Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Not Me

Surprisingly enough, with a title like, "Why Not Me," this post is not what you may think.

I remembered something from the MissingGRACE conference that I forgot to blog about and in fact, it's actually good enough for it's own post. The speaker I mentioned in my last post talked about how easy it is to think "Why Me?" when bad things happened in our lives. This is especially true when considering the death of your child. It's not like getting fired from a job or even getting divorced. Believe me, I know about the divorce thing! Losing a child is truly the most awful thing I can imagine happening in my life and I often contemplate "why me?"

Well, Judy challenged us to think of life differently. While we love and miss our babies, we in reality live lives that are the "why NOT me?" for many people. I am the "why not me?" for those who are hungry every day, because I rarely miss a meal. I am the "why not me?" for those who sleep outside in the winter, while I am warm and cozy in my home. I am the "why not me?" for the person who has never known what it's like to be loved by others, while I know the love of so many. I am also the "why not me?" for the mom who has lost baby after baby or has never been able to get pregnant, while I have two happy, healthy boys. Did I do something to deserve the good or the bad in my life? NO! But this is my life, good and bad, and this is the ONLY life I have to live.

So even while I miss Felicity and Jeremiah terribly, I can look at my life and as a whole know how blessed I am. I am going to challenge myself to have this "why not me" attitude in the coming weeks. Why am I not the one starving? Why am I not the one homeless? Why am I not the barren woman? I don't know. But I do know I can be thankful for what I have.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not a Dichotomy

I've been getting a lot of questions about the MissingGRACE conference Paul and I went to on Saturday. I tried blogging about it yesterday, but just got overwhelmed. For those who don't know, MissingGRACE is a faith-based organization that supports families dealing with miscarriages, infertility, adoption, stillbirth, and neo-natal death. MissingGRACE is located solely in the Twin Cities and was started by a young couple who's daughter, Grace, was stillborn due to an umbilical cord accident.

Other than the reason why we were there, the conference was wonderful. It was all day 9am-8pm and they addressed many of the issues we are struggling through. One of the speakers we listened to three times during the day has lost 9 babies (either to miscarriage or stillbirth) in the last five years and has no living children. She was inspirational and grounded all her talks in scripture. She had so many things to say that spoke to my heart and my mind.

One of the things that especially resonated for me was what she said about the dichotomy of emotions. I nearly always feel like I'm struggling between differing emotions. Take for example a situation where a friend announces her pregnancy or birth of a baby. I'm happy but I'm sad too. Judy shared that while the world says we should be one or the either, we can in fact be both happy and sad and we need to tell people that. To use the word "but" negates the first part of the statement. This is something I need to work on.

Judy also spoke about choosing to be happy. It's okay to grieve our missing children and in fact, we should. It's also okay to be happy and that in order to do so, we must often times choose happiness. We can miss our lives if we let our grief consume us.

I did struggle a bit with all the medical information we received, even though we didn't even attend any of the seminars led by doctors. It was overwhelming to hear all the things I could do to monitor another pregnancy. And hearing the statistics about repeat UCAs (Umbilical Cord Accidents) was stressful as well. It's hard to know what to do and how much intervention is too much.

We met so many other couples who are missing their children. And it was nice to be in a place where I knew I could cry if I needed to. I was able to give comfort to a mom who had just lost her baby three weeks ago. Pray for her. Her name is Chris and her daughter Lillian was born still at 26 weeks.

Paul and I also learned some helpful communication tools. Marriage is hard enough, but add losing a child to the mix and you've got a huge challenge. I was able to meet Sherokee Ilse at the conference too. She is the author of the book, Empty Arms which I was given in the hospital after Felicity's death. I had been communicating with her via email and Facebook, so it was great to meet her in person. She invited us to a weekend at Faith's Lodge in May. We are looking forward to a time of R&R&R (rest, relaxation and remembrance).

To sum it up, I would definitely recommend this conference! Unfortunately it only happens every other year. MissingGRACE does offer support groups and other activities throughout the year though.

