Monday, February 3, 2020

A Baby Born into Heaven

February 1 was our due date in 2019. The doctor told me so :) There is such a weird grief and pain when it comes to pregnancy after a loss.

We are SO incredibly blessed to have our daughter, born early, making her only 2.5 months older than the first child we carried. I am so incredibly blessed by E's birth. It definitely did not come easy and you can read about that in previous posts. However, today I remember our first child. Carried only for a few weeks but loved for a lifetime. 

It is crazy how common miscarriages are. So many women suffering from the incredible loss. Some try to justify that they can't be sad or grieve because they weren't very far along. However, I know from experience where your head and heart went the second you got a positive line on the pregnancy test. You dreamt of that child's future, its gender, the nursery, holding them in your arms. You imagined them playing on your living room floor, snuggling them late at night, dropping them off at school for their first day, holding your breath as they drove away in their very own car for the first time, being present at their wedding, watching them become parents themselves. You imagined it all just from a simple line. 

It's normal to grieve that. It's a loss. A whole life you never got to participate in. 

Maybe you actually held your child, I can't imagine that feeling. But I know that it was the hardest thing you probably have ever done. Once again your life was crushed. Your future thrown off. It was never part of the plan. 

There are daily reminders of the life that you don't get to have, the pain and the sorrow never truly goes away. It creeps up when you least expect it. When you think you finally have regained control you may fall apart again. 

There are no words that make it easier, no time that passes that truly takes away the pain. The only thing that helps me isn't that fact I was blessed with a rainbow baby, she's a whole other person that I LOVE! It's the fact that our first child is known by God, living in heaven, and that some day I will get to meet him or her and see their joyful smiling face welcoming me home. 

That day keeps me going. 

So if you are part of this group of woman, a group that no one wants to be a part of, know  you are not alone. You are seen, heard, and we weep with you. Especially on days where it creeps back in. Especially on the days like today, the due date.

Happy first birthday to my angel baby, until we meet again! 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Living in Joy

How many times do we truly live in the Joy that God has given us?

I know for me, fear, anxiety, worry, all try to creep in and ruin the wonderful blessings God has for me!

There have been so many times in my life that I was too worried to be excited! Too scared to fully embrace the goodness of God! I was worried, "What if it was too good to be true!?" "What if this glorious blessing is taken away!?"

The What If's can rob us of enjoying the wonderfulness that is Christ's blessings in our life! From worries on our wedding day that the day goes as planned we miss the PURPOSE of the day! To worrying about the loss of a pregnancy we miss the JOY that God has created a life!

We may even rob the joy in our children! There are times where our worries and anxiety can crush their joyful hearts! The first day of school, their first time driving, their high school graduation! Yes, as parents, your job is to protect them, but what if our fears and anxieties consume us so that we crush the joy of our children growing up! 

Fear of death, fear of sickness, FEAR! It can consume us whole!

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10 

Every time I hear that "What if" pop in my head, every time I hear the doubt creep in that this gift is actually mine to be enjoyed I remember this verse; "The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy!" He seeks after our joy! He wants to destroy it!

"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly!" What a glorious promise from our Lord to live in his Joy! Replace the they with your name, "I came that ___________ may have life and have it abundantly!"

Next time fear creeps in, next time the what ifs seem to put is in a spiral, remember who came to destroy our joy and who came so we can have life in it! Live in your joy my friends, don't let satan kill and destroy it!

Monday, January 13, 2020

To Live as Christ

How many of us have seen or worn the WWJD bracelets? It’s a good motto to live by! In the Christian Church we are taught that the reflection of our life would emanate Christ. So we ask our selves What Would Jesus Do? Or do we?

How many of us can truly say we live as Christ? What would that look like? Read through the Gospels! Living as Christ would be to live with love! Not just loving our family and friends but loving our enemy, loving those that look different and act different, loving those who harm us or do us wrong. It’s loving when we don’t want to and loving when it’s hard. In Christ’s dying moments he said to the Father “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!” He lived in love until his dying breath.

To live like Christ means to live out his purpose in your life. God has called us for a unique purpose! He has called us to serve him with our own unique gifts and talents. I could take up a whole blog post just talking about how we all are given spiritual gifts from the Lord. When we walk in those gifts we are serving him, we are living as Christ.

Living as Christ means selflessness! How many times do we justify the reasons why we don’t want to go help the neighbor, make someone a meal, serve at church? We have limited time, we have children, we have houses to clean, meals to make of our own, jobs that need to be done for the livelihood of our families. To  live as Christ is to live with a servants heart and to live in fellowship of one another.

The second part of this verse is, “to die is gain.” Death is an uncomfortable topic! But the reality of death is that IF you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ death equals eternity in Heaven! Eternity with our father!

