Sunday, January 30, 2011

House Update

We broke ground for our house in the beginning of December. I realized that it has been almost two months since my last post about our house, and I wanted to show you where we are at today. Just so you know. We have had many rainy days, and really cold days, but Brian and my dad and the guys who have helped have done such an awesome job. So if you are interested, here it is. We will hopefully move in sometime in April. I am actually at a place now that I look forward to picking stuff out for our house, and I am glad that I can help scrap it out, stain and paint. Our first house!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Couldn't sleep...

I tried to go to bed early tonight. And after laying there for awhile, i finally decided to get up. I couldn't sleep. And my husband is sawing logs, bless his heart. I am glad that he can sleep so easily. My brain is full, my heart is heavy for the Parreria's. If you live in the area you have probably heard that their 2 year old son Cash went to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon. He had a brain tumor and fought hard for a year. It was strange because I was staining boards for our house in the shop yesterday from 2-4:30 and when I read their blog today, I found out that Cash took his last breath at 3:50. I cried. I was praying for them all afternoon yesterday. I do not know what it is like to lose my 2 year old child. But I do know what it was like to lose Esther, and the pain that was so intense, especially in those first few days & weeks. Saying goodbye, holding your child for the last time, deciding when you are ready to give them to a person who is going to them away. How do you say goodbye? Honestly, it is by the grace of God, that is the only way you get through such a devastating loss. I was thinking of them having to go through that yesterday. Our loss of Esther is so fresh and my heart went out to them. So I prayed that Jesus would just surround them in a mighty way, like he surrounded us during a time that was unimaginable. That He would bring them comfort in a way they have never experienced. Until you lose such a precious one, you don't fully understand God as Comforter. I didn't, because I had never needed comfort so badly until I lost my daughter. God was there, as He always is. And God will be with the Parreria's as they walk this journey...............but my heart breaks.
If you want to hear there story go to:

My brain is also full because I feel like I have been trying to "figure" things out. My brain starts to hurt when I do that. I told my sister that the other day, and she said, "yeah, because that's what you do." She had me. She knows me so well, and knows that I analyze things from every angle. I feel like I haven't been as bad, since I have chosen to trust Jesus with my life, but I still think............a lot. I want to understand why things happen. What our life is going to look like. To try to make sense of things. One of the many things I have learned through these past few months, is that life doesn't make sense, and I am NOT in control. I have had a lot of dreams over the past few years about me saving babies/children. Dreams are strange and for the most part I don't think my dreams mean anything, however the dream I had a few nights ago spoke pretty clearly to me. Well, God spoke clearly to me. I was on a dock surrounded by water of some sort. A toddler jumped into the water and clearly couldn't swim. His head was several inches below the surface, but was still within reach. Someone jumped in to save him, but jumped way beyond where he was. So i reached down and grabbed him and pulled him out. I was holding him in my lap, and he said, in a very adult voice. "You are not the Lord in Heaven." I don't know if those were the exact words, but that is what was spoken to my heart the next day when I woke up. OK God -I hear you! I am so grateful that He reminds me of that when I start to begin to analyze and figure my life out. I will never figure it out, and am actually thankful that I don't have to. I don't want to be in control, and yet I act like I do because my mind wanders as I try to figure things out. So because God is so good, and doesn't want me to stay where I am at, He speaks to me through Jesus Calling again today.

January 29 says - "Keep your focus on me.........Let the goal of this day be to bring every thought captive to Me. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Whenever your mind wanders, lasso those thoughts and bring them into My Presence. In My radiant Light, anxious thoughts shrink and shrivel away. Judgmental thoughts are unmasked as you bask in My unconditional Love. Confused ideas are untangled while you rest in the simplicity of My Peace. I will guard you and keep you in constant Peace, as you focus your mind on Me." Isaiah 26:3
I love that. Confused ideas are untangled while you rest in the simplicity..............ok so that shouldn't hurt my head............simplicity of My Peace. Man that sounds so good. So I need to bring every thought captive to Jesus, and not let it take me to a place that I am not to go. When my mind wanders and I try to see what our future will hold, I can get anxious. As I think about losing Esther, I think about the future, and sometimes I wonder if God even wants us to have kids. Then I can't imagine why He would not. Then I have this battle in my head, as I did while I was laying in bed tonight. That is not my place, or anything that I have to worry about. God is in control. I am not. He wants what is best for us and I trust Him. I want what He wants and I know it will be good. Done.........and done. Goodnight!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Death........and awkwardness

