Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Lilies

I saw these Easter Lilies at Target and thought of my March Lily girl.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Days Nobody Remembers

Days like today are the days nobody remembers. Nobody but me that is. Today is March 27th and to most, it's just another spring day. But, for me it will always be the day my daughter's body was layed to rest beneath the earth. To me, it will be the day I watched as her tiny white casket was covered with tears, rose and lily petals, and dirt. And I had to leave her there. I had to walk away, with a piece of myself in the ground. There's no way to describe the aching and the emptiness of that moment. My arms were lost. It was over...really, truly over.

There are quite a few of these days in my life. I don't blame others for not remembering. I mean, most people don't even know the specific dates that are so important to me. I wonder if I would even remember them if I didn't have a memory that recalls everything. When something of significance (and oftentimes things that aren't very important) happens in my life, I always remember the date, how I felt, what the weather was like, and oftentimes, even what I was wearing!

That can make the memories and the days nobody remembers sting even more. I replay all the tiny details that I can't seem to forget. But, maybe I don't want to forget. Maybe remembering makes Lily feel that much closer. And when the memories don't fade, it doesn't feel as much like I'm moving away from her...

Just to name a few of the days that are forever imprinted on my heart and mind...

February 13th, the day of my Valentine's baby shower.


March 14th, Lily's due date.

August 15th, the day I had an abortion set up at Planned Parenthood. The day the Lord intervened in my life and saved hers. The day that reminds me how my heart was changed forever with the LIFE of my little girl.

October 9th, the day I found out Lily was indeed, A GIRL! Though I knew in my heart already that she was my lil' flower.

March 26th, the day of her Celebration of LIFE/Memorial Service.

March 27th, her burial...

These are the days that catch me off guard. These are the days that can hurt just as much as the days you'd expect to hurt...like birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Easter. These are the days I think to myself, "this many years ago today, I was doing this..."

These are the days nobody remembers. Nobody but me. And the One who loves her more than I...







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Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Tiny Flower

My dear friend, Morgan, wrote a special post in honor of Lily's birthday on her blog. Morgan is a blog friend and also a real-life friend who I get to see on a regular basis. We love getting together and talking about everything, from our babies to her Minnesooota accent. ;) We enjoy quite a few good laughs together! I am so thankful for her sweet friendship and am so humbled and honored by what she wrote. Be sure to read the story of her precious son Marcellus and become a blog follower!

Morgan and I at Lily's 2nd Heavenly Birthday Balloon Release!

To many today is just March 16th, the day that comes after the Ides of March. But today, is a very special day. Today is Lily's 2nd Heavenly birthday. Who is Lily you ask? Lily is the beautiful daughter of my dear friend Hannah Rose.

I met Hannah Rose at group. She was at the first meeting we attended. Since then we have messaged each other on facebook, swapped blogs (her's is a lot nicer looking and fancier than mine!), texted back and forth, gotten together outside of group and really become friends. She is an amazing mother to know. She is an incredible witness to the Lord and I look to the strong faith she has as guidance for myself. You should really check out her blog "Rose and Her Lily" and read her testimony. She's pretty amazing :) Her post today in honor of Lily's life is very beautiful.

Today I want to honor Lily on her special day. Today I want you to know how special, beautiful and amazing this little girl is. She has changed the lives of many without even taking a breath on this earth. I never got the chance to meet or see Lily, I didn't know Hannah Rose when she was pregnant, but that doesn't matter. I feel like I know Lily. I know her through her mother. I can only hope that Marcellus is living on as much through me as Lily is through her mommy.

I wish I knew Hannah Rose for other reasons. That our children were part of the same play group or we were in a mommies exercise class together or something. But this is our reality. Our little ones already in Heaven waiting for us. And although this is the circumstance I met Hannah Rose under, I am very blessed to have her and Lily in my life.

I just know Marcellus and Lily found each other in Heaven. They probably found each other before their mommies even met. They definitely have taken part in building this friendship Hannah Rose and I have. Not too long ago Hannah Rose came over and we shared our children's things. She showed me many of her favorite things of Lily's and I showed her all of Marcellus's. I really felt like a mommy then. It felt really good.

Tomorrow I have the privilege and honor of partaking in a balloon release for Lily. I'll also get to see her scrapbooks her mommy has been working so hard on. And yes, you read that right...scrapbooks, plural. Lily has 2! Because she is so loved and special.

