2

Glory In the Hurt

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The leaf is dressed in glory.

As it dies.

I wonder if It likes the different ‘Me.’

If leaves could think.

I do believe they would agree,

the dying to their former color

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brings out the golden glory.

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And beautifies the dying.

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It is nearly 9 months since our daughter took her first steps in heaven. Since I have begun getting to know what life is like without her. Since I have been introduced to a different ‘Me.’

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The following song has spoken to me so very often. Sometimes its a bit hard to put words to my deep feelings but following the lyrics below is a bit of my own struggle to accept and embrace this new life that is ‘Me.’

“The Hurt & The Healer”

Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from being explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Breathe
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes it’s rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take this heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

[x2:]
Jesus come and break my fear
Wake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Wake my heart and take my tears
And find Your glory even here

Thanks to Jessie for adding these lyrics.
Thanks to Mike Benkert, Jim Mahan for correcting these lyrics.

I don’t know this new me yet.

She surprises me

confuses me

amazes me

angers me

hurts me.

She IS me.

And I don’t know what to do with her.

I can’t get away from her.

Just as I think she has morphed into a tidy bit of womanly,

she throws out a new curve and leaves me

dazed

lonely

confused

scared.

I can’t out think her

out sleep her

out smart her

or out last her.

So I must embrace her.

And learn to know her.

I must be gentle

and real

(not live in a dream of who I think she should be)

and honest.

Forgive her

(that’s myself I’m talking about)

Accept her.

Even if I do not understand her.

( my poor husband 🙂

Because God has brought her on a journey.

He has plans for her that I can only trace the very fringes of.

So I will lay out the pieces of yesterday

on my own familiar kitchen table

and give them to her Creator.

(He is a Master Chef at creating beauty and completion from messes)

The new and the old and the not understood all laid out before God.

Her loving heavenly Father who knows more about her then she can imagine.Who understands the deepest part of her that is beyond her reach to know.

Someday, she will see clearly.

“I shall know and understand fully and clearly even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].”

1 Corinthians 13:12 Amplified Bible

Did you get that? It doesn’t say we will BE UNDERSTOOD then. It says we ARE UNDERSTOOD now. I think that means In our present moment. With our present mess of ourselves.

Rest assured today, Dear Soul!

God understands you. You may lay it all out to Him. He won’t be surprised or confused or shocked at you. He knows you already.

He understands.

He is longing to help you.

To simply love you.

To give you rest and peace in Him.

The joy of His presence.

And the hope of truly knowing and finding His fullness filling our being in heaven some glorious day!

just give it to Him.

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2

The Blessedness of Bandaids

So as strange as it sounds, once upon a time, I was angry at a box of Bandaids.

A few years ago, My friend had sent me a wonderful care package, complete with food, fun, miniature animals…and a box of Bandaids for boo boos. They were cute and colorful and fun, if Bandaids can be fun.

It was one of the those boxes I looked at briefly then threw under the sink in my catch it all basket that got organized once a year and nearly never used.

And I thought to myself….’I never need to use Bandaids.’
And that made me sad.

I didn’t want to look at those Bandaids. Not because of the pain and boo boo it would cover, but because of the strange absence of boo boos.

You see, Kierra couldn’t walk, let alone roll over. She couldn’t pull things down on top of her (except for the mosquito netting that she managed to tangle in). She couldn’t pinch her fingers in the cupboard door or pull the cat’s tail or get a splinter from the wooden swing set.

Her socks stayed clean. Too clean. And there were not strays (except by my own making). Some days I would make excuses to get her a fresh shirt (and some days she would drool faster then I could think). Her shoes never wore out or had scuffed toes. Because she didn’t wear them. Her jacket was never torn from a hide out in the Rose garden. Even her mittens stayed way too clean and lasted for years.

While I didn’t want her to hurt or be in trouble or pain, I wanted the glorious normal of a messy life.

I wanted something other then boring sterile hospital Bandaids and gauze pads over lab draws for her.

I wanted dirty socks and holes in pants. Tonight, after we got home from an evening with friends, I was changing Kobe . His shoes were damp. His feet wreaked of sweat. And I delightfully changed them.

I will perhaps go down in record as the first person that delights in sweaty feet and holey jeans and dirty jackets. In missing socks and a child that screams bloody murder when I extract the tiniest splinter under the very first layer of his skin. And apply a gloriously cute puppy dog bandaid.

I love the dirt under his finger nails and the toe nails that are always stubbed short. The teeth that need brushing and the drinks that are handed into two tiny grasping hands. The very fact that he still wants me to give him bites of food doesn’t even bother me that much. Because I get to feed a child who TAKES BITES OF FOOD and CHEWS and SWALLOWS!!

Some times in the middle of the day, when he takes a tumble and is howling in my arms, I automatically check for broken limbs or bad ouchies and automatically think about dropping everything and heading for the hospital.

Then I remind myself. This is not Kierra. This is not an emergency. It never is with Kobe. And in the back of my mind, in some crazy way, I miss the adrenaline rush of totally focusing on a run to the hospital…(with a non life threatening emergency of course!)

So here’s my challenge to you this week when the dirty laundry piles high and the socks are all searching for soul mates.

Thank God. Thank Him for the miracle of a mess!!
It is a blessing.

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8

Settling West

I know. This is way overdue. I have written this post countless times in my head and every time it says something different. I have so many thoughts and feelings and little moments of Aw. that I’m not sure where to begin.