I don't think it is any secret that when it comes to people in our lives losing a loved one, it can be awkward. We don't know what to do or say, or how to act. We have 2 sided conversations in our head. We start to play out what we will say, how they will respond......then what we will say back. Then after we have this conversation by ourselves, we just decide it will be awkward and we feel frozen and then we don't do................anything. I had this exact conversation with a friend yesterday about how she went back and forth and wanted to call, but then didn't. Maybe as you are reading this you have thought that, about me, or maybe someone else in your life at another time. I have learned so much through this process about how to really love people. You can't say anything wrong. The only wrong thing to say is nothing. The gesture of reaching out is what matters, and what means so much. I went to a college basketball game last night. One that i must say i was a bit nervous about going to, because people can be so awkward. Not intentionally, but the interactions can be awkward. Then i feel awkward. And i don't know who knows about Esther's death, and who doesn't. Do they know, and aren't saying anything? Do they not know? I'm telling you, it is kind of stressful. And I guess it doesn't help matters, that i do have a twin, which is ALWAYS awkward when we see people who think they know us, but its actually the other one. So that adds an interesting dimension I am sure:) Is this Monica or Alicia? But i was so grateful to go to the game and feel so loved. People who i haven't seen yet since we lost Esther, came and hugged me and said they were sorry for our loss. Those are beautiful words. Thats all. I said thank you and we talked, and they asked questions. I loved it. It takes the awkwardness out of, do they know? are they going to say something? do i say something? So THANK YOU to those of you who loved on me last night. You know who you are:) I feel like this whole season has been educating for me, because i used to do the same thing when it came to losses that friends of mine experienced. And now I realized that i didn't do very well. So i want to do better in the future at loving people who walk this journey. Death doesn't have to be awkward. Unfortunately, it is a part of life. Jesus is with us and makes it possible to bear. Blessings today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just have to share......

There are times when I want to laugh and cry all at once, because God is so real and present and involved in our lives. He cares about every detail, and about specific needs that we have. And yesterday was a prime example. If you are in construction right now, or even alive today for that matter, you know that our economy is struggling - there is not much work to be had out there. We weren't prepared to have had a baby in these winter months (to be paying the bills as if we had a baby I should say), at all for that matter, but especially financially. And now we are getting bills aplenty. On top of everything else, a financial stress. But God is walking us through the valley of the shadow of death, and we know He will take care of us financially as well. I tell you this because of what comes next. Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone talking to the places where our bills came from and was working out details with them. I went to get the mail and in there was a $ gift from a friend that had no idea of our need. We see him 2x a year to be exact. His letter was simple. " The Lord Jesus laid it on my heart to send you this." Can you believe it???? Jesus told him that we had a need, and he responded to Him! God cares about every need and has already gone ahead to help provide for those needs. Brian and I just came before the Lord and laid it out. "You know our needs, and we know that You care and You WILL provide." And He did. In His Word He tells us that He will provide for us, that if we look to Him, He will answer. And He did and will continue too. Praise His Name! If you have a need today, bring it before our Lord, the one who loves you and cares about every detail. And trust Him to provide. He is THE Provider!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Better than a Hallelujah

