Today we Remember

Today we remember, the greatest tragedy of all time, the death of our Savior Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross for our sins.  He took our place on the cross, a perfect, spotless lamb, as an offering so that all who believe may be forgiven and receive eternal life.

It was the greatest tragedy of all time, and yet, the most beautiful victory of all time.  Today is Friday, but Sunday is coming!!!

A few months ago, after my 5th miscarriage with baby Grayson, I shared that God had been teaching me to focus on the unseen.  In the same way, that all hope seemed lost when our Savior was crucified and died on Friday, He reminded me, that Sunday is coming and Jesus rose from the grave victorious over sin and death.

Although I can’t fully grasp the weight of this beautiful sacrifice, I am thankful that my 5 babies taught me these beautiful lessons about my Savior, Jesus.  Each child and each death, taught me an important lesson and increased my faith in God.

When baby Abiygale died, the verse John 3:16 came alive to me in a way it had never before: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Instead of questioning if God loved me when he was allowing this miscarriage to happen, I started to understand more clearly the depth of His great love for me (and for the world).

When baby Mathew died, He taught me to cry out to Him and take every emotion before Him, just as we read the many different emotions in the Psalms.

When baby Hope died, I was able to, in a small way, relate to Jesus crying out to God, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  I thought of the pain I was feeling when I cried out to God to let baby Hope live, but with tears pouring down my face, said, “But I trust you God.  Let your will be done.”  And I thought, if I feel this way, what must Jesus have felt, knowing of the wrath that was about to come upon Him? How great is His love for me, that He would be willing to say, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

When baby Faith died, God reminded me to walk out to the water to Him, like Peter, and have faith in Him.  I learned to have faith even when everything else around me is in darkness.  To believe and trust in Him, even when I can’t see.

And finally, with baby Grayson, I learned to focus on what is unseen, that which is eternal.  God reminded me that in the same way the disciples had hopes that Jesus would restore the world, God had His focus on the future, on what is eternal, and what is being done for the saving of many lives.

And so it is with a thankful heart, that I was given these 5 beautiful gifts from God.  I may only hold them in my heart for now, but it is with this great hope through Jesus Christ, that I will hold them in Heaven.  Their short lives and deaths have challenged my faith in ever which way, and all along the way, God has been faithful, even when I was faithless.  When I was ready to give up on God, He carried me, lifted me up out of the pit, and restored my faith.

It is because of Him that I am living today and living with joy, peace, and hope, all of these, not based on circumstances, but based on Christ and the redeeming work He has done.

Thank you God for the greatest sacrifice and gift of all time, my precious Savior, Jesus Christ.  I fail to find words to express how thankful I am for this gift I’ve been given, so I will simply say, “Thank you.”

-Amber

 

 

So I noticed something…

I was looking back at my story that I wrote about where I found the name Madison, and I was looking at the wall art decal from Pinterest:

madison

I love butterflies, so it doesn’t surprise me that I was attracted to this nursery decal.  When I was in the doctor’s office during my pregnancies with baby Matthew and baby Hope, the ceiling above me had butterfly art (I’ll have to take a picture of it for you guys one day), and when I found out that I lost my babies, I just remembering looking up at the butterflies and thinking that my babies are now free to fly in Heaven, just like the butterflies.

As I was looking back at this name art today, just dreaming and hoping that our little Madison will be coming to us soon, I noticed there are 5 butterflies in the picture.

FIVE!

I have 5 babies in Heaven: Matthew, Hope, Faith, Abiygale, and baby Grayson.

Just a coincidence? Maybe. Significant – I believe it could be!

I am really, really hopeful for our next pregnancy.  I really believe with all of my heart that God is getting ready to give us this gift.  I’m sorry if my being positive about this is annoying to anyone, but God has lifted me up from out of the pit.  A year ago, I was a wreck.  I was so depressed that I hated life.  And now, I’m living again, all glory to God, and I just believe with everything in me, that He is working all things out for my good.

I have this part of me that says, “Don’t get your hopes up for this cycle.” But another part of me says, forget that! Have hope, get excited, and have faith like a little child that believes in the awesome power of God!

Maybe we won’t get pregnant this cycle in time for Mother’s Day, but who cares.  I’m still going to be hopeful because I know that our gift is coming, and if God is not ready to give us our baby at that time, well, I just believe that He will have a better time picked out.  His will is “good, pleasing, and perfect.”