On another note, please pray for my friend Sara whose son Samuel was born into Heaven six months ago this week. I know from experience that six months or so was the hardest time for me so far in this grief journey. Pray that she would feel the presence of the Holy Spirit during this very difficult time!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Written in Stone

We're happy Felicity's headstone is finally here, but we'd rather have her!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Plan of Attack

Thanks for all your prayers! The fog of sadness has lifted for the most part. I felt like I was trapped for quite a few days despite a lot of prayer and support from others. As hard as it was, it seems to me, based on my reading, that it is "normal" for someone in my shoes. I do recognize the need to have a plan of attack for when this happens again. I'd like to think it won't, but I need to prepare for it because it probably will.

Here's The Plan:

  • Ask for prayer IMMEDIATELY!

  • Pray and read my Bible immediately and have Paul pray over me.

  • Have a homeopathic treatment for depression in the medicine cabinet (I'm going to buy it now so I'll have it on hand).

  • Turn on the christian radio station (Turning the radio on right away in the morning helped SOOO much when Felicity first died, even if I wasn't feeling low).

  • Get outside if possible .

  • EXERCISE! I didn't do this the last 4 days and I think that exercising has helped to keep this from happening in the past.

  • Be aware of times when I might struggle: that time of the month, busy times (I start to feel overwhelmed), holidays (Mother's Day isn't far away and I'm anticipating it being very hard).

  • Recite passages of scripture that are applicable. This means I need to pick them out now and start memorizing them so that I have them already prepared and in my head.

  • Ask for help with caring for the kids right away.

And as for prevention, I'm finding I need to have alone time (not late at night though, which is what I have been doing). I need to find time to sit, reflect, journal, go through Felicity's things, etc. I've tried to do this when the kids are here, but I always get distracted and don't feel like I've accomplished anything. So I need to schedule this time so that I have time to grieve, and just grieve.

I'd appreciate more suggestions. If you can think of something, please leave a comment.

Paul and I are going to attend a local conference this Saturday that is focused on miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility. We'll be attending the grief sessions which I think will be really beneficial for both of us and for our marriage. We're also going to have a date on Friday which is something we haven't done in a LOOONG time. I'm also looking forward to the temperature going up here in the next few days so we'll be able to go outside more - I'll post pictures of Felicity's stone soon too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Laying it on the Line and at The Throne

This grief stuff is way beyond my comprehension and my abilities. I can't even begin to find words to describe how rough the last three days have been. I'm afraid to even share the depth of what we've dealt with the last three days. One bright spot is that Felicity's headstone is in! I was there last Saturday, but it wasn't there. Then Paul went out to the cemetary before church this morning and it was there. It's beautiful, just like our daughter. How we miss her so!

I'm continuing to deal with a lot of anger, which winds up being lashed out on Paul. I've prayed and prayed, giving it to God, but always wind up feeling angry again in just a short period of time. Am I really giving it up? Am I giving it up only to take it back again? I don't know. I just know I'm weak and tired and confused and I feel so alone.

How can I feel alone? I'm not alone - many of you reading this are right there with me in your grief and Paul is right here with me, but yet, I feel alone.

We spent a lot of time praying this weekend and we really felt like God was working on us and helping us, only to be attacked again later by the same issues. Paul has prayed over all of us and my parents joined us tonight for prayer.

Despite the prayer, I just feel this huge gaping hole in my life.

I feel so broken.

Paul read this quote tonight during devotions:

"Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I think I've been seeking comfort instead of Truth.

Please pray that I will seek Truth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Check This Out!!!

My blog friend, Diane, from Tomato Soup Cake (Check her out!) first posted this link the other day. I checked it out and was moved to tears! I never would've heard about this since we don't watch t.v., but I found myself going back to it today and watching it repeatedly - IT'S THAT GOOD!

I wanted to share it too (plus by posting it on my blog - I'll always be able to go back and watch it again and again!). Please go meet Susan Boyle. I don't know when this really happened, but I hope Susan's life is very different now. It's worth the time, just let it buffer first or turn your volume down and come back to it in 10 minutes after it's played through once. Then turn the speakers up and BE MOVED!

UPDATE: Check out this article on Susan to read more about her life! It'll make you cheer her on even more!

I Want. . .

. . .my babies back.

. . .my body back.