Some days I don't have much going on in my head, and others it is as if my mind does not stop. I was even out in Bellingham yesterday with my sister and I could not stop thinking, writing a book in my head. Yesterday morning i listened to a wonderful CD a friend gave me - Songs for the soul, and oh how they have ministered to my soul. I have listened to it a million times, but yesterday Amy Grant's song, Better than a Hallelujah stuck out to me as never before. I think it was in light of several emails i received yesterday then i just started thinking. I haven't even been a huge fan of that song, but yesterday it just hit me as so beautiful. The line..............."we pour out our misery, God just hears a melody, beautiful the mess we are, honest cries, breaking hearts..........Better than a Hallelujah." something along those lines. It just made me think of how we do not have to have it altogether. This grief thing is so strange to me. The different emotions and thoughts I can have in one day, one hour for that matter. Then i received emails from a couple people talking about being angry with God. Or not wanting to feel angry with God. I thought of that line, "we pour out our misery, God just hears a melody." God just wants us! He doesn't want us to say or do the right thing. He's not taken aback when we scream at Him in anger, or question why something happened or is happening. I was thinking how we go to a friend we trust and pour out our hearts, whats on our mind, etc. Thats what God wants us to do with Him! He's not afraid of what we are saying, He knows it anyway. He just wants us to come to Him. To trust Him enough to curl up in His lap and pour our everything out to Him. And that to Him, is better than a Hallelujah - its a melody to Him! Our anger and frustration is a melody to Him? To me that would just make my head hurt, and make me angst. But God is God. His ways are higher than ours, and we don't understand how He works, or how He loves us. Wow, a song I never appreciated spoke so clearly to me yesterday. I love how God does that. His love, so unconditional. Something i never really understood until I had a daughter. She was weak and sick and helpless and fighting for her life. But I loved her because she was mine! Not because she could do anything to earn my love. I didn't love her because she couldn't talk back to me, or because she hadn't screwed up. She was mine! She is mine! And that is that. So simple. Jesus loves me like that. Just because I am His. I don't have to prove anything to him. I am a mess many days. I don't know what I think or feel. I have questions and fears about the future. He loves me anyway and that makes me love Him so much more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The grieving process has had several phases so far. For the first few weeks i spent every day at my moms house. I didn't want to be alone. We would come back to our trailer to sleep, but then when Brian left for work and when i got up i would head over to my moms. All gifts, flowers etc came to their house anyway. Our mementos of Esther were all at my moms house. I needed that. To lay, recuperate, rest, do nothing, cry. My mom is a good one to cry with. I want to talk about Esther all the time. Whenever i would start talking, she would stop whatever she was doing and come sit by me and listen. Oh how i needed that. Thank you mom :) Just so you know, if you ever see me and aren't sure if you want to bring up what we have gone through, please do. I think about her all the time and want to talk about her all the time. So if i look like i am doing good and you don't want me to get sad, don't worry, i am thinking about her anyway:) I can say that, because that is what i used to think when i was around people who have suffered a loss.

This week is different....... I have been in my trailer all week. Resting, and writing and processing, thinking about Esther, listening to music that soothes my soul, singing, crying, reading, praying, and writing. I have so many things going on in my head, it has been good to have this time.

I bought a few books and am on my 2nd one. It is called Safe in the Arms of God, by John MacArthur. It is truth from God's word about the death of a child. I was struck by something that he wrote. I know that it is true but I needed to hear this today. "God has a unique plan and purpose for every child conceived. We may not understand His plan fully. We may not be able to comprehend God's purposes. But we can know with faith that our perfect God does not err. He does not allow a conception that is beyond His sovereign plan and purposes." (pg. 23) On most days, I am convinced that Esther had a purpose for her life. I know that. But i would be lying if there weren't some days that I asked God, "God why did you allow her to live for 6 months, only for her to die?" I wonder how everything came together so perfectly with the timing of being pregnant with her, I knew God brought it to be. And yet it is that same question that tells me her life WAS so purposeful. "For such a time as this...." from the book of Esther in the Bible. I know God would not have created her if not for a reason, a purpose. Her life was on purpose for a purpose. I believe that, even though i wish she was here. When i was first pregnant with her, I dreamed of how God was going to use her life, how he would be glorified in her. What i didn't know then, is that He was going to glorify Himself through her short life, but more in her death. And He would glorify Himself in us as He walks with us, as we partner with Him and allow Him to walk us through the valley of the shadow of death. To prove Himself to us and to show the world, HIS people that He is trustworthy, that He can be depended on. We CAN trust Him, when all else seems to be shattering around us, He is there. He asked us to trust Him, and we did...........we do. I don't understand it, I don't like it, but I trust Him and that is all He asks of us. We prayed for a miracle. That God would heal her and he would be glorified and everyone would know that He is God, because there is no way that she could have been healed unless by the POWER OF THE LIVING GOD. Wow, wouldn't that be amazing I thought? He did give us a miracle though. My footnotes in John 2 says that miracles are not merely superhuman events, but events that demonstrate God's power. Esther's life and death is doing that! This miracle is explained well in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 - "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." We are able to make it through not because we are strong, but because our God is strong. We are merely jars of clay, fragile so that we will know the power is not from us, couldn't be from us. It is God's power in us. Wow. All He asks is that we trust Him. The miracle is happening now.................

