Sunday, April 24, 2011

So many changes, so many chances to trust

It's amazing to me to look back over the last four months and see how the Lord has provided for us, and how He began in the months previous, to prepare us for what was coming.  As most of you know, my husband has not worked since mid-December.  We never could have imagined a time like this in our lives, but through each week, each month of bills and needs, the Lord's guiding hand is so evidently present. I wish I could have more clearly seen Him working in the moment, but He has helped me through those times of weakness and fear.

It seems more change is coming our way. More than likely, Steven will be put on lay-off status in about three weeks. We have many decisions to make, one of which is whether to venture out and start our own business. This is something we've thought about, talked about, sought counsel over. I have been praying for the Lord to lead us and show my husband how to best provide for our family.  I ask that you pray with me as we must make these decision very soon.  It's no longer a concept for the future.  We are called upon to take that step NOW.

It's scary. I can't lie and say I'm completely at peace. Reality is that I'm about to go into my third trimester with our fourth child. There are and will be many more medical bills. There are and will be many more extra needs. There are and always will be those bills that show up every month demanding attention.  I struggle with many emotions and fears, but I'm striving to rest in the knowledge that there is a God in heaven Who has promised to provide every need, and to be with us every step of the way, whatever comes.  My desire is that I will grow in my ability to trust during the coming months.  I WANT TO TRUST. I don't want to doubt and fear. I want to be able to boldly say to my children and my husband that we have nothing to fear, that the Lord will provide, and REALLY mean it and not just be "towing the line," saying what I should say.

"Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!"

Again, please pray for the Lord to lead us in the way He desires us to go. Pray for wisdom for my husband as he must make the final decisions and put everything in order for us to move forward. Pray for me, that I would have abiding peace and faith in my God who cannot, will not, fail. Pray for my children that they might also be able to rest in Jesus and know that all is well. As young as they are, they can sense all these changes and the stress that I have been facing. Pray that I will be a good mother to them and a calm help to my husband.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Linking up-How to Help Your Grieving Friend

I don't have time to write much, but with loss so heavy on my mind the past few days, I thought I would share this blog with all of you.  Nearly everyone I know has been affected or knows someone who has been affected by loss over the last year or so. 
After losing her daughter at birth in 2007, Molly Piper shares some of her thoughts on how to really grieve with and for your friend who is suffering loss, especially the loss of a child, and how to help them in those first days and as the months pass and those birthdays come and go.  It helped and encouraged me to read through her blog today. I hope it might help some of you too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This song expresses all that I can't put into words today.

Eight years

It seems like a long time, but really, it's such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of eternity. But to me, that is how long I've had a piece of my heart missing, a piece of my family, forever gone.

Most people see our little family of three boys and one on the way and inevitably comment about how much we must want a girl.  Sometimes, I want to scream that I DO HAVE A DAUGHTER, I just didn't get to keep her and watch her grow up. *sigh*  Obviously, I would never actually be that rude insensitive.  Abigail will always be the missing part of our family, the part that you may not see, but the part we will always carry in our hearts.

For some reason, I feel more sad  than some of the past years.  Maybe it's because I know so many who have lost their sweet babies in the past four months.  I don't know.  But I ache for all that we will never have.  I miss my little girl. I wish I could see what she would look like at eight years old.  What color would her hair be?  Darker like Daddy's or light and fine, but thick like mine?  I wish I could hear what her voice would sound like. I wish I could see her snuggled up with her daddy.  I wish I could see her bossing her around her little brothers.  I wish I could have her climb into bed with me in the morning.  I wish...I wish...I wish...too many thing to count.  So much lost and never to be. My heart hurts.

Oh, God, please kiss my baby girl for me and help me to be patient, to accept, all over again, that what You have chosen for her is BEST for her and for us.  Help me to not hurt so much.  Help us to remember the little things and find joy in what time You gave us with her.  Help me to praise You even through the tears, for truly, You are worthy!

Happy birthday, sweet girl.  We love you so much and will keep you always, close to our hears.
Love, Mommy

Monday, March 21, 2011

And so we've decided....

