Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recently I have been very moved by a young family & the loss of their baby sweet baby girl.
Their testimony has touched my heart ~~
touched me because they are so precious --so transparent.
touched me because as I've read Angie's blog, I feel that I can just hear her tears fall as she so eloquently writes each entry.

But it has also challenged me~~
challenged me because their faith in the Lord is raw, its real, & it has been stretched in ways some of us may never experience.
challenged me because I have listened as they try to make sense of their experience...
as they come to understand a deeper faith in the Lord....
a faith this isn't made strong because "everything turned out ok"
a faith that wasn't based on "just believing happy thoughts will change the outcome".

When Angie found out their baby would not survive outside the womb, she began to ( as she so beautifully describes) delicately balance preparing for a loss yet hoping for a miracle.
I love that.
I believe that is so profound.
In my life, both in my professional life as a pediatric oncology nurse & in my own life experiences, I have seen those who chose this same path. Walking through the realities--facing their challenges head on, whatever they maybe yet at the same time, never loosing hope.
Hope in the fact that miracles do occur.

I know that God allows things to happen, sad things happen to good people everyday.
Does it make sense to me--absolutely not.
Does it change the fact that I still trust Him--not for a moment.
There is a scripture in Romans that talks about all things working together for good. I believe that "good" is not necessarily what we define as good....good for our life-plan, good for our perfect happy healthy wealthy life.
But rather good to His glory. Yes , that's hard to understand, hard to wrap my mind around some days...hard to accept, but I know we have a loving God that can be trusted.
& the good I believe that scripture defines is for His good, for His glory.

We don't know the final chapter.
We don't know, yet, all the lives that are touched & drawn to him because of whatever the "sad story" is.....but one day we will.
In Todd & Angie's case, they believe that one day they will see in Heaven all those that came to know the Lord because this one life,
this precious little 3 lb baby girl that came into this world & only stayed for 2 1/2 hours.

Angie's blog is amazing ....her words are so beautiful & bittersweet. I'm sure my words have not done her justice. You will fall in love with her.
If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to listen ( for 20 minutes) to their testimony here...I promise you too ,will be touched & challenged.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The tulip house

My oldest daughter is convinced that we are the only family staying home for spring break, that surely we are the only people left here in Atlanta.
I'm not so sure why she was concerned....as she left Thursday for Cumberland Island & is staying in one of the former HGTV dream homes--sigh.
Well, we did have a nice spring break even if we stayed in Atlanta. Caroline got a way too cute little haircut. I think I've told you before she has a skin/hair/nails condition making her hair very very slow to grow. Her little bangs up top have never been cut. I snapped a few pics when we got home from the salon & just love how cute & stacked it is.
Who says I don't know how to have fun on spring break?
Last year I posted on our visit to one of the most gorgeous homes in Atlanta. The tulip house as we affectionately refer to it was featured in one of our home & garden tours. Its an older home in a very affluent part of downtown & it is breathtaking!

of course, we had a quick wardrobe change~

I wish I had taken a panoramic view of the house for you to get a better idea of all the hundreds of tulips.

a little time for skipping....

I want to thank you for all the warm & thoughtful comments you have left over the last month. I must tell you Lil was just so tickled when I handed her 32 pages of printed comments & emails. Unfortunately the chemo they've given her has caused a tremendous amount of pain. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday to receive chemo over the weekend. Please know how very much the prayers & notes you sent her have given her hope & encouragement.

thank you thank you


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

a happy day for me

Okay, so this should wrap up my birthday/holiday entries for a while.... but today is my birthday! always thought an april fools day birthday was wasted on me. i am not a good joke teller ( i have a terrible memory ) nor am i a practical joker. i just don't see myself as a funny person. but none the less, i do enjoy having a spring birthday. today has been a great day & i feel blessed beyond measure.
(ps--thank you sweet friend for the birthday blog love!)
Thursday Dan & i will celebrate our 9th anniversary. I wanted to share some of "our story". this may get a little long so feel free to just skip on over & i'll see you next time in my next non-personal non birthday entry. hopefully one filled with lovely blooming atlanta flowers & maybe a craft of two...wink!

Gregg & I were married 17 years ago . At that time Dan & Gregg were roommates. We all went to the same church & that's how we all came to know each other. Gregg was a total flirt~ we hit it off well & began running together , fell head over heals in love & married about 2 years after dating. Dan was actually one of the groomsmen in my first wedding! Dan was much older (wink!) & much more intellectual than I . I don't think we had much in common back then. Even though we knew each other, we all spent little to no time together. Despite the fact that Gregg & Dan were best of friends, the two were very different. I don't think I would have appreciated many of Dan's qualities when I was in my 20's.

When Gregg was diagnosed with cancer, I was pregnant with our third child. He needed 8 hour infusions 5 days a week--i tried to limit my exposure to the chemo so Gregg had many many friends come & take turns sitting with him. Dan was one of those guys. We had seen very little of Dan until that time as he lived over seas and or was working on the other side of Atlanta. Gregg passed away 9 months after he was diagnosed .

A few years passed --Dan was hired into administration at the school savannah attended. We began playing tennis & spending time together. It was instant love for me....it seemed like this guy who i had known for many years was suddenly a different person to me. & honestly , i believe he was different. He was amazing with the girls. always playing with them & telling them stories about their daddy. it was just a perfect fit. dan was so protective of me. he always looked at me with this sweet tender look, i can't explain it , but it was almost like he was going to protect me from ever being hurt again. i have always felt so safe & cherished by him.

having a young healthy husband die a horrible death from a horrible disease has really shaped who i am today. one of my "over the top fun friends" refers to me as her homebody friend. years ago i loved being into everything at all times, busy, wide open & very social. but something changed in me when i experienced gregg's loss. i am much more content, i love being in my home, actually business makes me somewhat nervous. i am much more quiet & just enjoy 'being' . maybe i'm just getting too old!ha!

i never prayed for a new husband. honestly i think i figured i would never marry again. seriously, a 30 year widow with 3 girls under the age of 3 isn't high on most men's "i want to marry list". however, i believe the lord completely orchestrated our relationship. dan had never been a big 'player'& he tells me he's never told another women that he loved her. imagine what a gift that was to me. he is amazingly romantic--he sends me cards....in the mail! he tells me he loves me dozens of times everyday. he is loyal. i know he will never leave me. he always walks in the door, drops his bags, kisses each of us & is ready to give any of us 100% of his undivided attention , at any time. years ago, i know i wouldn't have appreciated those characteristics. i would have taken him completely for granted. there is not a day that goes by that i am not completely aware of how blessed i am to have this man. we never argue, we never go to bed angry & we try to have date nights at least weekly. i feel like he is my true soul mate.

Dan is an amazing daddy to the girls. having adopted them after we were married, you would never suspect he wasn't their biological daddy. he loves them each unconditionally. they are not his step daughters, they are his girls. we were blessed with little caroline a couple years after being married.

i'm certain gregg must look down from heaven & smile. he loved dan & he obviously loves me and his girls. when i told gregg's mom that i was engaged to dan, she was thrilled. she told me she had always loved him & that he would be just perfect for us. perfect he is!

happy anniversary sweet man---i love you immensely & i'm so proud to be your wife.