Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Lily Marks"

I have struggled a lot with having stretch marks on my stomach from pregnancy, with nothing to show for it. Other mothers who have these marks have a baby in their arms to make up for it. A baby that says this is where these marks are from and it was worth it.

I saw this picture on Facebook that brought tears to my eyes. This is what it says:

"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it's ugly. That's ok. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be."
These marks feel ugly at times to me, but truly they are a gift... they are a reminder that Lily really, truly was here. She lived, she was real, she matters. My womb was the only home she ever knew. My love and the love of Jesus is all she'll ever know. I call my stretch marks my "Lily marks" because they are the last physical reminder I have left that Lily grew within me for all those beautiful months. Those marks say I am a mother. They are a reminder of the sacred time I carried my girl. Lily was worth every mark. 

I would choose LIFE again all over again, even if I knew from the beginning I'd end up with a completely different body than I had when I was 17. Even if I knew I'd end up with stretch marks and a baby I hold in my heart, rather than my arms. A mark for every stretch, every yawn, every hiccup, every day of her brief but brilliant life... she is so worth it.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Meaning and Significance of Lily Katherine's Name

 “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.” ~Song of Solomon 2:2

{Lily Katherine}

A gift from Marcia


"It is amazing what beauty that one flower will give to her surroundings. She can be in an environment of bleak ugliness, however just her presence can transform her surroundings. This is exactly the way a faithful daughter can be a transformer and shining light to the world around her."

And this is exactly what my flower, my Lily Katherine, did in my life. She changed my heart, she changed the road I was walking on, she changed my future, she changed everything...rather, Jesus changed everything through her life. I treasure her name. To me, it is not simply a pretty name. The flower and name are so meaningful and significant to me. This is how L.K. got her name...

When I was 19, I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock. I had so wanted independence and freedom, yet ironically found myself in bondage. The Lord showed me that this child was a gift and though she was conceived in sin, she was not the sin. From the beginning of my pregnancy, before any doctor told me anything, I knew in my heart that my girl was indeed, A GIRL. It was as if God Himself whispered to me, "you are carrying a precious little girl and her name is Lily."

On September 5, 2009 (when I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy), I wrote the following in an email to a friend,

"For some reason, I feel like the baby growing in me is a girl! And I've been calling her Lily...from the verse in Song of Solomon, "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens." Out of my sin and darkness, I know the Lord will do something very special with this little one."

I knew in my heart that the God of the universe was knitting together a very special little girl, quietly hidden within my womb. I knew how special she was to Him. She was almost aborted. In fact, the appointment was set up at an abortion clinic. Yet, Jesus supernaturally intervened in my heart and life. He broke the chains of bondage. He used her life to bring me back to Himself.

Lily was the bridge between me and my Savior.

Lily means purity and innocence. Also a symbol of beauty. The Lord was bringing beauty from ashes, light out of my darkness. He showed me that this precious life that grew within was a symbol of my renewed innocence and purity in Christ. In Him, I am washed whiter than snow (Isaiah 1:18). I am redeemed, because of His shed blood.

When I was praying about her middle name, after I found out conclusively she was a she, the name Katherine kept coming to me. For quite sometime, it remained in my heart. I wanted her middle name to be as meaningful as her first name, specifically chosen by God. I had no idea at the time that Katherine also means purity.

Both her names, both mean purity. Look how God's fingerprint was all over naming her. He cares deeply about each aspect in our lives. He cares about each unborn life.

And yes, that's Katherine with a K. After all, "Katherine with a 'K' is so much more alluring than Catherine with a 'C.' A 'C' always looks so smug." ~Anne of Green Gables :-)

As if this wasn't beautiful enough...

On March 16, 2010 (two days after my due date) I showed up at the hospital to deliver my little girl, only to discover her heart had stopped beating at some point in the days before. I was devastated, yet the Lord brought such peace. I knew that He would speak through her life how each life is so precious and valuable to Him. This little girl that never took a breath, never spoke a word, was used to bring me back to Jesus!

It was in that moment that He revealed to me an entirely new, amazing, beautiful aspect to her name. And how He knew her, her name and the purposes of her life long before I ever knew she would be. Not only is she a symbol of my renewed purity in Christ, but she will forever be pure and innocent. Spotless. Untainted by the world and sin, never to know pain or suffering. She only knows the beauty of Heaven and the love of her family and King Jesus. She opened her eyes to see His face. His face, the first she ever beheld. What an amazing gift...

I love my girl's beautiful name. The spelling, the way it sounds, the way it looks written out. It's a timeless, old-fashioned, feminine name. 

Lily Katherine will forever remain my set-apart princess, who was betrothed to the King before her birth. And now every time I see a lily, I will think of her and remember how she danced into my life one moment and left the next...but she has left me changed forever...

"A tiny flower, lent not given, to bud on earth and bloom in Heaven."

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." ~Song of Solomon 2:1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a beautiful acrostic that my blogger friend, Amy, created for me. :-)

L- is for how much your mother LOVES you.
I- is for how IMPORTANT you will always be to your mommy.
L- is for the difference your LIFE has made.
Y- is for how much your mom YEARNS to hold you.