About a week and a half ago friends of ours were able to visit Marcellus. They asked if we wanted them to bring him something. I like him to have fresh flowers. I am usually not too picky about what kind he gets. But I had an idea. He needed to have lilies! Even though it was a week and a half before Lily's birthday, that's what made me think of it. He needed lilies for his friend Lily. Here's a picture my friend sent to me of that night. Look at that sparkly snow! It was gone the next day, but don't the vibrant lilies look so beautiful against the pure white snow? When my friend sent the pictures she labelled them Marcellus_Lily. It really touched me to see their names together like that. My Marcellus and Hannah Rose's Lily, together.


So today dear Lily Katherine, we honor you and not only your time here, but your legacy that lives on.

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

Dear Marcellus, I know you have wonderful friends in Heaven with you. We all wish you could be here on earth with us, with your mommies. I hope you and Lily have fun together. Does she watch out for you? Does she maybe act a little like a big sister to you? Although your time here was too short, you are both such a gift to this world. I miss and love you so much baby boy! xoxox

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Friday, March 23, 2012

OCTOBER BABY!

The new Pro-Life movie, OCTOBER BABY, comes out TODAY!! It is very powerful! Lives will be saved, hearts will be changed, and hurting people healed. The storyline is similar to the real-life story of two precious friends of mine. 


In order for films like OCTOBER BABY to continue being made, audiences need to be willing to see it in theaters. Movie industry success is based on how well a movie does on its Opening Weekend. For OCTOBER BABY, that means what happens this Friday through Sunday, March 23-25, will determine if the movie has an extended run in the theaters where it's opening and if it will expand to other theaters around the country.


I ask that if you have time this weekend, take your friends and family to see this in theatres. And be sure to stay through the credits, which include the real-life testimony of actress Shari Rigby. Also, share it on your own pages and blogs. You can purchase your tickets early at www.octoberbabymovie.net You will be blessed by it!! Thank you :-) 


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Guest Post

Today, I have a very special guest post, written by my dear friend, Lindy, who was in my basic semester at Ellerslie this past fall. The Lord had many purposes for bringing me to Ellerslie when He did. I know partly because I was supposed to meet BonnieSierra and Lindy. Lindy lives only thirty minutes from me and that is not by accident. Read this powerful testimony of how God is giving her a burden for the unborn and their mothers. Lindy wrote it on March 16, as a birthday present to Lily. :-) I asked Lindy to write a guest post sharing her journey, yet didn't know exactly what I had in mind. Only after reading what she wrote did I realize it was exactly what I had in mind.

Lindy and I with Eric Ludy at a recent conference in NC

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This is a story of God at work behind the scenes. What I am sharing may at first seem to be insignificant, unconnected bits of history, but don't be fooled by appearances! These are bits and pieces from the last 5 years of my life, and it is only now that I'm beginning to see a glimpse of how masterfully God is weaving it all together!

In the summer of 2007, while preparing for a missions trip, I met Mrs. Jan, a woman who simply radiates with love for God. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the very first thing we ever did one on one was pray together! Fast forward several years. God had placed on my heart the idea of beginning a prayer shawl ministry (knitting or crocheting shawls to give to those who are ill or grieving as a tangible reminder of the prayer on their behalf) at my church. I gathered information, prayed, and spoke to someone whose input I valued greatly, (Mrs. Jan), but never felt God's leading to move forward. Though I continued to knit and give the shawls, it never came together as a ministry on a larger scale.

In 2010 I graduated from highschool. I knew that college was not where God wanted me, and He was also closing doors for my long cherished dream of owning a yarn shop. This past fall I had the opportunity to attend a semester at Ellerslie, another long cherished dream. While there, God drew me nearer to Himself than ever before, and greatly deepened my desire to obey and follow Him. Something else happened too... I met Hannah Rose! We discovered that we lived only half an hour apart, and had a wonderful time discussing familiar landmarks and planning what we could do together once back in NC. 

Toward the end of the semester, Eric gave a sermon titled "The Company of Heros", in which he boldly addressed the horror of abortion and what our response must be. While Eric was speaking to us, God was speaking to me. I didn't know when, where, or how, but right then I knew God was leading me to stand on behalf of those unborn babies and the women carrying them. Though slightly overwhelmed by the possibility, I was so excited by what God was doing in my heart! One passing thought that afternoon, "...and I could knit baby blankets..." God also made it very apparent that, out of over 70 basic students from all over the world, it was no accident that Hannah Rose and I lived 30 minutes apart. 

I arrived home knowing what God wanted me to pursue, but not having the slightest idea of where to start! He gave me only step 1: email Mrs. Jan and get her input. (She is very involved in the pro-life arena.) We rarely got to see each other anymore, but still had a special connection. I sent her a message asking if we could get together, not explaining why, and suggesting a Friday. Her response left me laughing in sheer amazement at the greatness of my God. "On Friday mornings I go pray at an abortion clinic. Would you pray about going with me sometime?" Isn't He just amazing?