. . .my carefree life back.

. . .to have broken relationships restored.

. . .to change the world.

. . .peace, not just in moments, but in every moment.

. . .to be pregnant.

. . .to believe that I'll birth a live baby, who screams at birth.

. . .to give my boys hope in a sibling.

. . .to feel joy without a tinge of sadness.

. . .to have a joyful faith.

. . .to never question God.

. . .to not be angry.

. . .Jesus to return and take me Home.

I'll take whatever I can get.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Past in Pictures

I cleaned out a bunch of photo boxes recently. I must have thrown out 20 lbs. of photos. Before there were digital cameras (or before I ever owned one), I always ordered double prints, because I never knew how my pictures would turn out - so anyway, I had LOTS of photos. When doing this cleaning project, I realized I needed to start scanning my photos, so I could have a better way of preserving them. Well, yesterday I finally started this project and thought I'd share some pictures from my past.

This is me with my brother and cousins in 1983 - I was 6-7 yrs. old and I'm the one with the broken arm.

This is me and Tweety (one of three "pet" birds I raised) in '85. Oh, noticed the outfit I'm wearing (I wish the photo showed more of it as it was one of my favs). Love the big plastic button in front. Yes, I'm a child of the 80's.

1991 - Me in my volleyball uniform as a freshman. I had a short volleyball career - one season. The girls on my team were too catty for my liking, so I got a part-time job rather than playing another year. I still had braces in this picture and my hair. . . remember a little product known as "Sun-In?" I used it a lot.

Also 1991 but shortly after my braces came off. I thought my teeth looked huge for weeks. This was taken with my besties, Joolee and Billi Jo right before our first DC Talk concert. I hugged Toby Mac that night! *Sigh*

1993 - my first missions trip to Galeana, Mexico (in the mountains). This trip prompted me to learn how to shave my legs and armpits with a safety razor as there would be no electricity for my mom's hand-me-down electric razor. I haven't looked back since. I still remember the names of the girls in this picture - Alma, Olga, and Berenice. They probably have kids of their own by now.

1994 and Prom. Or at least our own prom since between the six of us, we went to 4 different schools. So we scrapped the idea of going to a school dance. Instead we got all dolled up, took pictures, went out to eat at a fancy restaurant, went to a park and goofed off, and then had a sleepover and watched videos. Good times!

1994 - my favorite senior picture and probably fav picture ever of myself. Taken on the shore's of Lake Superior while camping with Joolee and her family - more good times! Thank you Denny, (Joolee's dad) for taking these photos.

'95 or '96 - Just love this picture because of all the pretty fall colors.

And finally, with some of my students while teaching during my methods placement in 1997. I also remember these girls: Meredith, Rose, and Marisa. I sure feel old when I realize that they would be old enough to have graduated from college already!

Now, I'm going to tag the following people to do the same - share at least 5 photos from their past with captions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Understanding Your Grieving Wife

This post is inspired by my husband, Paul, who also greatly misses our daughter. Together, over time we are learning how differently men and women grieve. He loves me through all of my emotional outbursts, even the ones directed towards him. He always touches me tenderly when I'm upset. He speaks to me kindly even when I don't speak kindly to him. In essence, during the past six months he has loved me even when I am the most unlovable. Thanks, Babe!


  • Women grieve very outwardly; we cry, yell, get withdrawn or crabby, and usually show our grief in a visible way. But it may be very hard for us to tell you how we are feeling.

  • We may have a bunch of really good days/weeks and then completely fall apart with little to no warning.

  • We find that remembrance dates and holidays and the days leading up to those dates are especially hard.

  • Touch your wife gently when she is upset. Physical touch reminds her that you care.

  • If your wife shows anger towards you, this is part of grieving. She will get over it, but you will be the "safest" target for her anger.
  • Talk to her about how you are missing your child so that she is aware of how you are grieving. This will help her to feel that she is not alone in her grief.

  • Other upsets in life (i.e. problems with living children, a car accident, a bad day) will make us feel grief more intensely.

  • We may say we want to be alone when we actually need you close by.