K- is for how your memory is KEPT alive in your mommy's life.
A- is for the ARMS of Jesus who holds you close.
T- is for the precious TIME that your mom got to have with you.
H- is for HOW Jesus was with you and mommy since your beginning.
E- is for EACH life you have changed.
R- is for how you will always be REMEMBERED.
I- is for the INSPIRATION your life has been to many.
N- is for how your mommy will NEVER forget you precious Lily.
E- is for EVERY blessing you brought to her life.



You may have noticed Lily's name written in all sorts of ways and places. Her name means so much to me because it is what I have left of her. One only gets a name when they are real. It means so much to me when people honor her name in some way. She's been honored from Australia to Hawaii and everywhere in between. If you'd like to do something special for Lily Katherine, I would love that! You can email it to me at roseandherlily@gmail.com and I will add it to her name gallery. :-)

I'd love you to share the significance and meaning of your name or your child/children's name. :-)

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Her Half Birthday

Time keeps passing. Steadily. Surely. Six months gone by without her. I move farther and farther away from her with each day and today, that reminder is all too bitter. The six month mark has crept up on me so quickly and it's like a kick in the stomach. The little outfit my cousin got for Lily is hanging on my dresser. It says 6m. I hold it up to me and imagine her body filling it out, resting on my hip. The tears keep coming today. I'm glad I have my infant loss support group tonight. It's hard for me to look at 6 month old babies now and imagine her that size. I try so hard to picture her face and her smile, but I don't know how.


The Jewel-Lullaby album is very special to me. My mom got it for me during my pregnancy and Lily and I listened to it all the time. She would kick so much when I would play it loudly and sing to her. Listening to the CD now is so bittersweet, reminding me of the beautiful times spent with her. I couldn't wait to play it as I would have rocked her. This is my special song for her. Listening to it is a reminder of just how much I miss her. It's a reminder of just how blessed I am to be her mother. It's a reminder of how thankful I am God saved her and gave me 40 glorious weeks and 2 beautiful days with her. It's a reminder of how I will carry around her legacy and love with me always. How would she look today? What outfit would I have put her in? What would we have done to celebrate? Would she be giggling right now? Six months...in a way, I can't believe it's been that long already. Yet, it also seems like time has just dragged on and on and on. Happy half birthday, Lily girl! 





The other day you asked me to
Tell you how much I love you
Oh, but words so often fail
To describe the depth and scale
And even though it may sound cliche
I'll tell you now in my simple way

My love is as true as the oceans are blue
And I'll always feel this way
Just listen to the beating that keeps repeating
My heart wants to say
Like Gala and Dali, Its you and me
Forever and a day
Forever and a day
Always

You watch me turn out the light
Wrap my arms around you, say goodnight
Trace our shadows on the wall
Thank God for the miracle of it all

My love is true as the oceans are blue
And I'll always feel this way
Just listen to the beating that keeps repeating
My heart wants to say
Like Gala and Dali, Its you and me
Forever and a day
Forever and a day
Always

The road of life winds
With the passing of time
I can hear you say
How can hearts know
Where love will go
Beyond today

Just listen to the beating that keeps repeating
My heart wants to say
Like Gala and Dali, Its you and me
Forever and a day
Forever and a day

Always


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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Changes

Fall is almost here again and reminding me of this time last year when all those changes were taking place in my heart and life. My heart was opening up to a whole new world...the world of motherhood. This very day last year, I called my mom and told her I was pregnant. She was so excited. We talked for hours on the phone, laughing, crying, and planning for the days to come. Joy filled me up to the brim because I was making room for a new life in my life. A baby that I didn't yet know the gender of. But, somehow, in my heart I always knew. I always knew she was Lily. As surely as the changing of the seasons come, my life is changing once again. Change is really difficult for me. It means saying goodbye to someone you love. A season of life that you love. It means your left only with the memories of that time or that person. I always feel down this time of year, despite how much I enjoy sweater weather, pumpkin spiced lattes, and brightly colored leaves. But, after the fall, comes the winter. And in the winter, all the plants lose their leaves, their color, their life. And it's cold outside. And despite how much I enjoy being tucked in by a fire, with a hot cup of mocoa cocoa, listening to Christmas carols, I still have a hard time dealing with change. Change means things are no longer as they were. It's as if the things that were are no longer valued or cherished when they can be pushed aside...when life marches on. Yet, I know this isn't so. My life does march on. The leaves do change colors. The leaves will fall. The winter will come. It's inevitable. I will be reminded of last year, spending hours sitting on the floor making Christmas cards, with a 6 month pregnant belly. But, this year won't be the change that I was anticipating. I won't have her. I'm sick of dealing with all these changes. I never know what's to come. Each year of my life seems so much different than the last. My brothers left yesterday to truck-drive across the country, as a team. They will be gone for weeks at a time. It makes me so sad to think nothing is as it was. And what does the next season of my life hold? It feels like everyone is having all these great things happen to them. Everywhere I turn, someone just had a baby, got engaged, got married, or just found out they were pregnant...But, what about me? What good is happening for me? It's hard not to feel jealous. All I know is the one thing that remains. The one thing that never changes is my God. He is faithful always. The seasons may change, circumstances change, life marches on...but my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever...as is my love for Lily.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Embroidered Backpack

My friend Tracey wrote me on Facebook and said: "I was picking up Sean from school the other day and I noticed the cutesy little backpack sitting in a cubby outside the classroom. Embroidered with "Lily Katherine." .... I thought of you! Hope you have a nice weekend!'

I think that's so cool and was glad she shared this with me.

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