Needless to say, I went with her to the clinic. When we got there, I told her why I had wanted to get together in the first place. She told me that she had been asking God specifically for a young woman to join her at the clinic! Less than two minutes later, she mentioned something else... baby blankets!

I now go once a week with Mrs. Jan to pray at the clinic. Hannah Rose has also joined us, and her friendship is a gift from God! The vision of a prayer shawl ministry is now coming together in a different form - a ministry to make baby blankets for the mothers who choose to keep their babies. The ministry will, God willing, begin officially in June. It will be called "Knit Together" (Psalm 139:13), a name precious to me because it speaks of God's love for the unborn, but also because it so perfectly captures how God has faithfully orchestrated every detail of my life to lead me here.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) In the sermon I mentioned earlier, Eric defined Christianity as a recruitment office - God is the One who assigns, and we are each responsible to obey, trusting Him to guide and enable. The point isn't doing something big and exciting for God, but coming to Him daily, saying "Here I am, please use me." I pray that God shows you, as He is showing me, the beauty of a life yielded to Him. the way may not always seem clear, challenges will come, but be assured, it is the sweetest way, for Jesus is there with every step!

I pray that God gives you boldness, strength, and joy as you step out in Him!

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I hope this post has greatly encouraged you, dear reader! If you feel the Lord gently nudging you to step out in the Pro-Life arena, trust He will guide you each step of the way! Don't think "I am only one person, what can I do?" God uses just one person all the time. He has a plan for each of us and what's important is that we obey Him, even if nobody ever sees what we're doing except Him. That goes not only for working in the Pro-Life ministry, but any ministry. 

The first "Knit Together" baby blanket will be given in honor of Lily! :-)

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In Our Hearts Pendants

In Our Hearts Pendants gave me these beautiful pendants for my sweet Lily and Luke!



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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is Coming...

Spring is officially here and for me, it's a bittersweet time of year. It reminds me of the time Lily came...and went. She was born just days before spring started. In the first few weeks after losing her, all the flowers were blooming so beautifully and the sun grew stronger on my skin. The birds were happily chirping along, preparing nests for their wee ones. It felt wrong that life was marching on, the seasons were changing, even though she wasn't there. It felt like everything was supposed to stop since her life had ended. With the promise of spring, came the promise of Lily. Like the new life bursting forth from the earth, Lily was new life. 

Spring and Lily...they came together.

I see the hand of my God in choosing for her to be born right before the genesis of spring. He silently speaks with the vibrant colors, fresh smells, and the beauty of the season. There may be pain, there may be sorrow, there may be winter...oh, but in Him, we have the hope and the certainty that joy and spring are coming! 

There have been so many of these reminders in my life. Like on the day she was born, as well as on her 1st and 2nd birthdays, it was dark and gloomy out, and seemed to reflect the heart of God grieving along with us. Then, suddenly, unexpectedly, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds and a hint of blue can be seen. And it reminds me of this dance of sorrow and joy and how this whole journey is marked by tears of happiness and tears of sadness. 

With spring, comes new LIFE, fresh hope. Even here on earth, the Lord is bringing beauty from ashes. There is spring even here, in this fallen world. Through my own sin and sorrow, He is giving me a life and a purpose through Lily's life and legacy. What the world would look at as hopeless, God has turned into something so breathtakingly beautiful. In the midst of darkness, He brings glorious light. He uses the very things the enemy means to destroy us with and brings glory to Himself. He uses all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He brings new life out of tragedy and heartbreak. Even with the pain, I would never choose another way. I am honored to have been chosen to be Lily's mother. I am honored that God would choose to speak His promise of everlasting LIFE through Lily's and my story. She was born on March 16 (3:16) and yet again, He silently speaks His promise of spring...

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~John 3:16 

Not only does God somehow, some magnificent way bring beauty and spring here on earth, but He reminds me that spring is coming. Eternal spring. Life with Him forever. But, forever doesn't have to begin when I die. I have Him now. I have His promises now, even though I don't tangibly have them yet, I do have them, for He's promised them to me. And I trust Him. Even with the loss of Lily, I can have the hope that this sorrow is only for a short while longer. Then I will be with my girl for all of Eternity! 

My mom saw a glorious rainbow this morning, stretching all the way from one side of the sky to the other. She said the colors were so vibrant and amazing. How appropriate for this first day of spring. :-)

So with this change of season, may we each cling to the HOPE that's Christ. May we cling to the promise that He can and will bring beauty and spring out of sorrow and winter. Both here on earth...and for all Eternity. 

