Friday, September 19, 2008

Dusting off memories of Josiah

Ten years ago my future was changed forever. Tim and I had been married for eight years and we were excited to be expecting our first child. The pregnancy brought lots of emotional events. It seemed though that after I entered my second trimester things settled down. We heard the baby’s heartbeat and I began to feel peaceful about the pregnancy.

That all changed suddenly. Just a few drops of blood and my life began to shift in ways I never imagined. I called our midwife and they decided to do a “routine” ultrasound. We scheduled it for the next day and I made arrangements to take off work.

Wednesday afternoon we walked in for the ultrasound. We were excited. We weren’t planning on having an ultrasound or finding out the sex of the baby but decided to find out that day. The first few minutes were normal. Then it went on and on. The ultrasound tech was deathly quiet and we knew something was wrong. Finally after about a half hour she left and called the doctor. I remember clinging to Tim’s hand. She returned and told us that our midwife wanted to see us in her office and we were to go over there.

We drove the few blocks in silence. Wondering… The mind is an incredible thing, without enough information it will create the worst scenarios in the place of information. Ok, there was something wrong with the baby, we would deal with it. Maybe it would involve surgery. We were blessed to have many friends who were in the medical community where we lived so we knew that we could handle medical problems.

Once we reached the midwife’s office, one of the midwives met us at the door and took us into a private office. Julie sat at the desk and said “You know I don’t have good news for you…” Those few little words began the quake that shook our lives. Our baby had died. We would have to go through labor and delivery. We were scheduled to the hospital the next morning. In all our wondering we never imagined that they would tell us that the baby died.

I shared last year that grief books say when you lose your parents you lose your past but when you lose a child you lose your future. You lose the chance for the unknown. Maybe that is why the grief a child seems more poignant. You aren’t grieving the known, the memories you have. You are grieving the memories you could have had, all the things your child could have done and been.

With the loss of a child you don’t dust off memories you can laugh and cry over. You don’t have those memories to dust off. They simply aren’t there. Instead when certain milestones come you remember the loss and mourn the unknown. Our baby would have been born today; this is the first Christmas, first birthday, over and over. You mourn all the unknowns that you can never share with your baby.

Ten years ago I gave birth to Josiah James. He weighed 8 ounces and was 10 inches long. Those are the memories that I have. I remember what he looked like wrapped in a miniature blanket with a tiny hat. Those are the memories that I dust off today. I never rocked him, or feed him or changed a diaper. I never got to whisper in his ear. I got to hold him for a few short minutes. Today I remember those minutes. I mourn the loss of so much more.

When we drove to the hospital ten years ago it was raining. We commented that God was weeping with us. Today I know that I am not alone in my grief. I know that God lovingly cares for me. Today I trust that my heavenly Father has a plan for this in my life that I can’t see or understand. I trust that He didn’t forsake me ten years ago and he will not leave me today.

Dusting off my memories…

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It has been an emotional week.

I am realizing that I am more emotional now than normal. I have had to take a step back and evaluate some things.

I realize that 10 years is a long time but today my mind feels like it was just yesterday. Ten years ago this week I was happily pregnant. Tim and I had just attended my 10 year class reunion. So I had been able to visit with my parents and reconnect with my high school friends. We were excited to share about our first pregnancy.

We had no idea that in one week our lives would be forever changed. As I remember what we experienced the flood of emotions is so fresh it seems like yesterday. I can't believe that it has been 10 years. I can still remember the ultrasound tech and how deathly quiet the room was as she scanned. I can still see my midwife's face and hear her say "You know I don't have good news...". I remember holding Tim's hand and thinking what is going on, surely it isn't that bad.

I remember driving home and laying in bed with my hand on my stomach praying for the least movement, for anything. I remember laying in bed with Tim that night and crying all night. I remember the rain as we drove to the hospital. Tim saying that even God was weeping with us.

I read an article this week written by a Christian that chose to abort her twins because they weren't developed properly and one was dying in utero. As I read the article I felt such pain and remorse. I would have given anything to have held my baby while he was alive. I would have cherished even a single minute. I am trying hard not to judge this fellow believers decisions but it is hard. When my grief is still so real, it is hard not to ask why?

This week I think this hits me especially hard. In a hurtful way, I have been called ignorant and stupid for voting for a candidate based on their stance on abortion. I have been told that really because that is an issue that is important (the most important) to me that I don't deserve the right to vote.

It has been said that really if you are pro life then you should do something about it. The inference that those of us that are pro life don't. How utterly arrogant. People have no idea what I have or haven't done to support mom's struggling with unwanted pregnancy's.