  • Talk about your missing child. If you don't, she may feel like she shouldn't talk about him/her because you'll be sad. This is also important for living children - they may need to talk about the sibling they are missing, but if you don't talk, they may feel that they shouldn't.

  • Attend a support group with her. Try it at least twice before deciding whether you'll go again or not.

  • Do things in honor of your child like ordering an Easter lily at church, making donations in your child's name, and caring for your child's grave. If you do something that will be public, be sure to tell your spouse prior to a public appearance so they can have their first reaction (most likely an emotional one) in private.

  • Don't ever assume your wife is done grieving. Time does NOT heal all wounds. Nor does a new baby - in fact, it may make the grief stronger as you experience milestones with the new baby that you didn't experience with your missing child.
If I'm missing something you think would be a good addition to this list, please let me know and I'll add it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

He Bore Our Sorrows

We went to church last night. It's been awhile since I've cried at church, though it used to be a place where the tears fell quickly and easily, whether I wanted them to or not.

We sit in various positions when at church. I like to sit next to Paul whenever possible. But with a squirmy toddler who needs to be barricaded in, Paul and I don't often get to sit side by side. Last night both boys were between us. The tears welled up in my eyes when I glanced to the right when Elijah said for the third time "Are we done?" and saw my two precious boys sitting there. It hit me that there should be a little girl there with them.

This time I didn't see Felicity as a little baby like usual, but as a little girl. She would've been dressed in a pretty dress with a bow or two in her curly brown hair. Her legs would've stuck straight out, not long enough to bend at the pew edge. She would've had white tights and shiny black shoes on. She would've been sitting between her brothers. But she wasn't there. So I cried, because I miss my daughter.

Today we went to the park after homeschool co-op and there were quite a few kids there. One was a little brown-haired cutie with a stocking cap on her head. She was about four years old. And her name was Faith. So I cried at the park too.

Isaiah 53:4-5 says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

When our pastor read those verses last night, it struck me that not only did Christ bear all our sins upon the cross, but he also bore all of our sorrows, all of our pain, all of our hurts and discomforts, and all of our sadness. EVERYTHING! Christ bore on the cross everything that stems from SIN. Everything bad, sad, and hard in this world is the result of sin. He knows my griefs and sorrows and bore them on the cross for me.

The weight of my grief over missing my babies is unbearable at times. And Jesus bore mine and those of everyone else in the world! And someday "the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." Isaiah 51:11


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

100th Post - Part C

Here is the third and final installment in my "100th post series." I found that my life didn't add up to 100 bullet points so the rest are just random and useless facts about me.

67. Feb. ‘07 – We move from city to country and our first home together. We go from a little over 700 square feet to 2500+, but don't worry no one ever got lost and we filled the space rather quickly.
68. We begin our homeschooling journey in Sept. 2007.
69. Feb. ‘08 Find out I’m not a hypochondriac, but am indeed pregnant.
70. We all suffer through another pregnancy and anxiously await the birth of our third baby.
71. On Oct. 6, 2008, our lives are irrevocably changed when our daughter, Felicity Faith, is born into Jesus' arms instead of ours.
72. We buried Felicity on Oct. 11, 2008.
73. We begin the long process of finding our new normal - still working on that one!
74. On Jan. 29, 2009, we find out we have another baby on the way - Praise God!
75. On Feb. 22 that baby goes to heaven too. At the prompting of a new friend, also a grieving mommy, I pray and ask God to tell me whether that baby was a boy or a girl (I was only 7+ weeks along.) God answers that prayer in a card from my mother-in-law. Inside is the verse Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
76. We name our baby boy, Jeremiah Daniel. (Daniel is for the dr. who tried to save Felicity.)
77. I learn a lot about myself through grief
78. I learn a lot about others through their reactions to my grief.
79. Many people say that when you lose someone close to you, you are never the same person again. I'm struggling with this. I want to be the same person - happy, hopeful, loving and in many ways I am. I am happy, but not as much as I used to be. I am hopeful, but cautiously so and with a more eternal perspective. And I'm still loving, but deeper and with some emptiness because I can't physically love everyone I'd like to.
80. I struggle sometimes hourly or daily with grief, but know that even when I'm down, God's lifting me up.