Spring is coming. Hallelujah
  
"Our LORD has written the promises of THE RESURRECTION, not in books alone, but in every leaf in Springtime." ~Martin Luther

"Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning." ~Psalm 30:5

This is a song off Steven Curtis Chapman's album, "Beauty Will Rise," that has been most instrumental in my healing journey. It flowed out of the Chapman's loss of their own precious daughter. This song reminds me so much of Lily, spring, and the promise I have in Christ. May you be blessed by it today as well.


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blog Giveaway Winner!

Though I wish everyone could win the blog giveaway, unfortunately there can only be one. I used RANDOM.ORG to choose a number from 1-11, representing each entry. And the winner is...


I have been so blessed by Tesha's comments and emails! Tesha, just email me your mailing address and I will get your Sarah's Choice DVD to you in the mail next week. Thank you for entering everyone! Blessings :-)

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Two Years Ago Today, I Held a Piece of Heaven

Thank you so much, Crystal, from Calvin's Cupcakes
"A tiny flower, lent not given, to bud on earth and bloom in Heaven..."

It's March 16th. It's her day. A sacred day. Forever, I will think of her on this day and it will be set-apart for honoring, remembering, celebrating, and loving my first-born babe. I awoke early this morning, realizing I had slept through the wee hours, like most of the country did two years ago. Most of the country was in dreamland, blissfully unaware of my laboring through the night and going to Rex Hospital, only to discover a short time later that my daughter's tiny heart had stopped beating at some point in the days before. As I replay those events from two years ago, the memories come flooding back. Things I haven't recalled for a long time are fresh.

How might this day have been? Would my little peanut be awake yet, calling to me from her room, too excited to sit still anymore? Would I go to get her from her bed, her beautiful, big blues gazing up at me, capturing my heart once again? This would be the first birthday she understood more what was going on. Even if she didn't completely get it, she would know it was something very special and it was for her. What would the day be like? What things would we have planned for little Lily, all to honor her and make her happy?

Instead of what might have been, we will go down to the North Carolina vital records office to get a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. Something I didn't think I would be getting, but because of a recent law change, I will get this little piece of paper that says she was. I am so thankful for it and have waited to go on the day she was birthed. But, I don't need a piece of paper to tell me that two years ago today, I held a piece of Heaven in my arms. For a brief time, I held the little baby girl that has left me changed forever...

Today, her day, I will grieve the little girl that never once took a breath in this world. Yet, each time I take a breath the rest of my life, I will carry her memory and legacy with me, tucked away safely inside. I will grieve my baby, for that's what she will always be to me. Though, I didn't just lose a baby. This March 16th, what would be her second birthday reminds me of that. Time keeps marching on, not caring who it leaves behind. My little baby wouldn't be a baby anymore. She would be TWO! My two-year-old treasure. I lost a toddler getting into mischief, a little girl playing American Girl dolls, a teenager giving her life to Jesus, a grown lady being a voice for unborn life, a mommy to her own babies, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...I lost all the hopes and dreams tied up into this little girl. It wasn't just an idea that I lost. It was a person. A real, important, beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made LIFE.

I feel Lily all around me. And though it makes me tear up to think of my family eating red-velvet cake for a little girl who isn't here to celebrate with us....we will celebrate still. She is here....

"The heart that made you a mother still beats within yours. It beats with every beat of your own." ~Kala Waddell


She is here because I carry her with me. Always.

It is a sad day, but even more so, it is a beautiful day. My friend Faith said not to let me emotions rule, but let joy and praise rule instead. I awoke with tears and a smile...some sad tears, but mostly happy. Happy that she was and will be forever.

I actually have been excited about this day getting here. Last night, I felt the birthday anticipation and it felt good. It is amazing to have a day to call her own. A day where we can CELEBRATE HER LIFE!

This day, as I picture the two-year-old birthday girl, running around the halls with the excitement one gets only on their birthday, I imagine how her little feet might sound. With the ears of my heart, I can almost hear the pitter-patter of her little feetsies running up and down the halls of Heaven. Oh, I can't begin to imagine the glorious celebration over her precious LIFE! :'-)

Earlier today, it was dark and gloomy out, just as it was the day she was born. Just as it was her first birthday. I wonder if perhaps it will be like this each year on her special day, as a reminder that my precious Lord grieves with us. Then, suddenly, unexpectedly, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and a hint of blue could be seen. And it reminds me of this dance of sorrow and joy and how this whole journey is marked by tears of happiness and tears of sadness. God chose for Lily to be born in spring and I know that was not by accident. With spring, comes new LIFE, fresh hope. Even with the loss of Lily, I can have the hope that this sorrow is only for a short while longer. Then I will be with my girl for all of eternity! 
  
