Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some encouragement and insight I have found from Amy Carmichael. The more I read her stuff the more appreciation I have for her and the life she lived, she understood grief, suffering, love, hope and service among many many other things!

From Candles in the Dark.

I think the Lord must find it difficult to teach us that here have we no continuing city. "This is not your rest"; I often think that we know it, but we don't find it easy to live as if it were true. More and More I feel that we are what the Bible says we are - strangers and pilgrims. And all the things that happen are meant to emphasize that.
But the pilgrim's God is very close to you...through these days.

...He understands.
And the depression that follows pain He understands too. "My soul cleaveth to the dust" : no truer words were ever written. Sometimes just to know one is understood helps.

Don't let anything discourage you. Some may disappoint you- He was disappointed. You will find that nothing is too small for his regard. He will say things to you that you could not repeat - they would sound too small, too intimate- but they will be the joy and rejoicing of your heart.

Don't let your mind dwell on sadness as it saps the soul of strength. There is more blue sky overhead than clouds. The clouds will pass. I often think how sad we shall be at the end, if we have failed in joy. I don't want to fail.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Today was okay to start, most days seem okay, mornings are good I wake, the kids want food, I read, drink coffee, break up squabbles, drink more coffee. . .
Today we made an attempt at starting schoolwork again (we still have more to finish yet this year) it was fine for me but the kids were not so happy at having to work and exercise their brains :).
So we made it through a few sections.  Jaelle was really the only one I had a difficult time getting to do her work she was throwing a fit through it but towards the end she bucked up and finished it well. Josiah started to whine but stopped quickly and just got to work and got it done. Enoch did well as long as I was paying attention to him but as soon as I started helping one of the others he very, very quickly got off track.  I know as we start to do it everyday and they get used to doing the work again it shouldn't be such a struggle to get everyone's attitudes in control right away.
After we were done with that we finished packing up some packages to mail to a friend and one to a cousin, made lunch, cleaned the living room and then went to the post office and then to Lake Union to enjoy some sun, seeing as it was out and that the temps were above 60 today.
I managed to back the van into a guy's utility truck that was parked behind our parking spot, (slightly vexing) even though I know I should have and could have avoided the collision, it was that he parked in a spot that is NOT a parking spot and in a spot that makes the space in which I normally have to back up into considerably smaller and for the past three years usually back up with out thinking about it, so when something is there that normally isn't and shouldn't even be there in the fist place (I've had close calls before when other folks with fancy cars have decided to park there before), it caused the crunch. Ugh, doesn't help that I was functioning on little sleep from the night before so my auto-pilot was on. I even noted the truck was there in that spot and had even gotten annoyed that it was even parked there as I was getting into the van and then I proceed to back up into it. At least I only managed to crack the rear break light cover (which had already been cracked and pieced back together with tape so I just have to re-tape the cover together).
I was going to call up a friend to see if they wanted to join us in a walk down to the Lake and the Spray park but as the day progressed didn't feel like the company. Also it's one of those relationships where it is (not entirely, but more so) for their benefit, dealing with their often unruly kids which rub off on my kids (making the time together exhausting because I am constantly keeping my kids in check) plus we haven't seen them since before Elias had gone and not sure how that would go or how they would act (some have acknowledge it a lot of others have acted awkwardly as though the big elephant isn't in the room and avoid talking at all about our loss).  So even though the kids really wanted to see them, I just didn't want to make the effort today or deal with the "potential" stress, so we went on our own.
It was good, the kids played in the water and I read, then they played on the hills of grass near by drying off and warming up again (even though the sun was out, it still was barely 70 out, makes for chilly kids when wet) while I talked to my dad on the phone. It felt good to be out.
Then home we went, Judah was up but tired and anticipating not a lot of sleep for himself tomorrow after working all night,  he went back to sleep for a two hours before needing to leave for work.
Not sure what it was, just the depressing tiredness, quietness of the house, or no daddy presence that evening or what it was exactly but it seemed we were still just blah, even after running around for a few hours outside, as we came home, the kids where at odds, not horribly but little misbehaviors that were ignored all day or rather not seriously disciplined for, came back in full force it seemed. Although I am sure it was more likely my weariness of the day and used up patience/tolerance that made it seem worse then it was. But it lead to squats for the Jelly, swats for the Enoch, Josiah was made to sit and quietly read(he'd much rather be running around sword fighting, boxing or wrestling his siblings) and in the end everyone was just sent to bed an hour earlier then normal.
Then I went and cried with Judah for about a half an hour before he had to leave for work, then went and read and prayed with the kids (although Enoch was already out for the night)
and that was my day.
I feel rather hazy and tired, tired of the fight. Not giving up but I feel the weariness today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So someone posted a thought about how one of the hardest part of losing a love one, and for us as Elias gone is everyone else's life gets on, returns to normal runnings but ours, ours is forever changed. It will never, never be the same again. I find myself having moments the past few days trying to do things, simple things like taking a shower or cleaning up the dishes and just have no motivation to get up and do anything. I'd rather just go and sit and stare at one of the pictures we have of our sweet smiling boy and remember the goofy wisps of long hair he had and how I loved to run my fingers through it and how soft and feathery it was and then just let the hot tears pour out. Then I have to shake it off, wipe the tears and force myself to get up and go and do these simple tasks.

We went and visited the gravesite today, I am so very grateful it is near us and we can go as often as we want and be near where he is laid to rest, the cemetery caretaker, (Paul Merry, and he is a rather jolly sort of flighty middle aged man, befitting his name) told us the proofs for the gravemarker/memorial should be ready by the end of this week. But I anticipate it will probably be at least a month if not more before the stone is actually placed on his grave.

I find it's easy to start thinking of the morning he stopped breathing, replaying everything that happened but I have to quickly stop myself, and remind myself that what happened has happened and we can't change it.  I get a rather sick, foreboding knot in my stomach, every time my thoughts turn in that direction.  So taking every thought captive. . .

I was talking to Judah last night, just about how we long, long for Elias to be restored to us, how we know, we know that if God chose to, he could even now raise him, whisk him here like the story of the ethiopian eunuch and philip in acts. But we know he isn't going to do that so we long and hope for the day we can be reunited with him. Judah then said that I just pray, that Jesus would return now and the thought hadn't really occurred to me that I could do that. . . thinking it could be years, seems such a long time and at the same time not really that long but it would be so much better if His return was soon. Come Lord Jesus,  come quickly.

Not much looks bright anymore, our dreams, aspirations, plans even for the future have dimmed. . .we know, we do know we will still keep standing, keep moving, but to be present with the Lord and to have Elias restored to us is what looks bright and what we hope for.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Elias Orion Ivy

So I started this post when Elias was still in the NICU at Swedish and let it sit in my draft folder for the past 5 months and figured  I should probably finish this and then I might attempt and just journaling through these next stages of grief as Elias is gone and the things I want to remember and the things each day or each moment as they come, clarity, insight or just plain musings or workings of my thoughts.


January' 2012
So I figured today is a quiet day (just waiting till 4pm when they start Elias' swallow study) and now would be a good time to start writing down everything that has happened. For myself before I start to forget things and because I am sure some of you are curious about the whole story but have given us space to deal with the immediate stuff instead of asking lots of what has gotten us here.