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Star

I found this website on someone else's blog and i thought it was awesome. You can put in your blog address and it takes the words off of your blog and puts them in any design you want. Esther's name means "star" so i thought it was only appropriate that we use a star. And also pink will forever be my baby Esther's color.

It is really neat when you look at all the words we have used for the past 2 months in a collage like this. I think it is a great picture of the Lord's faithfulness, and the grace He gives to us. Many different emotions happening all at the same time. It is good, it is sad, and it is rich. Blessings~
Click on the picture to see it up close~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resting & Receiving

My mom and i were talking the other day and she asked me if i remembered what my prayer requests had been. Some months earlier she had asked me what she could specifically be praying for, for me. I did not recall what my requests had been due to the turn our life had taken on November 11 - actually didn't think about it again until then. I had read in Jesus Calling about resting in Jesus and being able to receive from him. So often we are so busy "doing" that we don't just sit with the Lord and receive what He longs to give us. I had just come off of a very busy season in my life. Giving, giving, giving......It was what i did. When i got married, i slowed down a bit, but to outsiders (my family and now "new" family), they still said i was so busy all the time, and wondered how i did it. I didn't know what they were talking about. Anyway, that had been on my mind when my mom asked me what she could pray for me, and i thought that resting and receiving sounded nice. Wasn't totally sure what it meant but it sounded nice. "Oh and mom, i want a deeper prayer life too." I didn't think about the journey it would take to get there, i just thought about what i wanted the end result to be. Yes, please God give me a deeper prayer life, as if *poof* one day i would just have a deeper prayer life. What was I thinking? What I hadn't thought about was what God might use in my life to bring me to that place. And it was something I would have never expected, never asked for, never wanted to go through.

I can honestly say that I don't really have a deeper prayer life. As we went through that experience there were many days that all i could utter was - "help me Lord. Be with me Lord. I don't know how to do this Lord. I am scared Lord. " Monday December 20, 2010- (Esther's birthday) I was more scared than i think i have ever been in my life. I wanted to stay in that moment, but not. And yet i was too scared to move ahead. On that day all i could say was "help me Jesus". Even in the days since i have felt numb, sad, have questioned, been in a fog and have only a few times been able to spend extended time with the Lord. What i realize though is that i am a changed person and I see things differently. I see everything differently, and I know that as God carries me through this valley he will continue to draw me closer to himself and my response is one of prayer and praise. How can i not respond to him??? He hears our cries and even when we can't verbalize a prayer with words, he can search deep into our soul and He hears what we cannot even say! That is a loving God who knows us inside and out. When i asked for a deeper prayer life, what I didn't realize i was asking for was a deeper relationship with Him. I wanted to have a closer relationship with the living God. Interesting, because what prayer does is draw us close to God as we come to Him in prayer! We have also been SO loved on my so many people that God has put in our life. I have only been able to rest and receive from others. We have accepted gladly, knowing that this is one of the ways the Lord is providing for our needs - emotional needs as well as our tangible needs. It is all i am able to do, I have nothing to give anyone really, and that is a weird place for me to be, because i am a giver. So i am resting and receiving from the the many ways He is giving to me and to us in this season. Giving Him space to come in and heal our sad and broken hearts. He is good. Thank you to all of you who have lifted us up to Jesus for comfort and healing. He is so present through His Spirit and all of you.............

Thursday, January 6, 2011


"Heal my heart and make it clean.

Open up my eyes to the things unseen.

Show me how to love like You have loved me.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours,

everything i am for Your Kingdom's cause.

As i walk from earth into Eternity..............

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest,

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest."