And so, I’m hopeful.  That I will not miscarry again and more than that, that we will have a very healthy child – a strong fighter.

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber

 

 

 

Busy, busy, busy!

Hi friends! I’ve been keeping up with blogs, but haven’t been very good about commenting here lately and I definitely haven’t had time to form a logical thought and put it to paper.  But I think I’m back, and hopefully things will slow down a bit.

Last week, we had a family crisis on Jonathan’s side of the family.  I’m not going to go into details because it is not my business to share, on a public blog, but it was a rough week.  All I can say is, we ended up having to take in Jonathan’s Aunt Shirley for the week, who is mentally handicapped, and it was a chore taking care of her.  She is in her 50′s so it’s basically like taking care of a very large child – I’m not trying to be harsh, she really does have the mind of a 5-year-old.  On top of her mental disability, she also has a rod in her back and can’t see very well, so bath time was interesting without a handicapped bath.  Jonathan’s parents have a full-handicap bath, but since she had to stay with us for the week, we had to be extra careful.

I did a pretty good job caring for all week-long, and then yesterday, she pooped in her depends underwear (which is like a diaper for adults).  Not once, but twice.  I was trying so hard not to vomit all over the place cleaning her up.  It was HORRIBLE! Hands down, worst experience of my life.  The second time she was sitting on my couch and it went through her underwear.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have tried to clean it up – I think it worked, but it will just never be the same to me again.

I was just praying, “Jesus, help me to stay calm.” I was pretty upset with my husband’s family at this point in time.  Again, I can’t explain the situation, but, let’s just say, my in-laws are pretty much on my list of people to move FAR, FAR away from.  More on that later in another blog!

Friday was also my husband’s 27th birthday! Sadly, I started my period that day, 2 days late.  I knew I wasn’t pregnant though because I had negative tests, but one of the first things I said to Jonathan was, “I’m sorry I’m not pregnant for your birthday!” He laughed at me for being silly.  It was pretty annoying dealing with Shirley on his birthday and my period.  Not going to lie, this entire situation definitely brought out some ugly sides to me and I’m going to need to pray over it because clearly I still need some work done in my heart.

Speaking of my husband’s birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the big upcoming day in May, the most dreaded day of the year, Mother’s Day.  Last year, I had a horrible, horrible day and all I could think about after that day was, “Next year, I’m going to hold my head high and go to church to worship God on Mother’s Day.”  I wanted so badly to attend in 2013, but I had just come home from my Grandfather’s funeral and had ended up eating gluten while out of town and felt too sick to make it.  Jonathan bought me a beautiful Mother’s Day card, but no one else in my life contacted me to see how I was doing and I felt alone and depressed.  I spent the entire day thinking about me and how sad I felt and alone I felt, and afterwards I realized, even if no one else would care, I know that God cares for me.  He deserves my worship and praise, even on the worst days of my life.  I might not have a child to hold in my arms, but I have salvation through Jesus Christ, and He is everything I need.

“Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1

Jesus, is my very great reward.

Since that day last year, I have made the commitment in my heart and mind that I am going to worship the Lord in my church home on Mother’s Day for 2014.  Part of me is anxious for how difficult the day might be, but another part of me is excited and knows that God is going to show up big time to make me feel special and loved.  If I have learned anything at all in the last three years of dealing with miscarriage and infertility, it is that God is ALWAYS faithful.

As the day starts to get closer, I’m becoming more and more filled with minor anxiety over the day and also a hope of wondering what will transpire on that day.

As I was looking at the calendar and wondering when my period would start for next month, based on the late period right in time for Jon’s birthday, I realized that my period is due to start two days before Mother’s Day.  Meaning, I will either be on my period for Mother’s Day, or it could show up late, or I could be pregnant.

I get pretty emotional around the time of my period, probably just from a combination of hormones and also disappointment that I’m not pregnant for that month.  The thought of being extra emotional for Mother’s Day really makes me nervous.  What if I’m just a sobbing mess and everyone starts to look at me? What if I can’t do it?

And then I also have this fear, that I’m going to get too hopeful for this month.  I made a big mistake last night when I calculated my next period.  I decided, just for “fun” to look up what my due date would be based on the first day of my last period (Jon’s birthday).  I thought, it would be pretty cool, to know that our baby’s life essentially started on Jon’s birthday, ovulation occurred right around my birthday (April 23), and I’d find out in time for Mother’s Day the big news.