So Elias was due to arrive Christmas Eve or Day, yet he did not. My mom had flown in on the 22nd to be here for the delivery so the wait began. I had started to have some contractions but nothing that marked Labor was starting. Each day up to christmas was hopefully waiting yet nothing still, everyday after christmas was a battle to not get grumpy and irritable at everyone because labor was not starting still. Each evening I would have contractions for a few hours but then they would stop. So on the 28th early evening contractions started to get more frequent but still nothing super strong and nothing consistent unless you can count contractions 6 minutes apart then 2 minutes apart then 8 minutes and then 6 and then 2 again all varying in strength. So I spent all night awake yet trying to sleep but I just couldn't a few times I felt like maybe my water was leaking but not finally around 5 am I decided I would try and sleep a little and did until 8am I woke up and felt like I was leaking a little again but frustratingly the contractions had slowed down quite a bit again more like 10 to 12 minutes apart. After trying decided if I should wait out one more day ( I was supposed to go in on friday the 30th if I hadn't started labor yet) or call and see if I could be checked because of the possible leaking. I called and they said come in and as we were up and starting to move around and get out the door to go the contractions started up again getting closer and stronger (still only about 8 minutes apart at that point). Once we got there the on-call midwife, michelle started to check me. She checked and the fluid I had been leaking was definitely amniotic fluid (which meant that there was a tear somewhere higher up in the sac) and when she checked my cervix I was dilated in a funnel tip way one on the outside but four on the inside. So the other thing which started the day off was Elias had a fore sac of fluid above his head that was starting to come down first so michelle was pretty sure that within a few hours my sac should break on it's own or if it didn't we could go into the hospital and walk around for a few hours try and get the contractions to get stronger and Elias to descend down into the pelvic a little more and if that didn't do the trick she could break the sac. So off we went to the hospital checking in at about 11am on the 29th.

At the hopsital:
After checking in we waited for the nurse monitor me and Elias a little and then we would start walking around a little(and everyone was in tow, kids and Oma, we had decided that if everything went well we would let the kids watch the delivery of Elias). Contractions were getting harder but still not much else was happening pain was not too bad and I could easily breath through it. Michelle after a little while checked me and I had dilated to about an 8 on the inside and maybe a 5 on the outside (still dilating in funnel shape) so they called it a 6 or 7 but Elias was not descending down into the pelvic and because he was so high they didn't want to break my water in case his cord came down first and or he didn't settle down in after about 6 hours of all sorts of different positions and such to try and get gravity working and Elias to come down they decided to try and put me on a pitocin drip to try and get some stronger contractions coming to either break the water or push Elias down into the pelvic or both so they put me on the drip (mind you no meds) for another 3 hours I was on pitocin and still contracting regularly and stronger now but still Elias was way up "in Canada" as my midwife stated but by this time I was completely dilated but the water was not breaking and Elias was not descending. Around 8 or 9 my midwife told me she was going to call in a OB/GYN doc because in order to break the water at this point she needed to have a doc present in case of an emergency C-Section, I think I still wasn't at this point grasping things were not progressing as they should, the main fear was that if they broke the water and waters, Elias and cord all came gushing out the potential for Elias to be strangled by the cord was high so I needed to be prepared to have an emergency C-Section done. Or my other option was to not risk it and just go for the C-Section right then and there but whether it was pride in my baby delivering skills or fear or just knowledge of what that would all entail I couldn't accept the fact that I would be able to deliver Elias normally. So after we were given time to discuss the options, pray about I told my midwife that I would be okay with them breaking my water in the operating room and delivering him in there in case of the need for an emergency C-Section but I wanted to still do as much as possible, naturally as I could. So they got Judah suited up and me wheeled down the hall to the operating room (the kids and my mom couldn't come in there with us, they had been troopers through the whole labor time waiting patiently for Elias to come) once in the room me flat on my back on a very uncomfortable board/bed they broke my water and it gushed...all over the dear nurses and my midwife and the doctor!! :) and all praise to the father the cord did not gush out with the water but oh my I was not prepared to the rapid need to push Elias out and the excruciating pain of how rapidly He was coming now that all the water that had been holding him back was gone, I now I screamed, I clutched Judah, I am sure I may have even bruised his poor hands I was squeezing so hard and within five minutes Elias was out!! and I held him I felt his weight in my arms and the Joy that surpasses anything you could every feel was there, the pain of seconds before was just fading memory and Elias my littlest love was in my arms and I kissed his sweet little head and laughed and winced with the pain of fading contractions (though Elias had come so fast I think it took my body about 30min to realize he was out and stop contracting!) I remember I had to hand him off to my midwife for a minute so they could transfer me from the "board" back on to the hospital bed so we could be pushed back to our room. Then I had him back and he cried and I got to hold his sweetness to me and my mom and the kids and judah all walked with us back to the room and then the kids all got to see him touch him and then Judah got to hold him and look at him and then they gave him back to me and he was crying, I tried nursing him but he seemed to be having a hard time breathing and with concern we asked the nurse, is he okay, he seems to be having a hard time breathing and then in a blur the rest of the night happened they took him to the nursery and I sent Judah with them since I couldn't get up and go and I didn't want Elias for a second to be without one of us by him. At first we were told he just needs to be suctioned out so in about twenty minutes or so they would bring him to me or me to him. We sent my mom and the kids home to sleep and come back in the morning and I waited for the nurses or judah or my midwife to come back with Elias but they then told me to come with to the nursery to feed him but when I got there they had oxygen on his face and judah looked very concerned and white and there was a blur of nurses coming and an xray guy coming to try and pass an NG tube down Elias' esophagus and a doc was called and we waited while Elias was hoarse with crying and nothing we could do but sit back and watch....they told us he needed to be transferred to Swedish for an surgical evaluation, which wasn't really an answer other then he need to be looked at and they think he might need surgery... after that my midwife told me that my bleeding looked okay and if I felt up to it she could discharge me and let me go with Elias to the Hospital. So I got cleaned up and Judah and I waited while the paramedics came and got Elias all bundled up in  box with oxygen we got to see him one more time and kiss his little hands and then we had to let him go then we had to sign a whole bunch of paper work and then they told us they suspected that he had TEF and Esophagial Atresia. So we waited for a taxi to come and then we were taken to Swedish where we then were directed to the NICU where Elias had been transferred, we went in to see him our sweety sedated and on oxygen, we were told a little of what would be happening over the next 24 hours and then that we could get a room there at the hospital to stay in for the next few nights... and thus began our journey which would lead us to two long weeks in the NICU which seemed like an eternity then but now in perspective was really only a wisp, a fading moment compared to eternity. 