All of this comes so close the anniversary of the most traumatic event in my life. So right now my emotions are raw. I feel like I am being attacked and am not sure how to defend myself.

So I have taken a self imposed sabbatical from my favorite message board. I am separating myself from women that I consider friends. I know that I will deal with this but tonight it is hard. I feel very alone. I know that I am not but sometimes when you are dealing with the grief of losing a child you feel that way. Which is so sad to me. I know lots of other women that have suffered this loss. I know I am not the only one. But we don't talk about it much in society and so there is a self imposed restraint. When you face the anniversary of your loss you do it alone. I know that I have been guilty of not remembering the loss my friends have suffered.

I realize that ten years is a long time and that one year is a long time. We move on. But mamas don't forget. These are the days that we hold in our minds. I don't think we dwell on them but when certain dates come up we remember. We take out the memories that we have and we dust them off. We may cry, we may even laugh but we definitely mourn. We mourn the loss of the unknown.

In the midst of this my boys are playing around me on the floor. They have an elaborate train set up and block set up going. They know I am upset but they also realize that things will be ok. They can sense my sadness but they know it will pass. So even in the midst of this grief there is a celebration of life happening at my feet.

I will post later this week more about Josiah James. Ten years really doesn't seem that long at all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Life is a Journey

We are moving. Posting this is bittersweet. I started this blog after we moved to Alabama and in some ways it tells the story of our journey here. Now the journey is changing. Tim and I are called to missions. Several times in our ministry we have explored the opportunity to go into international missions, but we have always felt compelled to plant churches in America.

Now we have the opportunity and the privilege to plant another church. We will be moving in October to Phoenix, AZ to plant a church with the Evangelical Free Church. We love Arizona and have long wanted to move there. We are looking forward to this opportunity in so many ways.

Yet this time is truly bittersweet. We love our church in Alabama. They are so much like family to us. This has been a wonderful place for us to spend three years. There are many tears over this but what a wonderful blessing for us. Our church has given us their full support and blessing to move forward with this and they truly show us a picture of God's grace and blessing.

We will be moving to the area of Buckeye, Arizona which is a suburb of Phoenix. It is one of the fastest growing suburbs in America. We will be working with the EFCA West and with Compass Church to launch this new church next year. This year we are working on fund raising, getting prepared to move and the actual move. We will also be working on church logistics like setting up a website. Once we are in AZ we will be making contacts and developing a launch team.

Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts in the next couple of months. Things are hectic and we are hoping to make this a smooth transition for our family.

Here are some photos to show you how much things have changed since we moved here.

This is Josh at a Auburn game in 2005.


This is Josh at Callaway Gardens in July of this year.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fun Retro Apron Site and Give Away

Check out this site for a fun retro apron give away. All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite apron from

Here is one of my favorites:

Vintage Apron

Here us a link to the give away:

Apron Give Away

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bald and Golden Eagles

We went to a local forest ecology preserve to see a presentation on eagles this morning. The presentation was from Auburn University's Raptor Center. They did a presentation this summer at our local library and the boys loved it. It is great fun to see "War Eagle" in person after seeing him fly at the games. Today a friend took some wonderful photos.

This is Spirt and he is being trained to fly at the Auburn games in the fall. It is hard to tell in this photo but he was injured as a young bird and his beak is not curved like it should be. He would not survive in the wild so he was rehabilitated and is used in educational programs.

This is Nova (War Eagle #7). I can't tell you what a beautiful bird he is. We have seen him fly at the games and it is really incredible but even more so to see him upclose.

Here is the link for the Auburn Raptor Center. They have some awesome kids stuff on their website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cool project for boys

I was surfing the web today looking for ideas for homemade Christmas presents. I found this super cool bull whip (think Indiana Jones) made out of duct tape. I think the boys would love this so it may be a project for next week.

Here is the link to the blog.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Children's Book Review

I found these neat books at our public library. They are published by Pebble Books. Their website is The series we are reading is Insects and the some of the titles are Ants, Beetles, Bumble Bees, Cicadas, Crickets, Dragonflies and Fireflies.

These are nice, short books for younger children. They have a photo on one page and then a sentence describing the photo on the next page. At the end of the book there is a vocabulary list and also a list of related internet sites and more books. These books are at the K-1st reading level. Graham enjoyed reading these to Josh and Will. They were short enough to keep Will's interest and Josh loved the pictures (lots of great detail).

Our library has the insect series and we are currently reading through them. They also publish an animals and science series.

Here is a link to the page with these books.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The boys

We are so fortunate to live very close to Callaway Gardens ( We went on a day trip with Tim's parents while they were visiting.