And now for those random facts:

81. I'm a clean freak.

82. When I'm stressed out, I clean. Weird, I know, but it helps me feel like I have some control in my life.

83. I LOVE to read.

84. Some of my favorite books/stories include Jane Eyre, A Ring of Endless Light, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Thorn in My Heart (and sequels), and many, many more.

85. I rarely use the words “hate” and “sucks”, but being a grieving mom sucks and I hate that my babies aren't here.

86. I love the feeling of clean sheets, especially when it’s warm enough to not wear socks to bed.

87. I'm married to an "older man" and other than my fear of him dying before me, I love our age difference.

88. I love to cook, dislike cleaning up afterward, and moderately like to bake.

89. I love trying to be all-around healthy but know it can be an obsession if I allow it to.

90. I am currently trying to grow my bangs out. I'm not sure I have the patience for it. . . or the forehead.

91. If I were to ever have to go back to school, I think I'd want to be a midwife.

92. I need to work on holding my tongue.

93. I wear long skirts as often as I can. I first began doing so because I felt like I needed to be different than the culture. I liked the idea of looking feminine. I learned to like the feel of wearing skirts. I feel feminine when I wear them. I do wear pants though and am not legalistic about it. But if I had more skirts that fit me while I'm pregnant and afterward, I'd wear them all the time.

94. I LOVE coffee with cream and flavored stevia in it! Yum!

95. I love music and movies.

96. I'm looking forward to watching the following movies in the coming weeks: Faith like Potatoes (at redboxes now!), The Widow's Might (started watching it last night and it's very entertaining!), and Inherit the Land.

97. We are trying to break into Christian movie making as a family. We can recommend many God-honoring films if you'd like some suggestions.

98. I'd love to write a book and I'm currently working on something though it may not pan out.

99. I currently have a raging case of Rearrangeitis. Unfortunately my lack of upper body strength has curbed some of my symptoms.

100. I don't mind personal questions - I'd rather have people ask, then sit back and wonder.

If you enjoyed these three posts, please do your own. I'd love to read them!

Monday, April 6, 2009

100th Post - Part Deux

34. Broke my right arm twice; first time when my brother bucked me off his back (no one believed it was broken until it was already healing) and second time in gymnastics.
35. Got baptized at age 19 in the St. Croix River during the jr. high triathlon.
36. As a junior in college I changed jobs again and began caring for three mentally handicapped deaf women in a foster home. I loved learning sign language (S.E.E. - Signing Exact English)
37. I've forgotten most of the sign language I learned.
38. In ’97, met the man I would marry a year later.
39. After meeting him I began journaling which I have continued to do since then.
40. In ’98 I graduated from college, got married, and moved to Ohio (all in a 5 month period).
41. Began my teaching career by subbing for a year and then teaching for three years full-time.
42. Got pregnant with Ethan in 2001 (we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year) and was separated from my husband 3 months later. He decided he "wasn't happy" anymore and wanted a divorce!
43. Entered a really rough time in my life, being pregnant and separated, but God sustained me.
44. Finished teaching out the school year and then moved home to MN in May ’02.45. Moved in with my parents again so I could stay home with my baby.
46. Ethan Garrett was born July 8, 2002 after 21 hours of back labor. My dreams of being a mother had come true!
47. Met Paul, my future husband (unknowingly, of course) in January 2003 at a Bible study/support group.
48. He was wearing a red turtleneck and khaki pants and talked of work in vague terms so I assumed he worked at Target.
49. My divorce is finalized in May ’03 after 15 months of being in the process.
50. I begin working part-time (evenings and weekends) for Huntington Learning Center in Sept. of ‘03
51. I develop a secret crush on Paul.
52. One of our mutual friends says he should get married and have a van load of kids. I mentally volunteer!
53. I begin doing child care during the day for my boss’ daughter so I can continue to be home with Ethan during the day.
54. Paul and I began dating in Sept. 04.
55. I jokingly refer to our first 2 dates as “undates” b/c he never truly asked me out. He assures me he did.
56. On our first date (after two undates!) he tells me he wants to wait until marriage before kissing anyone and asks me if I can agree to that. I did and am so glad!
57. July ’05 Paul asks me to marry him and I agree. We plan a “planned” elopement.
58. Sept. 18, 2005 we share our first kiss (as husband and wife) after waiting almost a year.
59. We begin the “two year plan” before we have kids.
60. Three months later I’m pregnant!
61. Our honeymoon period involves immediate parenthood for Paul and a very pukey wife.
62. Ethan (3.5 at the time) asks me, “How do you go to the bathroom that way?” when he sees me puking for the first time.
63. We decide to plan a homebirth/waterbirth after much research.
64. End of July ’06 I quit working at Huntington and begin to enjoy my SAHM career.
65. Elijah James is born August 30, 2006, after 4 hours and 20 minutes of labor. I become a homebirth/waterbirth convert!
66. Sept. ’06, I finally complete my accreditation as a La Leche League leader after 2+ years of working on it.