When I looked up what my due date would be if we were to get pregnant this next cycle, it showed up: January 16, 2015. 

January 16 is the day, that this year, 2014, God gave me the promise for a child.  You can read that story by clicking here if you are interested.

As soon as I saw that, I turned to Jonathan and said, “I know I’m going to get super hopeful now this month.”  Everything would just work out “too perfectly”.

Also, right after Mother’s Day, I’ll be dealing with my upcoming due date for my 4th baby, Faith.  I really haven’t thought too much about it, but I’m sure I’ll feel emotional when I make it closer to the day.

Mother’s Day is also the 3 year marker for this journey of infertility.  The last time I attended Mother’s Day service was in 2011, just a few days before the cycle began that led to my very first pregnancy and miscarriage.  My last hair cut was also in May 2011, and I feel like my hair has been symbolic of this journey.  It’s getting long and messy, and I just really need to cut it all off and start fresh.  I just have never got around to getting my hair cut and taking care of myself.  I really just think it goes to show how difficult the journey of recurrent miscarriage is.  Even something like a simple hair cut becomes an emotional event.  A reminder of what life was like, before loss.  Am I making any sense?

As beautiful as I think that story could be if I was to get pregnant with our baby this month, and what a great ending it could be to this very long and sad journey, I think that I need to be careful not to put my hopes in a date, in circumstances, or into any other thing.  I need to put my hope in God!

With Easter coming up next week, it will be really easy to focus on God.  Even today for Palm Sunday, I was thinking of how thankful I am for my Savior Jesus and how excited I am to finally meet Him someday.  I don’t think that anything else can overwhelm me, quite like this beautiful time of remembrance for what Jesus did for me on the cross.  My heart is just overflowing with wonder at this amazing gift He gave to me and the excitement of knowing, He’s coming again!

But after Easter, comes the preparation for Mother’s Day.  I know that Satan will be at work to try to stop me from worshiping God.  The fact that I’ve made this commitment to worship God, is going to mean that a warfare is going to begin if I’m not careful to put on the full armor of God and protect myself completely.  In preparation for this, I’m going to have to be on top of my game, being intentional in focusing on praying with thankfulness and joy, and abiding totally in Jesus to walk with me through this time.

God has been faithful to walk me through worse times.  Spending Mother’s Day among believers in my home church, is not a bad thing.  I know that I can have a large group of sisters-in-Christ praying on my behalf for the day.  I know that if I break down and cry, someone will be there to hug me and hand me a tissue.  And I am a mother.  I will rest on the promise of the joyful hope that I WILL see my babies in Heaven.

And no matter what happens, I’m going to be there, with my hands lifted high in praise to the One True King, who is ever faithful to His promises.  He will not forget me, and dear sisters, He will not forget you.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your plans are for Mother’s Day.  Is it just another day to you, or do you also struggle with the holiday? If there is anyway I can pray for you, please let me know.

Love and hugs to all of you,

Amber

 

 

Pinterest Dreams

A few posts ago, I talked about my struggle with a stronghold to a food addiction and how I’m just praying and believing that God will help me to overcome this so that I can be the healthy Amber He desires me to be.

I started a new bible study at church today over the book of Philippians (which I am SO excited for) and we each went around saying a praise for the week and prayer request for the week.  Each lady would write down the name of each girl, and her prayer and praise, and then we went around in a circle praying for the woman to our left.  It was the coolest thing! I’ve never been a part of something like that before.  Anyways, I requested prayer to eat healthier.

And I just left the study feeling excited like, Yes! In Jesus name, with His power and authority, I am going to overcome this.  And I have 10 girls praying for me and that will be praying for me all week-long.

Tonight, I was feeling incredibly excited because I thought, “If I just remain faithful, if I work hard and do not give up, God is going to restore my health, help me lose weight, and then give me a baby in His perfect timing.”  With that excitement, I jumped on Pinterest to pin ideas for nursery inspiration, thinking that I need to start planning for this baby I believe God is going to give me (I know, I’m pretty silly! Hey, life is more fun when you’re crazy.)

I was having so much fun looking at all of the ideas and dreaming of what kind of art I would display in my future babe’s room when I saw a star-themed crib mobile.  I pinned it, because I love stars.  And then…. I remembered.

