"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

6 1/2 Months

My, how time flies sometimes.  It has been a good week.  The tears still come (often unexpectatly) but I feel like my spirit is lighter.  This past weekend we were at the Flames House.  It was the end of Dave's holiday time and we were very intentional about relaxing and giving attention to our family.  We played table games with the kids.  We went for a walk, while someone watched Rachel.  And we slept at night.  And on Sunday evening we visited with some friends that we haven't seen in awhile and it was so good for my heart. They had borrowed a camera from a friend and they got some amazing shots of Rachel.... Thank-you.

Monday was also a good day for me.  I made it to the gym and got a haircut.  In the afternoon, Dave took the two older kids to go Christmas shopping for me.  And we received a special package that morning.  A friend found some little girl dresses that also came with matching doll dresses. (I had actually looked for these when I was pregnant but couldn't find any) It's too bad that the doll dress doesn't quite fit but it looked so cute that we just had to take pictures!! I had been feeling a bit sad thinking of how Abigail will very likely grow up without a sister.  And I decided again that we needed to enjoy the time we have right now.  I think I have been hesitant to encourage Abigail to really enjoy her sister and these dresses helped a bit to do this - and to celebrate their special relationship. Thank-you.


"Wake up. I want to talk sis."
Rachel has been doing really well overall.  She has been mostly content.  And yesterday I got her to laugh harder than I ever have.  It was so beautiful.  At the same time, yesterday was an unusual day for her too. It seemed like she was sleeping alot.  You would think that a heart baby would sleep lots, right?  I know I do.  But she is usually awake for long stretches of time, day and night.  Yesterday she slept for 4 1/2 hours in the evening.  This is extremely unusual for her.  I was a little nervous about it and I kept checking on her.  I finally woke her up around 9pm.  Her lips, eyelids, and hands seemed really blue and as she woke up, she was gasping.  It was a kind of breathing I don't remember hearing.  Not as hard as when she is having spells. But still very different.  My heart sunk in my chest...and I tried to comfort her as best as I could.  All I could think was "I'm not ready. God, I'm not ready." The truth is I will never be ready.  I am afraid of what the end will be like.  I try not to think too much about it but sometimes, like last night I can't help but think of it.

I felt so relieved to see her start to pink up and smile at me as if to say 'what are you worried about? I'm still here.' And today she is smiling up at me from her chair - big grins and sparkly eyes - and I can forget for awhile. I can't live there in the unknowns for too long...it's too hard.  I can only trust that when the time comes, that God will give me the strength.  Jesus, be my shepherd. The only way I can go through the valley of death is knowing that you are with me.  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

I just started reading a book called "Choosing to See".  It's written by Mary Beth Chapman. (Steven Curtis Chapman's wife) Their little girl died in a traggic accident - and I can tell already that it's going to be a tough read.  But good too.  I'll tell you how it goes...or you can just go get your own copy : D

In the Prologue, Beth Moore has just described a dream that she had about Maria - which turned out to be an answer to Mary's prayer.  Then, she writes this...

"(Others) could reason that, to have a God who cared enough to orchestrate something like the timing of that dream, we'd have a God who'd never let such a tragedy happen to start with.  These are places where God exercises His sovereign right to retain mystery.  We cannot fathom the intriciacies of the divine plan.  But make no mistake, when we are in the driest desert, we can receive the manna to make it all the way to the other side where trees bud again and children laugh.  God sometimes delivers us from evils we never see.  Other times He parts raging oceans before our very eyes. Still other times He says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west" (Isa. 43:2.5)    

And a song comes into my mind...."In my Father's House, there are many many rooms...." What a gathering that will be.


Carol Taves said...

I had an empathy experience this week, Kendra. John had an allergic reaction to something peanut (we think) after our church Christmas banquet, and we spent a number of hours in emergency watching and waiting to see what would happen after they pumped him full of drugs. I think I'd just like to never let him eat anything again, but you know John, that will never happen. It's so scary to live with so many things that you have no control over, no matter how careful you are. Somehow, we have to learn to live with that fear without letting it destroy us. Praying for your peace and courage, to live abundantly and enjoy Rachel unreservedly.
Love you,

Brenda Funk said...

Beautiful pictures! It looks like the doll dress fits OK -- very cute! You are living very bravely Kendra -- proud of you! Love MOM

Kathy and Carl said...

My heart just was warmed to see that you had the girls in matching dresses. Rachel has a beautiful lil' Christmas dress with her sister.

Definitely praying for you and loving you.

fiona said...

those matching dresses are absolutely stunning! your two little girls are so beautiful together. may God continue to give you the strength and grace to soak in each moment. this is something i am not very good at - always looking to the future - but i was reminded a few nights ago that all we have is the moment, nothing more and nothing less. may God fill you with grace to glory in every precious moment, and peace knowing He will be with you in the hard ones as much as, perhaps even more so, He is in the good. i agree with your mother in law - you are a truly brave woman and mother. i love you a lot and pray daily for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 51:12
I, even I, am He who comforts you.

That is my what I'm praying for today....

love you,

amandadahmes said...

Those pictures where so precious. She was sleeping and her baby sister wanted to play. She will treasure that picture forever!!! Thank you for sharing!!

Praying <3