"Our LORD has written the promises of THE RESURRECTION, not in books alone, but in every leaf in Springtime." ~Martin Luther

The spring brings hope. It reminds me of the HOPE and LIFE I have in Christ.

Happy second Birthday in Heaven, my darling, set-apart Princess!

"I would rather have had one breath of her hair and one touch of her hand than an eternity without it."


For Lily's birthday, I would LOVE it if you'd light a candle for her, release a balloon for her, eat something red-velvety, eat hashbrowns for my little Spud, or do something special that reminds you of Lily. Then, I'd love it if you told me about it and send me a picture. It means so much to have others honor her with me. :-)

This is a video tribute I made in honor of Lily's special day. It is similar to 
the first one I created in 2010, but I made a lot of changes. For one thing, it 
now includes her actual heartbeat. :-) Be sure to pause the 
music at the bottom of this blog before watching. 
I will be posting later about what we've chosen to do for her very special day.

(Today is the last day to enter into the blog giveaway, in honor of Lily's birthday!)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lost for Words Cardline



I discovered another great resource that I want to share. Fran from Small Bird Studios and Carly Marie from Carly Marie Project Heal have started something called Lost for Words Cardline. At the website, you can select the perfect card for someone who has lost a baby or is dealing with infertility. On the homepage, you will see the list of the many categories of cards offered. I have thought many times, if only they made cards specifically for babyloss, to be sold in stores across America and the world. Sadly, you won't find them unless you really look for them. I hope one day cards like this will be found at most stores. For now, I am so thankful for this wonderful resource! The cards are not just so-so either, but are incredibly beautiful and very well done. For the hospital care packages my mom and I are putting together in honor of Lily, I am getting some cards specifically for hospital memory boxes. For friends, I plan on getting some of these cards. They even offer cards for your children who are celebrating their birthdays in Heaven! I am ordering one for Lily to be stored in her memory chest. :) I encourage you to share this with your friends, as a reference for the future, if they know someone who suffers the tragic loss of a baby. It is a great thing to give someone when you are just lost for words and don't know how to let them know you are thinking of them. Whether the loss was recent or several years ago, I am sure they would be very touched and blessed to receive a card from someone, on the anniversary of their baby's birth or death. As someone who has lost a baby, I know how it makes a grieving mother's heart smile when someone remembers their little one.



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Our Little Spud

Lily Katherine was due two years ago today, March 14, 2010 (National Potato Chip Day), so we called her Spud. Ironically, the food I ate nonstop during my pregnancy were hashbrowns. I craved them daily and enjoyed them homemade, as well as at all different restaurants. It's only appropriate to make eating them a tradition each year on this day, in honor of our little Spud. Mom and I ate them for breakfast this morning :)

Woke up and felt a sadness, realizing it was March 14. That was the date I associated with Lily for my entire pregnancy, so naturally, I still think of her on this date. I thought it sounded like such a pretty day to be due. I always liked even numbers better, rather than odd. Her birthday is almost here and I am missing her more with each new day...

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Monday, March 12, 2012

"Moments" the Day She Slipped Away

Today has been filled with busyness. Not until evening did I realize what today is...March 12th...the day I had guessed Lily would be born, when really it's the day I now believe she was born into Heaven. My doctor said she had been gone some days when I delivered her. March 12th was the last day I remember feeling her kick and squirm. The next day was when the sciatica pain started and it felt as if she was floating around in my stomach. It was such a strange feeling and I still remember it so clearly...how did I not know it wasn't normal? How did I not know she was gone?

In my mind, I keep replaying her last moments. When was the moment she left my womb and opened her eyes to Heaven, to beauty? That's all she's ever known. My love and the perfect love of Father God and the tender care of His perfect Son. Did she know she was beholding her Creator when she first opened her eyes?

One moment she was here and the next she was gone. At what exact moment did she slip away and I not even know it? My babe, still in my womb, yet with the Lord. I awaited her arrival, not realizing she was already waiting for me in the Kingdom. Did it happen when I was sleeping? Was I talking and laughing, oblivious to the fact that in that moment my little girl was cradled in the arms of sweet Jesus?

Did she feel any pain? Did she go in her sleep? In the moment before she slipped away, did she know she was about to go? Did I somehow know too and now I just can't recall it? Was there a sadness somewhere deep within her, knowing she was never to see my face? Maybe she somehow knew the purposes God sent her for and that they'd already been fulfilled. Maybe she knew she'd never get to live and play and twirl and swirl here on Earth, so she was ready to go...

At times, if I think too much about all this, it makes me heart incredibly heavy and saddened. Maybe it sounds strange though that more than saddened, it makes my heart sing with thankfulness and joy! He chose me to carry her, a set-apart princess, betrothed to the King before her birth. She and I, we're both in the center of His perfect will. There is no other place I'd rather be. What peace and joy comes in knowing my daughter gets to spend her life basking in God's glory! She will never know sin and sorrow, she will never be tainted by this world. She is pure and innocent always, my sweet Lily Katherine.

Today, the day that marks two years since she lived on Earth, I can almost hear her whisper to my heart...mommy, I am more alive here than I ever was there! I will see your face one day and you will gaze into my eyes. I am your daughter of Heaven and I am twirling and swirling and doing all that little girls do, here on streets of gold, here where there is such beauty your Earthly mind could never imagine or comprehend. I can't wait for you to see Jesus face-to-face too. He tells me all about you! I'm cheering you on, mommy!! I'm so proud of you for being my voice, Luke's voice, and the voice of other mommies and babies. Keep clinging to Him, for the time is coming soon when we'll be together for all Eternity...



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Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Giveaway in honor of Lily's 2nd Birthday

In honor of Lily Katherine's 2nd Heavenly birthday, I am hosting a blog giveaway. The prize is a copy of the Pro-Life movie, Sarah's Choice. This movie has been such a blessing to me and I am sure it will bless you too. Whether you win or not, it is a movie worth purchasing. It came out in November 2009, when I was around five months pregnant. I literally got it the day it came out. It's a movie that echoes much of what I was experiencing in my own life at that very time. One of the first posts I wrote on this blog was about this movie. You can read that by clicking here.

One of my all-time favorite songs is from this movie. It is called Little One by Rebecca St. James. My roommate at Ellerslie, Bonnie, and I would listen to it on repeat. Faith liked it too and had it memorized in no time :) I actually hadn't heard it in a long time because it wasn't available for purchase on iTunes until recently. Bonnie played it and right away the tears came. It reminded me of the time I carried her and all the dreams I had for her life. It reminded me that she will never grow up. It made me wonder if she might be a voice for unborn life had she lived. The Lord has gently reminded me that she is a voice for the voiceless, even without speaking a word or taking a breath. What a legacy. I first heard it at the end of the movie and my heart was gripped by the words. I would just weep and weep. The one particular line that got me the most was: I can't believe that I could ever think that you were not to be. I had an appointment at Planned Parenthood set up to abort Lily. Then God radically transformed my life and placed a love within me for my tiny babe that I never dreamed possible...



Here is a trailer:



How to enter:


Anyone in the United States can enter.

1. Follow this blog either by subscribing by email or Google Friend Connect.
2. Leave a comment sharing why you want to win this movie.

Please share about this giveaway on your blog, facebook page, etc. If you do, leave a comment here and you will get an extra entry. 

This giveaway will end on Lily's second birthday, March 16th, which is one week from today. A winner will be picked randomly the following day, March 17th. Thanks for entering! Blessings :-)

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Preserving Lily's Legacy

I've blogged about Lily Kat's special scrapbook here, here, and here. If you can't tell by now, this scrapbook business is a pretty big deal to me. I've always loved the art of scrapbooking and spend hours going through memories in the form of photos and pasting them on a page just so, with stickers and quotes galore. I've never been one to just slap a page together. It takes time and lots of planning. The fact that I started this scrapbook in the summer of 2010 should show just how much time and planning! ha! No, I haven't been working on it that entire time. In fact, I didn't touch it for several months. Over the past couple months, I started cutting, pasting, and remembering again...this scrapbook is about remembering and honoring. It's a tribute to a life that never really got started, yet she did truly live. This scrapbook is a reminder of that. Through the pages of this very special book, I am preserving Lily's legacy. It makes me smile to think of her future brothers and sisters, cousins, etc. to get to know her through going on a journey of reading this blog and looking at her scrapbook. It's a way to tell her story that will be passed down to future generations...they will get to know the little girl who changed my world.

I realized I was prologing it for so long because this is the only scrapbook I can ever make for my precious firstborn. I won't get to make one a year to document each year of her life, like I had planned. Because it's the only one, I didn't want to rush it and wanted to enjoy it and take my time doing it. Also, because it's the only one, I think a part of me was afraid that it wouldn't be good enough, leaving me feeling dissatisfied with the outcome. I want to be pleased with it, considering I will be looking at it for the rest of my life!

I keep saying one scrapbook, which is what I had starting off. But it has actually developed into two. The first one is documenting my pregnancy and the time Lily was alive. I like that if you didn't know any different, you could look at that scrapbook and think it's a normal pregnancy scrapbook and then wonder how the little girl in the ultrasound photos is doing now, almost two. The second scrapbook shares my time meeting Lily, her memorial services, and other special things. I will post photos for both scrapbooks very soon! There is actually also going to be a third scrapbook, with photos from Mother's Days, Babylost Mother's Days, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Days, hospital care packages, memorial walks, Lily's birthdays, and other special days and times that are in honor of Lily. It will also have lots of photos that dear friends have made in honor of Lily. So, in a way, I can always be working on a scrapbook for her, throughout the years doing a couple pages a couple times a year because her birthday and Mother's Day come every year! :) She just won't be in the pictures.

I have a goal to have the two scrapbooks finished by March 16th, Lily's second Heavenly birthday. It feels like it's time to complete them. I am ready to share them with friends and family. They will be done in time for her birthday celebration on the 17th.

This last month or so, I have been pouring my heart into these pages. I cannot daily serve my little girl, so it feels as if I'm serving her through working on this project for her. All the little details/final touches are coming together. It makes me so happy :) My sister is at her basic semester at Ellerslie, so I have officially taken over her room and made it scrapbooking headquarters...shh, don't tell her ;) My brother peeked in there the other day and came downstairs and said, "It's a scrapbooker's paradise up there." Haha!

I know I've shared a Michael's story before in a post. Well, I have another one for ya. I went to Michael's a couple weeks ago to get some supplies for the scrapbook. I find myself making so many trips to get papers, stickers, prints, glue, and anything else you can think of that might be used in a scrapbook. Thankfully, my neighborhood is about two miles from a major shopping center with a Target and Michael's. :) I prefer shopping at AC Moore for stickers because they have frequent, amazing deals and you can get so many for cheap! But, at times I will go to Michael's for the convenience. On this particular trip, I was getting the actual pages to scrapbook on. It wasn't planned, but I ended up with literally all pink. What can I say, pink was Lily's special color, like purple is mine. :) I've actually done a pretty good job with finding stickers that will work in the scrapbook. You just have to get creative and think outside of the box. As I mentioned in a previous post, when in the scrapbook section of a craft store and surrounded by first birthday and potty training stickers, it's easy to think, "where is the scrapbook section for your dead baby?" My friend Morgan says she and her husband have joked about opening up a store for all your needs when you lose a baby. It actually sounds great to me! Anyways, I'm rambling now.

So...at the store, I found all my pastel pink and polka-dotted papers and was in the check-out line. I just so happened to go into the store on the one day they were having an awesome deal on scrapbook papers, which of course made me get a lot. I also like to create homemade cards, so I went ahead and got some papers for that. Right before checking out, I was looking at my papers and thought, hmm...I think I'll get another one of these to make cards with and I'll do it now since there's a super sale. I went back to the scrapbook page isle and out of nowhere, there is this little, old lady standing smack dab in the middle of where I need to be. I said, "Excuse me, ma'am. I just need to grab one paper right there." After I grab it, she starts making small talk. Bless her heart, she was so sweet. She was just talking about what a great deal it was, how she likes to get crafty but usually gets things and forgets about them and by the time she finds them again, she's forgotten why she got them in the first place. I wasn't trying to be rude, but I really wanted to get going. I just knew she was going to say something that would make me sad/uncomfortable. It always seems to happen, I'm tellin' ya. She spotted my pink papers and said, "Oh, I see you have all pink. You must have a little girl!" Heart sinks. Tears in eyes. At a loss for words. It's funny that in these moments I never know how I'm going to react. And I never quite know what to say, no matter how many times they happen. This sweet little lady sounded so delighted and I just couldn't bear to burst her bubble. Blinking back years, I responded, "Yes, I do." I had hoped that would be the end of it and I could go on and recompose myself before getting back to the check-out counter. But, no. She then goes on to say, "That's wonderful! How old is she?" I could just hear her smile through her words. Of course I don't blame this precious lady because it's not like she could possibly know, but that doesn't change the fact that this was like a jab in the gut. I hesitated a moment, which may have seemed odd. But, I really didn't want to make her sad and I didn't want to explain that I was making a scrapbook for my Heavenly babe. So, after a few seconds of blinking back more tears and a deep inhale, I responded, "She's almost two..." Right away, I wondered if I should feel guilty. Did I somehow dishonor Lily? Was it wrong to lie? Was I a crazy lady for lying? She went on to say, "It's so good to see young people have children so young. You better have another soon. I'm sure she keeps you busy! I don't know how you have time to keep up with a scrapbook. Good for you, getting it done while she's young and not letting yourself get behind." I grinned and nodded along, thinking if only she knew. If only she knew I am not a super mom, keeping up with scrapbooking while my two-year-old tot is getting into all sorts of mischief. The reason I can do it is because she's not here. And no, I'm sorry, but I can't try again and have another baby.