Part C coming soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

100th Post. . .Sort of

For my 100th post I thought I'd try to focus on something other than grief which seems to dominate this blog lately. So here's a 100 point timeline of my life. Obviously it's a long post, so I'm splitting it into three. I hope this helps you get to know me a little better. While typing it out I was reminded of a lot of things I'd forgotten about.

1. Born Rachel Ellen on October 28, 1976 in Hudson, WI (I won’t make you do the math, I’m 32.)
2. My name was going to be Rachel Elizabeth, but my dad decided it was too long. Ellen comes from my grandmothers' names: Elna and Florence Eleanor.
3. I’m the youngest – one older brother, Richard, who knew I was going to be a girl.
4. If I remember correctly, my name would’ve been Robert if I’d been a boy.
5. My earliest memory is of watching the maintenance man clean the pool at our townhouse. I was around the age of two.
6. I don’t have a lot of crystal clear memories from that point to about age 6 or 7 (is that weird?)
7. My first crush was in first grade. His name was Brian, but alas, he was held back and our one – sided romance ended.
8. Most embarrassing moment was when I was 8 or 9. I arrived at soccer practice but had forgotten we had team pictures that day. My mom wouldn’t take me back home to get my uniform. So in my team soccer picture I’m wearing a “Snuggle Me” t-shirt with the bear on it that advertises the fabric softener.
9. One of my favorite memories of grade school was starting a dirt collection: We sent letters to friends and relatives in other states and they sent us dirt which we bottled and labeled until the whole class had a bottle of dirt for each of the 50 states.
10. I am mad at myself still for giving my dirt collection to a girl that I babysat for about 18 years ago!
11. At age 12, I met my BFF Joolee.
12. My mom had been praying for a girl my age to start attending our church and God answered her prayers. Julie and I became “kindred spirits” immediately, despite her sitting in my armpits the first time I went over to her house.
13. I have many memories with Joolee, a lot of them involving her laughter- induced incontinence.
14. At about 12 I read the book, A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle and fell in love with the idea of being a marine biologist and working with wild dolphins.
15. Also that year my mom surprised me by getting me a kitten. I named her Cleopatra until we found out she was a he. I called him Cleo from then on.
16. Around age 13, I began my long and illustrious career as a babysitter. Fueled by my mom’s home daycare, I loved caring for kids.
17. I’m pretty sure I was 13 when I received my first kiss. It was a magical as any first kiss could be, though with 30+ years of life experience behind me now, I wish my first kiss had been on my wedding day.
18. 13 was also when I trusted in Jesus as my Savior.
19. The day after my 15th birthday, I started my first “job” at Dairy Queen. I worked one day and then they closed for 4 months for the winter season.
20. I continued working there for 3 years and remember making buster bars, dilly bars and ice cream sandwiches by hand. Now they are factory made for the most part.
21. At about age 15, I realized being a marine biologist involved moving to the west coast and away from my family. I abandoned that dream and decided to be a teacher instead.
22. One of my favorite things to do at this point in my life was rollerskating on Christian music night. I even opted to get rollerskates instead of a class ring. I rarely felt “cool” growing up, but at the roller rink I felt cool, when I wasn’t tripping over my own feet, that is.
23. When I was 16 I began working as a cashier at the local hardware store (with Joolee). It was my favorite part-time job. I quickly learned about left-handed hammers and solar powered flashlights thanks to the guys I worked with.
24. At 17 I got my license and learned how to drive a stick shift.
25. Got another part-time job cleaning at a retirement home.
26. At one point I was working three jobs at the same time – during the school year!
27. I enrolled in my state's post secondary enrollment option. I “skipped” my senior year of high school to attend the local community college – for free!
28. I got my first car that year; a yellow Honda Civic that I named Daisy.
29. Quit all my other jobs and began working with Joolee as a Personal Care Assistant for a family with an autistic child and a Down’s Syndrome child.
30. During high school I went on many trips with my youth group to places like New Orleans, Mexico, and Colorado. That pretty much sums up my travel experiences.
31. In ’95 I graduated from high school with a year of college already done.
32. I transferred to Northwestern College and majored in Elementary Education.
33. As a sophomore in college I started working with the youth group at my church. Loved it!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Thanks for your prayers - I think I feel them working, but I need more. The last 19 hours (minus the 10 I spent sleeping) have been a roller coaster. I returned home yesterday from an appointment and errands and there was a message on our machine. It was a good friend calling to say she'd had her baby early that morning.