While we were there Grammy made some photos of the boys. I love this one in front of a log cabin.


Here is one of Graham.


Eli in the butterfly house.






I can't believe how quickly they are growing up. Graham will be 9 this fall and is going into the 3rd grade. Eli will be 7 in January and will be starting 1st grade in the fall. Josh is going to be 5 in November. Baby Will (who isn't really a baby) will be 2 in September.

They are all doing well. We are finishing up some light school work this summer. Mainly we are reading tons and working on math. We are spending lots of time playing outside in the evening when it gets cooler.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cowboy Will

This is last halloween. I love this photo of Will because I think it totally captures his personality in his smile.


Eli's birthday cake

Well it is a little late but I wanted to post photos from Eli's birthday this year.

Eli wanted an army cake so that is what we made. He is wearing his prized Dallas Cowboy jersey from his Aunt Jamie. She had his name put on the back of it and he loves it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My thoughts on t-ball.

One of our friends suggested/encouraged that we sign up Eli up for t-ball. Well he also volunteered Tim to coach the team with him. So this has been interesting. First of all we are in the unique position of being in a community that doesn't think very highly of our church. When we came here 3 years ago this church had been in conflict for the past 60 years. We took the church into a mediation process and encouraged them to begin dealing with issues in a Biblical manner. In the end several families left. What began as a honeymoon where Tim was the greatest, ended quickly. As we look back over that time, it all cumulated at a point when Tim began preaching about the need for repentence and self inspection as a prerequiste for revival. Things were really pretty good when he preached about God's goodness and love. They went down hill quickly as he preached about our need for repentence. In particular the Sunday when he read from Charles Finney's book "Lectures on Revival" it was a noticable shift in the air.

So what in the world does this have to do with t-ball? I know you are wondering but I will get there. After all that has happened at this church, Tim and I are not likely to be voted "most popular pastor and family" in our town. So Tim goes down to sign Eli up for t-ball and finds out he will be a coach. Then he notices the other 3 coaches talking and worrying about getting "their players". Tim told them, you chose the players you want and I will take Eli and the rest.

Well just so you know at their third game of the season, everyone of our players got a hit from a coach pitched ball. You see they give the players 3 swings to hit a pitch and then they put the ball on the t. Our players (those that basically none of the other teams wanted) all hit the ball tonight. And my proud mama moment was when Eli hit the ball through the in field all the way to fence.

I am so proud of Tim. You see I know that this isn't the highlight of his life. These past three years have been hard. He has struggled to lead a 170 year old church into a new era. Tim has been called lots of names and has been accused of "taking over the church". He has been called a dictator, a liar and a hot head. Through all of this he has managed to maintain his calm and integrity.

Our team has continued to progress and tonight they played their last game of the season. We have had a wonderful time (albeit tiring at times)and have come to love the little boys who have played with Eli. The coaches of this team has taken a group of boys and modeled for them good sportsmanship and respect.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Photos

Several friends have reminded me (gently) that I need to update my blog. I finally got some photos developed so I am going to upload some of halloween and birthdays. I will try to update with an actual post this week.

Joshua's birthday was in November and he wanted a Diego cake. He loves Diego (hence the outfit).


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eli's baptism

Just a quick post to link to the video of Eli's baptism.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gratitude Journal

I missed my blessing post yesterday. We had a busy day and I didn't get on the computer.

Today I am thankful for our church. I missed services again this morning. Joshua is running a fever. He says his throat hurts but it really doesn't seem to be slowing him down much. He is a little grouchier than normal. But the reason I am thankful is this I have missed a lot of church already this year. I have been sick and the boys have been sick so I have had to stay home with them. I know that this wouldn't be acceptable in some churches. I know that there are places where I would have felt obligated to medicate my children and go to church whether it was the best thing for them or not. I called friends and they came and picked up Graham and Eli. Tim spoke at the military academy this morning for their chapel services so he couldn't take the boys. I am just so thankful that we have a community of believers that support us and love us. It makes me incredibly happy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

A friend on a board I am on suggested taking the next 30 days to blog about gratitude.

One of my favorite quotes is from TW Hunt "What if tomorrows blessing were dependent upon our thankfulness today?"

When I read that it makes me stop and think. Sometimes it is easier to just complain about all the little things in life rather than find the joy and happiness in life.

Today I am so thankful that the boys are healthy. Will and I have a cold but other than that we are healthy.

I am also thankful that I don't live in the 1800's. Stay with me a minute on this. Our heat is out at the house so we are surviving with electric space heaters. It reminds me that I am glad we don't live in a time when our heat and warmth would be dependent on wood heat. Also when our heat went out we have had several friends offer for us to stay with them. (This is huge with four small children.)

