Monday, September 26, 2011

1 year later marks a time to be thankful!

This month marks a year that we moved into our new house.  This whole topic is a little touchy for me, but I don't ever want to give off the perfect picture here, which is very easy to do when blogging.  Ronnie and I definately have our struggles just like everyone else.  So here it is, all on the line.  When we got married 8 years ago, we bought and moved into his parents' trailer that Ronnie had grown up in.  It was a little weird at first for him, moving from his own bedroom into his parents' room to be our master bedroom.  We were both so excited and full of wedded bliss!!!  We bought a new washer and dryer and other small appliances and set up house very quickly before Ronnie headed back overseas to finish his deployment.  I quickly began re-decorating, to make it "our home".  By the time Ronnie arrived home for good, he could barely tell that it was the same trailer.  We lived on his parents' property for 4 years.  Then we recieved the news that he would be deploying again and I had just found out I was pregnant with Hannah.  So we made a family decision to pack everything up and move the trailer to my hometown 20 minutes away to be closer to my family and the hospital.  It was a very sad time for us, however, like with every new move in life, a bit of excitement peered around the corner.  We moved the trailer into a mobile home park at the edge of town.  It was a very nice, well kept park, but still it was a park in town.  Ronnie, the kids, and I were very used to living on 56 acres of nothing but woods.  It was very peaceful and serene, which is exactly how we liked it.  And living in town was just the opposite.  Now we had neighbors literally 20 feet away from us on either side.  However, we made it through and for the next 2 1/2 years lived there in town.  Then we became pregnant with Leah and started to look for a new house, we were quickly outgrowing the trailer, (even though it was a very nice sized trailer:  3 bedrooms, 2 baths).  However, because of some terrible finance choices we made earlier in our marriage due to deployments, Hannah's hospital stay, and a business we had to sell to deploy, there was no way we could purchase our own home.  So we prayed and made the decision to start looking for place to rent.  This was a very disappointing step for us, but one we felt we needed to take.  After owning your own home, there is just something about giving it up and saying you will trust the Lord to provide a home for you and allow you to stay in it even when you do find something.  But, just like he always does, God provided!!!  Isn't he awesome?!?!?!  We attended a small group party from church at some friends' house.  Come to find out, they rented the house and would soon be moving out.  And the house was beautiful and exactly the size we needed!!!  I had been friends with their landlords for years, so I contacted them about the house and in less than a month we were the new renters.  Now, here is were God is absoulutely amazing!!!!  Our friends moved out on Sunday, we put our trailer up for sale on Monday, sold it on Thursday, and moved into the new house on Saturday!!!!!  Who says that God does not provide the desires of our hearts?!?!  It still gives me cold chill to this day thinking about it!  We were to pay two months rent for a damage deposit, so we scraped together the money to pay the new landlords to move in to start working on the house before we actually sold our trailer.  Our friends that were moving in, graciously left their damage deposit, so we only had to pay one month's rent!  Talk about a huge blessing and relief off of my shoulders!!!  We were able to use that money to help purchase new appliances.  Which by the way, I bought everything on clearance at Lowes and paid half or even less than half price on everything we bought!!!! 
   The day we moved was a very sad day, though.  I had one of the worst allergy attacks ever!  Thank goodness for our great friends, Darren and Melisa, I'm not sure how I would have ever made it without them!!!  And then walking around the trailer comepletely empty, I just cried.  Every single memory Ronnie and I had together up until that point had been made in that trailer.  Except for Hannah we had brought every baby home to that trailer.  It might have been cramped, but we were happy!!! 
  But, God always has new beginnings and blessings right around the corner.  As sad as we were to leave it behind and as scared as we were to be renting and not owning, we were excited to live in this new " big" house with a yard!!!!  We have made plenty of new memories, our landlords are wonderful, wonderful christian people, whom we love dearly, and the children have learned so much living here and enjoying life to the fullest!!!  Our landlords are one of the biggest farmers in southern Indiana, so there is always something going on around us.  We are completely surrounded by corn fields (well this year it was bean fields), and you can always see a tractor or truck of some kind driving around.  There is an old hog barn on the property we rent, so we have turned this place into a small little farm for us :)  We don't know how long we may rent here, but God will definately let us know our time.  We are starting a financial class this week, that I am super excited about, and it teaches the biblical examples of living debt free, so the ideal time would be until we can save up to buy a new house with cash.  But who knows?!?!?  We'll see what God has in store, he has definately taken very good care of us thus far, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so!!!  I am so far beyond blessed, and I thank God everyday for everything he has given us!!!!

Just one of the many beautiful sunsets behind our "new" house.

The simple wooden swing in the tree out back.

A small glance at our garden this year.

Whites hanging out on the line to dry.

Our chickens in their coop.

I am so thankful for the simplicity of our life here at our new home.  I just pray I can pass all this on to my children and that one day they will appreciate the small things in life.

Friday, September 9, 2011

3 years.....

    Some days it feels like just yesterday and other days, I can't even picture her face with out looking at a photograph.  3 years agao, today, I sang my baby girl, Hannah Elizabeth, to sleep for the last time. 

     I have a hard time putting into words how I feel about her sometimes.  Because, just like all my children, I want to express my love and show how proud I am of all of them, but with her, of course, it's different.  I shared in a testimony at church the other night, I always dread the question of, how many children do you have?   My heart is shouting 4, but then most times I just quietly say 3, to avoid the whole conversation.   I struggle with this almost daily.  I want everyone to know, that YES, I have a 4th child, that NO, you do not see her standing here with my other children.  And YES, she is in heaven, but it's OK!!!!  I hate the look that I get from most people when I tell them that we lost a child.  It's like they instantly feel bad for asking the question.  And that's is the opposite of what I want when I answer. 

   I'm very proud of my 3rd daughter.  She was a fighter, better than most!!!  In her young 3 1/2 months, had to endure 4 surgeries, and came through with flying colors!!!  She was amazing!!!  And my heart is filled with joy that 1 of my 4 children is already and heaven, which means I only have 3 more to go!!!!   Ensuring one's eternity, is alot of pressure on a mother.  I drill my children daily of God's wonderous love, hoping and praying that they too will choose this christian walk, even though it will be harder.  There are no words that are strong enough to describe the heartache, I as a mother, or Ronnie and I, as parents went though this week, 3 years ago.  But knowing, that she is eternally a child of the King, how could it have ended any better than that?!?!?! 
     For, mothers out there, that have had to or are having to bury a baby, I want first to stand up and say to you, if you can't stand by and bury your child, don't feel guilty. 

  God, created us as women with compassionate souls.  I arranged for there to be no grave site services after the funeral, because I could not watch them place my tiny child into the ground.  My husband, loving and understanding, took on the the weight of the world and did this job for me.  It was the hardest decision I had to make throughout the entire process.  But it was one that God has definately given me peace about knowing, that it was something I could not endure and he had given me a wonderful, amazing husband to protect me from that.  Also, if there are other things that will and did make the process of mourning easier for you as a mother, don't ever feel silly about that either.  I had Hannah wrapped in a warm, pink, fleece blanket before they buried her, because my motherly instincts did not want her to be cold.  Yes, I knew at the time it was silly and still to this day, know that the idea is silly, but it was something I had to do!  And I don't once regret things like that.  Because at the time of my heavy grieving, it helped me sleep at night.  And God knew that I needed that comfort. 
  Through it all and now on the other side and once again blessed with another baby, Leah, I can proudly stand up and say, that our God, is an AMAZING God, who is has never once left my side and has showered us with blessing upon blessing!!!!

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD