not live her.  She is forever a part of us and one day we will be reunited with her.  
  • Send a card or email.  It does not take much time but it means a lot to know that you are thinking of someone and praying.
  • Deliver a meal to the family.  Not only during the initial time, but sometimes it is nice to take them a meal a few weeks later, when the "dust has settled." There are days when it is just hard to get going.
  • Give them an afternoon off.  Stay with other kids they might have and do some cleaning for them.  You will never know how something so small can mean so much.
  • Donations:    
    • Blankets - various sizes and colors.  If you knit or crochet it does not take long to make a small blanket, and it can be a way to use up little amounts of yarn.
      • Size:  15"x20" up to 30"x40"
    • Little outfits or onesies - keep in mind that a baby born early is very small and you cannot run to the store to get something.  So things that will fit tiny babies up to newborn sizes.  For both boys and girls.
    • Burial gowns
    • Memory books - watch for these on clearance sales!
    • Gift cards or money - this can be used to cover the cost of a meal if you are not able to fix one.  Any money sent will be used strictly to help these families.
    • Molds for hands and feet
    • Keepsake boxes for small things
    • A plant or tree to have in memory
    • Gift bags for other children
  • Your comments and ideas - I will update this post as you help me come up with more ways to help.  
Also:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Disney World

There are times when I stay so busy throughout the day that I finally crash into bed and my mind starts to race.  I have so many thoughts that I need to get out of my mind before it will allow me to rest, so I get back up and come to write.  I have found that I can write...and write...but I cannot always talk.  It is hard for me to verbally find words to say, but when I start to type it all comes out.  I do not know why this is, but it has really helped me sort out my thoughts rather than keeping them inside.

One thing I realized while lying in bed was that I never posted about our trip to Disney.  And it certainly was a trip that Ella will remember for a long time!

On Friday night, the day after Audrey was born, everyone else had gone home and Chad and I were in my room talking, crying, remembering the day.  I said, "If there is any way we can do it, let's take Ella to meet Cinderella and the princesses while you are on your family medical leave."  He liked the idea, so after getting the OK from my doctor, of course with the stipulation that I would have to ride in a wheelchair due to a blood clot, we booked a trip.  And we were leaving 9 days later!

The days leading up to Disney were very tough days.  It was as if the "Novocaine" was wearing off slowly...slowly, until the day before we left and it was gone.  I was hurting tremendously...inside.  So much, that I felt my heart was physically hurting, and I was not sure how I would get through life as I now knew it.  And I did not want to go to Disney World.  If Audrey had not been born early and had not had physical problems that caused her to die, we would not be going.  I would still be pregnant and our lives would have been the same as they were two weeks earlier.

But the trip was for Ella, and that is all that mattered.  Her excitement was enough for us all.

She met Cinderella the first day!

May 26, 2010
We debuted at Disney yesterday after a long 11-hour drive on Monday.  As soon as we arrived at Magic Kingdom there was a parade going on and Ella gave a "high-5" to  some characters on stilts.  She was thrilled and immediately my emotions began to take over as I choked back the tears.  Mainly because this is what we wanted to do for Ella, but also because I would never get to bring my Audrey to this magical place.



Of course, Disney is Magic, but Heaven is real.  Audrey would not understand our excitement about Disney World now that she has seen and experienced Heaven.

Ella met Cinderella, Belle, and Aurora the first day, and when we went back the next day she wanted to go see them again.  She also went to story-time with Belle, then met Snow White and Tiana.
That evening she took her first roller coaster ride and she did like it but it made her belly hurt.  So she was not the typical child who rides over and over.  Once was enough.

Later we were browsing in one of the gift shops and we told Ella that she could pick out one thing to buy.  She finally found something interesting, the princesses!  So she just had to decide which one.
The first words out of her mouth were, "I want that one for Audrey (pointing to Sleeping Beauty)."
Chad and I just looked at each other with the exact same thought, Audrey is our "sleeping beauty."
Then Ella decided to get the same doll for herself.  Since the trip was "from Audrey" we liked the idea of having something to keep that would have been hers.