I realized today that i have not sang since I was pregnant with Esther, Dec. 20th. Except for at her graveside where we sang Great is Thy Faithfulness, and You Never Let Go. Another gift was that Pastor Kurt told us that the song You Never Let Go was written by Matt and Beth Redman after they lost a baby. How amazing I thought! No wonder it was ministering to Brian so much. We didn't know that until then, and not even when we chose it to sing at her service. I actually could sing a bit. I wanted to tell the Lord that I know and believe the truth about who He is, and that He will never let us go; He is with us in the calm and in the storm. So if you know me, you know that I LOVE to sing. I loved singing to Esther, I knew she could hear me and it was a way i could connect with her. Maybe she is in the choir in Heaven? If so, i would love to join her someday. My mom beat me to that too though, she wants to be in the choir. What the heck? My whole darn family and extended family probably wants to be in the choir. What a choir that would be in the Heavenlies?! A sound we probably cannot even imagine.

So i have been struggling the past few days. I guess getting sick has not helped the situation any. Thanks to whoever gave us the bug:) Brian and I both sick in the middle of the night Monday night. The kind of sick that you don't post on a blog:) Needless to say we were feeling awful but got to spend a few days together. Even though we just layed around, it was nice to be together. Anyway, i have been wondering why we had to lose Esther. There are so many people having babies and it has been hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we were preparing to be parents, I was pregnant for 6 months and now I'm not. I thought i knew what the next phase of our life would be like raising a baby, and now I don't. I feel like if i knew the reason we had to lose her it would be easier for me to deal with the loss. So last night i asked Brian if he ever wondered why. He said not really, do you? I said all the time. I told him i thought it would be easier if i knew the reason. He said how would it be easier? I said, I don't know. And it was then that I realized what i have known all along, but couldn't really accept, that even if I did know why, her loss is still there. It wouldn't make it easier. This is a road we have to travel down. I feel like i want to just grieve and be able to move on. But i know the grief comes with me. It is part of who we are, and things don't go back to normal. This will always be part of our story, not one we move on from. I have been told that it will change and it will look different but it (grief) will always be there. I believe that has set me free in a way. I feel like i just wanted to wait till i felt better, work through it, and then move on with "normal" life, but that is not what is going to happen. I believe that is the grace of God. He will show up as we walk this road, working through the grief. Remembering Esther, honoring her, loving her, and being thankful for the time we got to spend with her. Trying to not think about her definitely doesn't help. I can distract myself for a bit, but the second i am alone, she is on my mind. I want to think about her, all the time. And i do every minute of the day. But it makes me cry, and i don't want to cry forever. But tears are good. They are healing. My friend told me the other day, that there is a healing chemical that is released when we cry. True, emotional tears. Not tears from cutting an onion, but tears from our heart and soul. My mom noticed a stickiness on her glasses one day after we had a good cry together. That may be the chemical?? After i had a good cry last night, Brian asked me if i felt better. I wanted to say no, but i really did. There is something about crying and letting it out. I have given myself the freedom to feel what i feel and to cry when i need to cry.............

..........and i want to sing! It is also good and healing for my soul. So i realized last night, that it does not help me to ask why. I know i am allowed to, but I may never know that answer this side of Heaven. Today i got up and felt the desire to sing, and then realized that it has been awhile. So i turned on the CD that has helped to get me through the past months, Deliver Me by Selah. I feel like every song was written for me. Maybe it is because the lead singer lost a baby girl too, and has walked this road. I stumbled through Deliver Me, and then sang Hosanna. The lyrics at the top of the screen made me see again, that what the Lord cares about is our hearts and what has ALWAYS been my prayer is for God to help me to see people as He sees them. Maybe this is part of that process........I hear every lyric of every song in a way i have not heard before, read every book in a way i have not read before, and i know when i get back into eveyday life, I will hear every person's story in a way i would not have heard before. I know that God wastes nothing. He is a good God. He is a loving God. He will use this experience to glorify Himself and He has our best interests in mind and will use it throughout our lives. I don't know how He does it, but i believe He will do it. Our time on earth is to prepare us for Eternity with Him.

So I am going to start singing more. It lifts my heart up and my eyes to the Heavens. That is where my help comes from. As we walk ahead, I know He is with us and will give us everything we need for each moment.

I lift my eyes up to the hills --- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.: Psalm 121:1-2

In His Grip~ Mo

"Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!!!!"

Hosanna: a cry of praise or adoration to God.