I have only known one grandfather.  On my dad's side, my grandpa died before I was old enough to get to know him, so we were left with only Grandpa Jake.  I have so many memories of being at his house.  It was always COLD, there were always snacks, and even though we weren't allowed to be in the living room, unless you were "lucky" enough to be chosen to sleep in there, the den was a welcoming place where we got to snuggle up and watch old movies, especially John Wayne westerns!  He always seems larger than life, like nothing would ever change, but time and age affects us all.  Last year, we lost our sweet Grandma Betty, and at the funeral, I saw for the first time, how really frail my Grandpa Jake had gotten. 

I know that the time is coming when all of my grandparents will pass, but it's a hard truth to keep in mind during the day to day, ins and outs of life.  But life is precious and short.  I want to make more of an effort to spend time with him and make sure that my sons at least get to meet Grandpa. Already, Ryan and Brandon have some memories of being with their Great-Grandpa. God willing, all my boys will get to know him and spend some time with him.

Last year was hard for our family with Grandma Betty's passing, and then the unexpected and tragic death of my 19-year old cousin, Ethan Hendricks.  So much loss, not just in our family, but all around us it seemed. 

Ethan.  I still have a hard time believing that he's really gone and that we're not going to see him again.  But in his short life, he had such an impact on those around him. His infectious smile and laughter was what most people remember about him. That, and his huge appetite and epic love for ranch dressing!!  LOL  It's a family legend!

I've thought about Ethan so much in the past months.  I've teared up too many times to count and outright cried most of those times.  I know something about losing a child, but to lose one after making so many memories and having him be a part of every facet of your life! Oh, a parent should never out live a child!!  But I still believe the Lord's grace and love is sufficient, even in the midst of such anguish.  

I think this is all a bit scattered, but there really is a reason I'm sharing it all.

As Steven and I have talked through names for this newest baby boy of ours, we have really struggled to come up something we both liked and thought would "work."  We never had the problem with our other boys. The name just came to us and seemed perfect.  After many list, crossing off, adding and crossing off more names, one false decision, we finally have it.


I hope that our boy can be as strong a man as my grandpa, with the same sense of hard work and family.  I hope that he will love the Lord like his cousin Ethan and be blessed with the same sweet, loving, giving nature that endeared Ethan to so many.

So, my sweet little Jake, as we will call him for now, you have a lot to live up to in your namesakes!  I pray even now, that the Lord will take you and make you into a strong, Godly man who will be a witness to His love, mercy and grace!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

20 Weeks

Well, it's been a different pregnancy for sure!  Everyone will tell you that each time is different, each child is different, etc, etc. Well, there were differences in each of my previous four pregnancies, but really, so much was the same. Not so this time!!!

I haven't gained the weight I usually do--GOOD!!

I haven't felt the baby move hardly at all or consistently--Not So Good for this paranoid Momma!!

After being VERY sick the first trimester, I've been relatively NOT sick the rest of the time--At least some things stay the same!

I have had any cravings for really unhealthy food, like chocolate and peanut butter or Coca Cola--VERY GOOD!

I have actually craved HEALTHY food!--WEIRD!

Monday, I finally had my first ultrasound. It seemed like it took forever to get to this point! :-)  Anyway, I now have a REASON for not feeling the baby the came this time as in the past.  My placenta is anterior, meaning it is on top of the uterus. A very good thing, but it does add an extra layer, thereby decreasing the amount of movement I feel at this point.  I'm certain this little person will continue the dancing though, and eventually, I'll be complaining about TOO much moving and not letting me sleep!!  :-)

Of course, we did find out boy or girl.  Everyone has been voting for a girl, but really, I never expected to get a girl.  Turns out, we make really awesome BOYS!!!!!  So, I'm the only Walker girl for now, but soon, I'll be surrounded by even more blue, balls, bugs and DIRT!

Little boy is doing well according to the doctors.  I was SO nervous going into this appointment.  In the past months, I know or know of at least 4 people who have lost their sweet babies. Not feeling him move has only added to my fears, and boy, have those fears been prevalent!!  I've spent a lot of time praying and asking the Lord to give me peace and help to simply rest in Him, whatever the outcome for this baby.  Seeing him moving around so much, see that bitty heart beat, KNOWING he's ok, has been a comfort.  I can only keep praying that God will continue to help me trust Him and leave this baby's future in His hands, as the only wise God and loving Father.

Here's our newest picture of our baby boy!