Let me introduce you to our new surroundings a bit first. We arrived here in Fairfield, MT at our house on a Tuesday night. Traveling had gone excellent with clear skies and no flat tires. There was a cold nip in the air that night. Of course we had forgotten to keep proper jackets/coats out when we packed , but then again, no one expected it to snow, even in Montana, the beginning of September! We shivered in the sharp night air as we unloaded just a few things, digging for our air mattress.

My good friend Meghan had been over earlier in the day to freshen the house up. Her kids made this sweet sign for us. They even included Kierra in our family picture. I LOVE it! I still haven’t taken it down, because almost every day, Kobe happily goes up to it and points at each person and tells me who it is. Daddy, Mamma, Kobe and KIERRA! And hearing him say her name is so good, I just stand real quiet and watch him in his delighted glory.

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We crashed out on the bedroom floor that first night and tried to get some sleep for the big unloading day on Wednesday. Steve’s family lives about 2 hours from here, so they came over to help us out.

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Kobe was very happy to have some little cousins to play with! We got the trailer all unloaded into the house by lunch time, even with the unusual skiff of snow that welcomed us 🙂 After that it was sorting and organizing and putting things away.

Our house was built quite long ago, but is newly remodeled.  It’s a two bedroom, one bath, with a full basement that could be converted into a bedroom with some love and time. So give us a bit more time…then stop over for the night when you come west 🙂

Our front door.

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This is from the street. We are right across from a commercial building. It’s actually a fairly quiet street during the day. Much, much quieter then Pennsylvannia  when it comes to lots of traffic 🙂

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These huge grain bins are just down the street from us. Fairfield  is surrounded by ranches. It’s very open country in this part of Montana so there are lots of huge grain fields. That means there is lots of wind as well! Here in town, we are much more sheltered then out on the ranches. That part is nice, but we don’t have the lovely views of the mountains from our house.

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This is our kitchen/dining room. These photos were taken over a week ago, so we have done more settling in 🙂 Like buying a stove 🙂

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Our living room…still a bit unsettled here,

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and some lovely outdoor scenery for you 🙂

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One day soon after we moved, we were taking a little lunch break out at the old picnic table when a lady from church stopped by with a whole load of free puppies! They were looking for new homes. I am AWFUL when it comes to strays , puppies or kittens. Just ask my poor husband . We gladly took one. I even wanted two ;)…you know, so one won’t get too lonely.

Meet Griffin.

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My biggest grievance is that he howls. What could I expect from a beagle mix????? At least my son has a puppy! He is thrilled with him 🙂

We have been staying super busy. Setting up house is LOTS of work! Trips to town, changing addresses and phones and becoming residence. Setting up with a new bank, and a new internet company and starting a business. The things to do and see after are quite endless. Steve is working part time with construction right now. He wants to do snow shoveling, lawn care, window cleaning, landscaping, etc. We worked on a few jobs the last two weeks. We trimmed a ton of dead branches and shrubbery out of one back yard and transformed another neglected garden. It was HARD work, but so rewarding to see the wonderful difference!

Before… there was no dirt visible. This was part way into our clean up 🙂

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and after..

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I still can’t believe this is me in Montana going to work with my husband and taking Kobe with us.

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Where are the days of sitting in the hospital for a week, holding Kierra, talking with Doctors, chatting with nurses, meeting new people, and missing my little and big guys?

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 While I am so very thankful that Kierra is healed, today  i just wanted to go back. Maybe it was the cold and snow and overcast forenoon.

I got out my big photo book of Kierra  while Kobe  slept, and paged through it slowly. I lived in those pages all over. I remembered buying my little red tea tin at Ross one day on a hospital break when I was aching for soothing herbal comfort. It said the famous , “keep calm and carry on” in white lettering. I loved that tea tin. No matter how scary or hectic life got…i wanted to remember to Stay Calm and Carry On.  With God’s help that’s what i’m still doing. Carrying on. My tin is in my new kitchen, reminding me of my brave little girl who carried on when things got really tough in her little life.

We’ve been so busy unpacking and organizing and working, canning apple filling, and celebrating a WONDERFUL adoption (Meghan and Kenton adopted 4 wonderful kids last week!), spending time in Idaho with family, and buying a couch and oven and curtains for our windows. i think of Kierra countless times, but the sadness  doesn’t often hit me until it’s dark outside and the lights are low and I am tired.

 Today was just hard, though. I felt so much better after I took time to sit down and think about all the good times,all the smells and snuggles and things I miss about my little girl.I wanted to brush out her lovely hair and try one more time to create a braid from their impossible sleekness. I wanted to hear her telling stories at night in her bed. I wanted to draw up her 12 medications. I want to change her feeding pump bag and rip open  new oxygen tubing. Sound weird? Well, this is REALLY weird then!

I want to sit in a hospital room. I want to watch numbers on machines and listen to Enya on You Tube and hear nurses walking down the hallway. I want to see silly simple things like the oxygen and suction mounted on the wall. I want to drink bad coffee and nearly gag. I want to stay awake all night in a hospital that never sleeps. Then i want to walk out of those doors, so excited about going home and being a family again. Amazing. How you miss even hard things when they were such a huge part of your life.

Maybe That’s what happens when part of you dies.

Maybe I should be a nurse 🙂

On a different note, one of these days, I am going to write about some things  that are no fun when they happen to Kobe but i love them anyway because it means he is OK. and HEALTHY and ALIVE….so stay tuned 🙂

So long, my friends!