The days have been fun and busy with lots to do, and that has kept our minds busy in spite of the ache in our hearts for Audrey.  I find myself noticing things more than ever before.  Everywhere I looked are sit-n-stand strollers (the one thing I really wanted and had bought for Ella and Audrey), and just thinking about my sweet baby's face.  All I want to do right now is hold her and have her be OK.  And then I see many sweet children with Downs syndrome. each one having the time of their life at Disney World.  And I ask again, why did her condition have to be fatal? I would have given anything for her to have Downs syndrome and for us to get to know her and love her.
But God wanted her with Him. That is what I know, and all I can say to the"Why?" questions.  I know I will never understand it.

May 28, 2010
We are finishing our fourth day, and still having a lot of fun.  Today Ella met Tinkerbell and two other fairies, as well as Ariel and Prince Eric.  She asked Ariel where Flounder was, so they went to look in the water below to see if they could see him.  Unfortunately they couldn't.

Ella and I had breakfast this morning at Cinderella's Royal Table.  It was a very delicious breakfast and we were joined by a few other princesses as well.  Ella's favorite part of the breakfast was the blueberries.  She ate all of hers and almost all of mine.  She enjoyed making wishes with her wand and pretending to be royalty.
They brought her a whole bowl of blueberries!

I cannot go without mentioning a Hero we met, by far Chad's favorite part of the trip.  It is not very often you have the privilege of meeting a survivor from Iwo Jima, and we really enjoyed talking to him and his family.  He was in the 2nd wave of Navy troops onto shore.  I cannot remember the number, but only a few of them returned home and those who did were injured.  Please do not forget those who fought or are currently fighting for our freedom, and also their families who have sacrificed so much.

It was certainly "The trip of a lifetime" and has marked a very significant time in our lives as we began our journey with a special part of our family living in Heaven.  A very special Thank-You to Paula for helping me plan our trip in such a short time, and for the special gifts when we arrived.  Your help and thoughtfulness were a huge blessing.


Returning home was hard.  We had to come back to memories, flowers, and a grave.  The magic was over and life was waiting for us.  But Disney is just pretend, like I tell Ella.  And what is real is that God's grace has not failed us yet!

With Love & Dreams,
Becca

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

China

For a wedding gift we were given some china. We also have a few place settings of the china we registered for. And I can probably count on one hand the number of times we have used it over the last 4 1/2 years.

Why?

Because it might get broken, of course!!! :0) Or perhaps just chipped. I mean really, who would let their 1- 2- or 3-year-old use the good dishes? The CHINA!?! So it has remained in the cabinet all this time. I might get it out on our anniversary or at Christmas. But then I have the chore of having to wash it. Because of course I wouldn't want it to be put in the dishwasher!

I have so much "Suter" in me! Ha ha



Then I had this precious daughter who now lives in Heaven that will never get to break my china. She'll never even get to chip it. In fact, because of her I have this longing for Heaven, more than ever! Yes, I still like the nice things here on Earth, but they are not so "untouchable" to me anymore. Because they are temporary and Heaven is eternal.

Ella is having trouble understanding that she will not take her toys to Heaven. She has certain things she wants to take to Audrey when she goes to Heaven, and I have tried to explain to her that we won't need to take anything with us. But we are all human and whether we are a child or an adult, we think our things are pretty nice. So nice that I would not want to use our "good dishes" in the event they might not stay nice. It makes me sad to think about that.

So I started a new tradition in the Huffstutler house. We are going to use the china dishes for Sunday dinner...every Sunday! No, I do not cook a huge fancy meal every Sunday, sometimes we just have sandwiches or left-overs, but we can still eat off of the good dishes! And they might get chipped or broken, but guess what I'm not taking them with me!! And no, I will never get to share my fancy dishes with Audrey, but she has used the china that belongs to the Lord!