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well, here we go the crazy pre-travel prep/packing/cleaning starts today! Parents arrive tomorrow, sewed up a storm of projects yesterday, so today is saved for cleaning and packing. Sunday we go up to Oak Harbor to see Nate get ordained by his father-in-law at CC Oak Harbor, then hopely home in time to chill do any last minute prep, head to church in Capitol Hill for a little in the evening with a friend. Then in the morning (monday) we leave for J&K. All the while, Judah will be working ever night from now until we leave on Monday (:( but good for monetary funds when we return) the kids will leave with Mom and Dad to spend a  day with Nate and Marielle and girls before they drive back to MN and then we fly back to the states on the 29th stopping first in MN to pick up the kids then flying back to Seattle on the 31st.

 Prayer request for our trip:
  • That we don't catch any traveller's bugs or food contaminated stomach bugs. 
  • That the kids enjoy there time with Oma and Opa and don't miss us to much.
  • Also that the van doesn't have any problems as they drive back to MN.
  • And just general safety for Judah and I and baby Elias in my belly!
So that's up for updates except for anyone who didn't get our text/facebook update or phone call, the baby is most definitely a boy! Everything with the pregnancy and baby is right on track and nice and healthy. Looking forward to meeting little Elias Orion during Christmas time!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ah, Summer!