I hadseen her the night before and her baby girl was born just 5 hours after I saw her. It was a wonderful homebirth. My first reaction was extreme happiness - I KNEW she was going to have a girl. Then just minutes after that I crashed BIG TIME! I quickly became a sobbing, crying, emotional mess! All that was going through my mind was "why not me?" I spent all afternoon struggling with my emotional state, while still trying to do all my mom responsibilities.

I'm so happy for my friend! She is a beautiful person who has had much suffering in her own life. She lost triplet boys almost half way through a pregnancy, had another miscarriage, and lost her two and a half year old son about 11 years ago due to illness. (She also has five other living children - 6 now with this as of yet unnamed baby girl.) After Felicity died, this friend was someone who just knew how to talk to both Paul and I. She knew what questions to ask and understood our grief.

So, it's really hard for me to understand why I'm feeling this way. I literally feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin at any moment. My heart races at times and I feel like yelling at someone one moment and crying out the next. Is it because this is the first baby girl I know of to be born? Is it because she was born at home? I don't know. But I'm realizing that this was bound to happen sooner or later. Things had been calm for too long. There's a lot of busyness going on in my life right now, plus that broken relationship I mentioned in my last post. Paul and I aren't always on the same page lately either. Nothing major, but it makes everything feel more disjointed.

I'm still searching for peace. And to be truthful, I haven't spent enough time lately talking to God. There's a bit of a barrier there that I'm trying to break down. So, please continue to pray!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I have to be honest - I'm dealing with a lot of anger the last couple of days. The feeling seems heightened this morning as Ethan began a barrage of questions about Easter. He wanted to know what we were doing, where we would be, who might be coming over. I don't have the answer to any of these questions right now and as I stared at the calendar, all I could see was next Monday, April 6th, where I had written "missing Felicity for 6 months."

I don't want people to think that just because I have faith in Jesus Christ, that I haven't dealt with the normal emotions/stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While I may not have had some of the extremes of these stages, I have dealt with them all to some degree. These stages don't necessarily flow in order. They can occur in just about any combination, repeat any number of times, and continue for years. I'm no expert on the subject, but I can clearly identify with these stages.

I'm angry lately - angry at someone close to me who pushed her agenda in disregard to my emotional situation, angry at the economic climate, angry with my boys' behavior, angry with myself and poor choices I make. I AM ANGRY THAT MY BABIES ARE DEAD! And you know what, I think it's okay for me to be angry. The Bible says that I'm not to sin in my anger though and right now I'm fighting the urge to just blow up! I'd love to have a kicking, screaming, crying tantrum. And considering the ones I've seen in my mothering career, I think I could do it pretty well.

Please pray for me today. Pray that I would be able to hand my anger to Jesus. Pray for a restored relationship with someone who hurt me and continues to hurt me because she doesn't want to change. Pray I can love my boys and train them and not take my anger out on them in any way. Pray for peace in my heart instead of this feeling of chaos and anger. THANK YOU!