Also, this post has two reasons it was titled "China." I would also like to ask you to pray for good friends of ours who will soon be travelling to China to get their daughter! After more than 4 years of waiting, God has blessed them with their sweet Kylie. She has grown in their hearts (although not in Jennifer's belly, like Ella is trying to grasp), and finally they will soon be holding her in their arms. So pray that their plans, funds, and travel arrangements will come together smoothly, and more importantly that the bond between them and Kylie will quickly form. Please stop by Jennifer's blog The Evans Family to read more of their story.

I read this the other night and was encouraged by it:
Psalm 40:5
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which you have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.

I cannot begin to count the number of times I have thought of Audrey, yet God has thought of me so much more. And He truly has done wonderful works.

The Lord gives. The Lord takes.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Love,
Becca

p.s. China dishes actually stay in better shape and last longer if they are used regularly! ;)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emotions

It is hard to know what one day to the next will be like. Most days are good, we are finding our "new normal" and have started into a new routine. "Moving on" is not a term we like to use, because that is not what we are doing. We are not moving past the life, however short, of our daughter. She has changed us in so many ways that we will never be the same as we were, and she will continue to influence us for as long as we are here.

One day I will feel down, another day I will feel good and stay busy with things that need to be done, and yet the next day I will be so sad that all I can do is cry. And then there are those days that I am angry. I have to admit I have had some of those, and I have asked God a lot of questions like "Why." One of those times, I remember asking God what I had done that was so bad to deserve this.

Yes, I know that is not how it is. I do believe things happen as a direct result of sin sometimes, but I also know that bad things happen simply because we live in a wicked, sinful world. Today while singing in our morning worship service God helped confirm with me that Audrey's death was not because of something I had done.

"Was it for crimes that I have done, He groaned upon the tree."

But there WAS someone who had to die because of me! Jesus, the perfect, sinless, Son of God - died because of me! But not only that, He died FOR me. Because of His immense love for me, so much more than I could ever understand. And he loves Audrey more than I, as her Mother, will ever comprehend as well.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

So God has chosen to take Audrey Home to live with Him, and who am I to question that? His plan, His will and His ways are perfect and I may never understand them.

So that brings me to something else I have been thinking about. Another line in the song "I will carry you" says, "I will praise the One who's chosen me to carry you." That made me realize that God, who made Audrey according to His perfect plan, chose ME to be the one blessed with her life. It was not a matter of us expecting a child, finding out she had some serious health problems, and her dying. What happened was God formed her, sent her to be with us for a short time, then took her back Home to be with Him. He never planned for her to stay here long, yet I was given the privilege of being her Mother while she was here. He could have found someone else, someone better, someone stronger, but He let me love and care for Audrey. And she will be my daughter for the rest of my life, all because God gave her to me for those 7 months, and 4 days.

What an amazing thought!!!

Finally, I would like to ask for your prayers for a little 4-month-old girl named Layla, who lives in Florida. She has been diagnosed with a serious condition called Lissencephaly, "smooth brain," which is the lack of wrinkles and folds in the brain. Please keep this little girl and her family in your prayers!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, the continued support means more to me than I will ever be able to explain. And I know many are still praying, God has continued to answer those prayers with amazing strength.

Looking for that blessed day!
Love,
Becca

Monday, June 7, 2010

Life goes on

The thoughts of a month ago went through my mind right after lunch today (as they have been a lot yesterday and today). Thoughts of those moments in the room with Audrey's doctors, hearing the dreaded news. And today when these thoughts were going through my head I glanced at the clock and it was 12:35. At 12:30 that Friday a month ago, we had just left for the Children's Hospital to find the doctor and it was probably 12:35 when we ran into him in the hallway.

Some things will always be as real to me as if they happened today, but I'm thankful for that too because it helps me remember Audrey. I want to remember her. She is as much a part of me as Ella is, and my life has been changed because of the privilege I had to have her in my life. From the moment she was created, God made her for Himself. Yet he was willing to share her with us for 4 days. He has given us Ella also, and we have had the joy of having her for almost 4 years. But there are no guarantees.

NO guarantees!!!