I love Seattle! I love living here! While the rest of the country is suffering a heat wave we are enjoying the cool mist and drizzle of 65 degree (sometime up to 70) of the NW Coast, not to brag but I really am grateful for the weather we enjoy out here. Today it's to be sunny and 75 can't beat that :)

So India, here we come! Literally it's right around the corner (Aug 15th we fly out), we just got our approved visa's back in the mail last week so we can officially enter India. The family we are meeting out there came through town on there way to CA so stopped and had dinner with us, it was great to see them and even talk in person (rather then email) what we should expect when we arrive. I still a little apprehensive about food and altitude and being able to drink enough water to stay hydrated and would appreciate any prayers while we are there that I don't get sick from the food or water or altitude. The kids are looking forward to traveling with Oma and Opa and Enoch keeps talking about in 3...6(his new favorite number is 6) days he's going to go in Oma's plane (we told the kids we were going to fly in the plane back home to seattle after mommy and daddy get back from India and some how that translated into Enoch's mind that it was Oma's plane we are going in)?

So other thing that some people may not know yet (but I think most everyone who reads this does already know) that I am right now 17 weeks pregnant! Very excited for that and enjoying being pregnant again, I have an ultrasound on Aug 5 and hopefully we will find out the sex of this baby, I am leaning towards it being a boy but would be pleasantly surprised if it's a girl :) Not really showing a lot yet but i am starting to stick out a bit more and am sure that with in the next few weeks will be showing even more.

Well, that's all for now we just got finished with Judah have a week long conference with the Discovery Institute and then some best-est friends came and spent the day with us!! So back to normalcy this week I think praying to get back on the exercise and trying my hardest to get myself as much conditioned and in shape as I can before we start our trip.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Well, i know i am overdue for an update and yet still not quite feeling the motivation to relate all that has occurred in the past month or since i last wrote :D but here are a few things:

Work at Carenet has been great! I am almost finished with my "official" in-center training, learning lots and lots, how to answer the phone, how to walk through an intake with a client taking into mind their mindset (abortion minded, abortion vulnerable, or not abortion vulnerable). I got to sit on two intakes so far and both were completely different  although they both were for a pregnancy test. One was not very open to any ministering and mainly just wanted a "official verification of pregnancy" where as the other gal was very abortion minded and we spent 1 1/2 talking with her. (Oh, Lord Jesus, please keep your arms around this girl and help her to choose the thing to do that is right and to bring back into a right relationship with you).  One of the ladies I have been working with is leaving, she got a job as the new director for a new clinic that is opening up it's doors very soon. So although i am not nearly prepared for it i will be filling her spot on our shift! So very excited for what doors the Lord will open and ways I will be growing through volunteering here. I love it! So again a plug for prayers, I am there on Tuesday mornings from 9am to 1pm (western time) so if you think of me then please pray for me there!

More plans being prepared for our trip to India in August last official thing to do is send off for the visas which I will be doing this week but all our tickets here and there and back are bought, Yeah! Thank the Lord for his provision and blessings.

Lets see what else. . . Judah and I got to spend the night in downtown seattle while some friends of our took the kids overnight. That was great and so very relaxing, we had a room at a great inn right at the harbor steps and then we just walked around downtown that night ate and then also walked around downtown the next morning after we checked out. We went to the Seattle Public Library which is this huge building i've never been in before but it was really neat and I am kinda excited to start taking the kids down there on a regular bases it's got a great children's section and lots and lots of great nooks and crannies to hind out in and read and even with the kids!

Well, for now that's all i am going to write because the kids movie is over and i need to start in on some school work with them now... here's some great encouragement from Amy Carmichael to end my note with:

Don't Give Up

The younger of the baby kingfishers has caught his first fish. He flew off with it to show it to his mother. We heard all she said about it, and all he said. Mother and son have talked of nothing else for the last ten minutes. But just before this joy the young kingfisher had a great disappointment. He had been practising all kinds of dives, and at last he came up jubilant. He had a beakful of something! He could hardly stand for excitement-but it wasn't a fish. It was a leaf. Have you ever felt as I think that poor little bird felt then? (It took him quite a long time to recover from his disappointment.) You thought you had found power and patience to deal with some difficulty, and then somehow you hadn't. Leaf for fish-it was rather like that.  Then do what the kingfisher did. Don't give up. Seek again. "In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9) "He also taught them by a parable that they must always pray and never lose heart" (Luke 18:1)