When I was pregnant with my 2nd baby, Matthew, my husband was working the AM shift at work and I would be up early, early in the morning (like 4 am) to take my dog Sweetpea potty.  It was September and October during this time and the stars outside were just gorgeous.  I believe it was the day that I found out I was pregnant with Matthew, that I saw 5 stars forming the shape of the letter M in the sky, and I wondered if God was telling me that this baby was a boy.  I had a very strong desire to name our first boy, Matthew.  Because I spent so much time walking outside at night looking up at the stars and dreaming of meeting baby Matthew, who we nicknamed baby M during the pregnancy (for baby Mueller, or Matthew if it ended up being a boy), I decided he would have a star-themed nursery.

My heart hurt after remembering that and I was about ready to get off of Pinterest because my fun had been ruined with that painful memory.

And then I saw a cute wall art décor with the name Madison and I thought, “I think I kind of like that name. I wonder why?” (I had never been a big fan of the name when I was going through names during previous pregnancies)

madison

Source

I decided to look up the meaning of the name, and wouldn’t you know, this definition popped up on my google:

The name Madison is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Madison is: Surname derived from Matthew ‘gift of God’ or from Matilda ‘strong fighter.

Of course I liked the name Madison!!!! Beautiful!

I wonder if God is going to give us a baby girl, and maybe, just maybe, we will name her Madison, after her big brother in Heaven, Matthew.

God is good! I’m excited, excited, excited for the future :-)

Love to you all,

Amber

 

The Lord is Gracious

Hi ladies, I just wanted to give a quick update on how I’m feeling after yesterday’s pity-party post.  I want to thank all of you for your supportive and loving comments.  I have read through each one and I am humbled by the support in this community, of which I am not deserving of, but I thank God for each and every one of you.

I read Elisha’s comment first before I signed offline and realized I just needed to pick up my bible and go to the Lord in prayer and spend some time with him.  She is such a positive example of faith and a bright light in this community and I hope you’ll go check out her blog, here.

I sat in my ugly yellow rocking chair that I just can’t seem to get rid of.  It’s an old grandmother rocking chair with a horrible pattern, but wonderfully comfortable to relax in.  It doesn’t match any of my other furniture, but I’m hoping to save it for when we have a baby.  My dad remarried when I was in junior high and had two children with my step-mother and some of my most favorite memories with my little brother Dylan are rocking him back to sleep when he was a baby.  Kelli (my step-mom) had an awesome rocking chair and I just remember thinking, “When I have a baby, I’m getting a rocking chair.”  Hopefully I can just get the ugly rocking chair re-upholstered with a new pattern.

But anyways, back to my story.  I grabbed my bible, went to the rocking chair, and went to God in prayer first.  I was just crying my eyes out and saying, “Abba, Abba, I need you.  Please make this better.”  And I read through the psalms and God gave me the peace I needed to move through that painful moment.  Sometimes, you just need to cry out to the Lord like you would cry to your daddy.  He’s my Lord and my Savior, but He is also my daddy in Heaven who cares deeply for His hurting children.  If you are ever going through a really hard time and you need to cry to someone, go to God.  You might feel silly doing it, but I promise you, He understands your pain even more than you do.  Maybe you are mad at Him – take that feeling to Him and tell Him.  I am convinced that nothing we say to God takes Him by surprise and He desires more than anything, for us to go to Him, even if it’s saying, “God, I’m upset with you. I don’t understand why you’ve allowed this bad thing to happen.”

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

This morning, a new friend from church called me and invited me to join her for lunch (her treat).  She said that God had put me on her heart yesterday and she wasn’t sure why.  I told her what I had been going through the last few days, and she shared that she was also struggling with depression and thinks that God is trying to connect us together so that we don’t have to go through our struggles alone.

We had such a great time of fellowship together and I’m so thankful that God brought me a new friend who is ministering to me and whom I can minister to as well.  What a loving and gracious and compassionate God we serve! I just love Him so much!

The rest of today has been wonderful and I’m really feeling all of the prayers that have been lifted to God on my behalf.  I’m so thankful for all of you.  Also, I was cracking up that no one else liked that quote about mothers – thank you! I’m glad someone gets it :-)

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber

 

Look what I have for you all!

DSC06026

It’s a little bit hard to spot in the photo, but that is a picture of a rainbow rim around the sun.  Google rainbow rim around the sun to see some better pictures.  This is what I saw a few weeks ago at the park and I got to see it again today.  It is so beautiful.  The other day it was bright and sunny and today it’s a cloudy day.

Hold on to your hope, ladies.  God will not forget us!

-Amber