I'm not sure how the conversation ended. I walked away, payed for my papers, and came home. After some thought, I realized that I'm not a crazy lady. I just didn't want to ruin that lady's night. I wasn't maliciously lying. And I didn't dishonor Lily in saying what I did. Lily did live and she is just as important and loved as if she were here right now. She is here, just in a different way. She deserves the most beautiful scrapbook I've ever made. As strange as it might sound to hear this, it felt good for just that once to smile and pretend that I was doing what normal mothers do. The person I was talking with didn't know my story or what happened on March 16th, 2010 at Rex Hospital. For even just a moment, I could pretend Lily was here and life was as I thought it'd be before I found out her heart had stopped on that dark and stormy day...

I will be sharing my scrapbook soon, so stay tuned! I will also share some tips/advice on how to get started on your own scrapbook for your precious baby in Heaven :)

I will leave you with some photos, documenting the scrapbook process. Oh yeah, I'm even going to add some pages of me making the scrapbook in the scrapbook. ;)




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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

NMU Plaque arrived!

This past weekend, I got something in the mail that I wasn't expecting. Well, I was, but I didn't know exactly when it would be arriving and it wasn't on the forefront of my mind. I got Luke Shiloh's plaque from the National Memorial for the Unborn! Isn't it beautiful? I also got the copy that will be placed on the actual memorial wall that I will place when I go visit in the near future and have Luke's special service. :-)


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

What March Means to Me

March never meant much of anything to me. I always thought of it as one of the boring, winter months that you must endure to arrive at beautiful spring and summer. All that changed for me in 2010, when my precious March flower was in my arms and just as quickly, she was gone...

March is marked by a sacredness. It holds the memory of a little flower that danced into my heart and left me changed forever. When it comes, all the March memories of 2010 come flooding back. The rest of the year, I catch myself wondering if I somehow dreamed all this up. For everything around me is the same as it was before Lily was here. That's how it is with babyloss. You don't have the reminders that this person was indeed real, as you have when others pass away. People seem to easily move on and forget you, your baby, and your grief. All that I have are the memories of her alive inside me, along with the keepsakes I cling to and cherish above all else. The footprints, handprints, lock of hair, photos. When it gets hard to believe she was really even here, I open that memory chest that's just for her and I hold those tangible realities that say, yes, Lily Katherine was a real, important, special someone.

As March makes it's entrance once again on the calender, it becomes much easier to believe she was real. The bittersweet feelings envelope me. The veil of sadness returns. The memories of the first half of March 2010, full of happiness and anticipation. The memories of the second half of March 2010, full of shock, heartbreak, and tears.

March will never be just another month for me. It will remind me of my firstborn babe, the babe I never fully got to know. The babe I will always wonder what might she be like this March, as we approach her birthday. Whether she be almost 5, 10, or 25. Would she have her own flower, her own babe in her arms this year, twenty years from now, to celebrate with us? Each year, as March rolls around, it will mark another year that she wasn't here. Another year she wasn't growing and laughing and loving and a part of the family. Another year I've had to live without her.

March, the saddest, yet most beautiful month I know. It will always make me sorrowful, wondering who she would have become, yet it will always bring me joy, knowing that she was and will forever be in my heart. Though she's not a part of the family in the way I wanted, she is still a part of each and every day, for she is etched into the very fabric of our lives.

I'm almost finished reading the book Shades of Blue, by Karen Kingsbury. My roommate, Bonnie, from Ellerslie sent it to me in the mail. It is about a young woman who had an abortion nine years before the time of the book was based. I relate to so many things in the book and have found myself in a puddle of tears more than once. This one particular paragraph captures all that my heart longs to express. It feels as if it's written about me:

"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby." ~Karen Kingsbury

Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. March makes it even easier to remember and miss her. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love.

I'm not going to pretend I don't desperately wish she was here to celebrate her almost 2nd birthday. I wish we were planning a special party, full of only smiles and happy tears. Instead, I will celebrate her birthday with family and friends from my infant loss support group. We will smile and we will cry, both tears of joy and sadness. We will release balloons to the Heavens and eat red-velvet cupcakes. For her special day, she will be in the forefront of my heart and mind. For her special month, she won't be far off from my thoughts. I will never be "over" this. I lost my firstborn child, for Pete's sake. And I will never apologize for grieving as long and as much as I need to. No other child could ever replace her. My little flower will remain in the shadows of my heart until the day we reunite in Eternity...

"A moment in our arms, a lifetime in our hearts."

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