If I take a few minutes it is so easy to find things to be thankful for. We are so blessed.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

We have had an eventful day here. Our heater went out last night and so we woke up to a 50 deg house. We have called a person to come look at it but they haven't come out yet so we are now rounding up space heaters to help warm it up tonight.

Really Valentine's Day has been pretty uneventful for us. I got a new watch from Tim which I love and he got a new George Foreman grill from me. We were supposed to go to a homeschool V' Day party today, but Will is still sick with a runny nose and a little cough and Josh is coughing again. I decided we would hibernate today and hopefully the boys will be well this weekend and we can go to church.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Well a little background, Tim and I have been in ministry all our lives. Both of our fathers are pastors. Then my maternal grandfather and Tim's paternal grandfather were pastors.

Just some interesting family lore. My grandfather became a Christian one Sunday. When he got to church that night the pastor handed him his Bible and told him to preach. Tim's grandfather and several other men were saved that night.

Tim's grandfather became a pastor and all three of his sons became pastors. My grandfather was a pastor/church planter and his only son became a pastor and two of his daughters married pastors.

Tim's brother and cousin are pastors. So when I say that we have been in ministry all our lives, we really have. I joke that I married a pastor because I didn't know you could do anything else.

Even though I joke about it I love being in ministry. Tim and I share a partnership in marriage and ministry, we both feel called. I can't imagine our life doing anything else. Sure there are times when it seems like it is so hard. But when I try to imagine us doing something different, I am reminded of the call God placed on our lives. When things get really difficult I am reminded that Jesus said we would have trouble in this world. He told us that as his disciples we would be hated.

I feel so blessed that God has chosen to bless us and use us in ministry. I know that the decision my grandfather made so many years ago changed not just his life but the lives of his family. He had a profound influence on so many others. We will never know the true scope of his influence in this lifetime.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Love without Boundaries

It has been a while since I posted. I got an email from dear friends of our and I wanted to share about an incredible organizaion.

Love Without Boundaries is an organization of volunteers that offer medical, nutrition and education support for orphans in China.

We became aware of this organizion when our friends adopted twin girls from China. These baby girls were born with mirror image cleft plates. Before they were adopted LWB begin the corrective surgeries on the girls.

What impressed me was the selfless nature of the individuals and organization itself. There were doctors and nurses who gave freely of their time and resources to help some of the helpless children in China.

They have made a huge difference in the plight of China's orphans. They now are involved in not just medical but also nutrition and educational needs.

If you are interested in a great humanitarian organization to support I would encourage you to check out Love Without Boundaries.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A question to ponder.

Do I commit what I am doing on a daily basis to God?

We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God's hands. Proverbs 16:1

Commit your work to the Lord and then it will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

I read this on another blog I was visiting and it just struck me as something I really need to consider and act upon. I wanted to post it here while it is still fresh in my mind.

One of my goals this year.

I know that lots of people make a goal or resolution to lose weight and I am going to join the crowd.

I have struggled with my weight my entire marriage. I have gained and lost several times. Since having children (9 years ago) it has been a real struggle to get to a healthy weight and stay there.

On a board I am a member of we are doing a Biggest Loser challenge and there are weekly challenges. This week the challenge is to answer the question "Why am I doing this?" So I am answering it here in my blog. Here is the list of reasons I want to lose weight.

I want to head off type 2 diabetes that both my parents have.

I want to be a normal size.

I want to be able to play with my boys and not be tired or winded.

I want to be at a healthy weight 20 years after graduating from high school (2008).

I want to be healthier at 40 than I was at 30 (2010).

I want to have normal cholestrol levels.

I don't want to have to take lots of medication as I age to solve weight related problems.

I want my children to see healthy activity as fun.

I want to teach my children self discipline by modeling it for them.

I want my children to have healthy attitudes about food.

I want to enjoy wearing a swimsuit in the summer.

I want to love myself enough to be good to myself.

I don't want to be addicted to food or anything else.

I want to enjoy taking the boys on walks and nature hikes and not dread it.

I want to be the woman dh says I am.

I am trying to make this about health and I know the weight loss will follow. I know that if it becomes about losing weight I will probably gain it back.

My big goal for this week is to drink enough water every day. I feel so much better when I drink water but I seem to derail off that track frequently. Back on task with at least 64 oz of water every day this week.

I will catch up all up on our other goals for the year later this week. I am hoping that since the holidays are over and all our family is home that we will be able to get back into a routine this week and I want to start blogging on a more regular basis.