Paul writes in Philippians from prison. He isn’t sure what the outcome of this event will be but he knows his options are this: If they allow him to live he can continue to live out his purpose in a Christ , serving the church and spreading Gods word. If they don’t allow him to live he gets to spend eternity in heaven. To Paul’s it’s a win win.

Would it be the same for you? If you were Paul would you be able to say “To Live is Christ and to die is gain?”

1. How can you live more like Christ?
2. Are you walking in Gods plan for you? If not, where do you begin?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Brussel Bacon Apple Salad

Brussel sprouts are back! The cool veggie to eat and there are so many delicious ways to prepare them! If I’m honest I’m your typical roasted veggie kinda girl so I hadn’t really branched out with them until his salad!

- 1lb or bag of Brussels, shredded
- 1/4 red onion sliced thin
- 1/2 apple (pink lady are my fave to use!)
- bacon (few slices chopped and cooked)
- walnuts chopped

Dressing ingredients
- mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder (I didn’t measure them out but just did added each till it tasted how I liked it)

1. In a mixing bowl placed sliced onion, shredded Brussels, cooked bacon pieces, aliced apple, and chopped walnuts (if you wish).
2. Mix together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Should be able to taste the mustard and apple from the vinegar :)
3. Pour dressing on salad when ready to serve!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Joy and Pain of Mothers Day

Mother’s Day last year I was pregnant and didn’t even know it. I remember sitting in church and the Pastor was talking about the pain and joy of Mothers Day. I really didn’t think that much about the pain side but focused on the joy. I couldn’t wait till I got to experience the joy of motherhood. 

Little did I know a few weeks later we would experience the pain. No one really prepares you for that, the joy that gets stripped away from that instant the Dr says he has bad news and the constant reminder as your body does what it has to do for days and weeks to come. 

The pain is real and it consistently re-surfaces on days like Mothers Day where it creeps back in and seems as raw and real as the day it happened. Some women choose to still celebrate today because yes, you are a Mom to a baby in heaven. This day is as much yours and even though you don’t get to hold your child it doesn’t take away from the fact that you have a child, you are a Mom, and you carried that little soul even if it was just for a short while. 

The joy of Mothers Day over shadows the pain for me. I get to spend it with my rainbow baby E. I pray that those of you who have felt the pain of loss get to feel the joy of holding your sweet baby in your arms, even if it’s through other ways of expanding your family. I can’t describe the love that one feels hearing that cry and holding your child for the first time. I am so blessed and grateful that I have this sweet girl to celebrate Mother’s Day with this year!

I’m also reminded that being a Mom doesn’t just happen biologically. Unfortunately, we will not be having anymore biological children. E was our true gift from God and did not come easily. There were way too many times both of our lives were at risk. So not only do I think of the child I lost, embrace and snuggle the child I have, but I also pray for the child in my future and the mother that will carry him or her. 

Being a Mom is hard work. It’s full of joy and celebrating milestones and full of more love than you could ever imagine! But it is also full of pain and sorrow. It can be full of loss, full of fear, full of anxiety. It’s truly a life if so many emotions. 

Whether you are cuddling with your baby today, praying for the children that you long for, or missing the ones you have lost today is a day to celebrate you Moms. A day to celebrate your strength that no matter what this life has thrown at you, you have made it yet another day! 

Happy Mothers Day to every Mom, no matter what your story is you are seen, heard, and oh so loved! 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

I love a good Chinese takeout meal! Here is a simple throw together and let it cook all day meal without the high salt content that you would get with take out! Make it even healthier and serve over cauliflower rice! 

1 1/2lb Flank or Skirt Steak
2 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS garlic minced
1 TBS minced ginger or 2 tsp ground ginger      
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
½ cup green onions chopped

1.       Coat steak in cornstarch and place in crockpot. You can choose to slice up steak now or later. I personally like to slice steak now and coat each individual piece but if you don’t have time do it later J
2.       Add all other ingredients to the crockpot.
3.       Cook on low 4-6 hours of high 3-4 hours
4.       Take out steak and slice into strips. Serve over cooked rice or cauliflower rice!

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Looking for a cheap and easy Mexican dish that will serve many people! This is it! Feel free to add any extras at the end! 

1-2lb chicken tenderloins
1 can salsa
1 bag sliced frozen fajita peppers (TJ frozen section.)
       If you don’t have TJ then 1 green bell
       1 red bell pepper sliced
1 Onion sliced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin

1.       Place chicken in crockpot with veggies
2.       Pour salsa over the top of the chicken and veggies
3.       Cook on low 4-6 hours of high 3-4 hours (or until you get home)
4.       Serve on tortillas! (check out homemade tortilla recipe if you have extra time)
5.       Serve with cheese, sour cream, Guac, cilantro, anything else your heart desires!