It is my desire that Audrey's life be used to share the gospel with people, and most of all I hope it gives me the opportunity to share Jesus with Ella. What better way to introduce Ella to Christ than telling her about how she can get to Heaven to see Audrey again. I hope that when the time is right for Ella to understand all of this that she will give her life to Christ.

We have begun the official start to getting into our routine here at home, and finding our new normal. I say that because things will not go back to normal for us. That is not possible, we are not the same and things are not the same as a month ago. But we can find joy and purpose in our life now in spite of not having our second child to care for, to hold in our arms.



I have often thought of the things I wanted to do with Audrey, and how I won't get to do this or that. But then I remind myself that Audrey would not want to be back here, even to do those things! Even though I am her Mommy, she has seen Christ and knows the pure and complete JOY of Heaven! How amazing is that?! It is hard for me to understand, and I still have so many questions I want answered. What does she look like now? Many times a day I wonder what she might be doing, I want to know who she has met. But most of all, she has met God, our maker and creator!

I know we have work to do here on Earth, otherwise the Lord would have taken us Home. But I cannot help but long for the day when we will be in Heaven and reunited with our loved ones. Yes, I will still find joy and I will have fun with the life God has given me while I am here. But my entire perspective has changed. We are to live for Heaven, and I would not have asked to learn it this way, but it is through my daughter going to Heaven that I have become so much more ready for the day when Jesus calls us Home!

We are still needing your prayers!
Love,
Becca

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Normal ... what is that???

Well we are back home and everyone else is gone so it is time to pick up the pieces and return to whatever normal is now. It will never be like it was, I do realize that, but I also know we can find times of happiness even now amidst our sadness and missing our sweet girl who would would have been a month old in just a few days. I have had many moments of anger and wanting to understand something that I probably never will while I am on this Earth. And that is where the child-like faith needs to come back in. To just accept what God has shown to be His will, and learn more and more about trusting Him. Trusting JESUS, that is ALL!!! And I never realized how hard that could be.

And I am reminded again that God gives us no more than we can handle, and promises to be with us every step of the way. I read on a Angie Smith's blog yesterday about a couple who live in Nashville who have gone through a similar situation, yet more that we have even had to deal with. It doesn't take away our pain or make it easier, but helps me remember that I can still minister to others. You can go to Angie's blog to read the whole story in the May 27 post at http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com/.

Michael and Holly have gone through burying their first two babies in just 9 months, and their second was just a couple of weeks ago. And on top of the grief and heartache they are going through, they are also dealing with financial burdens because Michael was injured on the job and is currently out of work.

First of all, please pray for this couple. I can tell you that is what they need the most and the peace that comes from the Lord and from being upheld in prayer is impossible to explain. But also, if you feel so led, please go to Angie's blog where you can get their mailing address as well as email address and just send them a note of encouragement. It is one thing to believe people are praying, but to hear it from them is so reassuring and is one thing that has helped keep me focused, and I hope it is the same for them. We have been so blessed with worldly goods that it is hard to hear a story like that and not help out in some way. If you can pray, then please commit to doing that. And if God has let you be in a situation where you can help them financially, then I believe God would honor that as well.

As I end this for tonight, I wanted to share some words to a song by Phillips, Craig & Dean that have been on my mind a lot this week. It has helped me remember WHO this is all about.

I feel quite sure if I did my best, I could maybe impress you,
With tender words, and harmony, a clever rhyme or two.
But if all I've done in the time we've shared, is turn your eyes on me,
Then I've failed in what I've been called to do, there's Someone else I want you to see.

Will you love Jesus more, when we go our different ways?
When this moment is a memory, will you remember His face?
Will you look back and realize, you've sensed His love more than you did before?
I pray for nothing less, than for you to love Jesus more.

I'd like to keep these memories, in frames of gold and silver,
And reminisce a year from now, about the times we shared.
But above all else I hope you will come, to know the Father's will,
And when we see the Lord face to face, we'll hear Him say "Well done."

Will you love Jesus more?


Love,
Becca

I will soon post about our Disney trip. It was a great time, especially for Ella!