Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking ahead

Last day of the year, last post of 2010. I'm sitting here eating leftover pizza while the hubs is out watching 'Tron' in 3D with his friends, thankful he is with people who can truly appreciate the depths of such cinema!

Lots of contemplation today. Ready to say goodbye to this year, and the sorrow and confusion. Praying that 2011 will offer some answers, so reassurance and some new direction - where ever that leads.

I feel as if the past few months have carried me on a wave of waiting. Unable to find solid ground we floated day to day, month to month. Scared to make plans because of the unknown.

The new year brings opportunity to start over, to develop a new way of thinking. I start my 3rd quarter of school on Tuesday and look forward to the new learning ahead.
We have our Doctors visit on Monday and we hope this will offer some answers and perhaps will birth a plan in that arena of our lives.

My desire to be a good student and desire to be healthy are my desire to go deeper in my faith are the three goals I want to be working on. My success in each of these will depend on one thing, Discipline. This is not the first time I have blogged about how much of a struggle I have with being disciplined, but I do believe in Christ I can find what I am searching for and in my striving I can become more of the woman I am designed to be.

I feel that in someways I have become a shell of myself. It's like when your body experiences cold, the blood all rushes to keep the vital organs alive. In our losses my emotional energy has been channeled to keeping the vital organs of life going... getting out of bed, taking a shower, eating. There is little left for the the things I love, photography, menu planning, crafts, but especially friendships. Coffee dates or dinners with girl friends have become almost a distant memory. I can see that my life is less fun, and I feel the lack of joy but it has been hard to know what to do with that knowledge.

Starting a new year, I hope to be renewing myself. Reconnecting with myself and others, and increasing my capacity for joy and hope.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Update, Road Trip, Snow, and Great Breakfast

Quick update first, we got the blood test results back and it wasn't a faulty home test, the pregnancy hormone level in my blood had risen from the first draw. Not significantly, and (they tell us) not enough to turn into a viable pregnancy at this point, it is very low but they are not sure what's going on. I have to go for an ultra sound and another blood draw on Monday morning so we are actually hoping for a totally negative result - or of course we would joyfully embrace a very, very high test result too if it meant a miracle baby was going to be making an appearance but that is not something we are realistically considering as an outcome at this point.
I have already felt like I have lost this particular pregnancy twice, once with low blood tests and then again when the physical miscarriage began almost a week after that. To hold onto hope at this point and lose it again would be just too much. However, we pray for miracles and believe in God who preforms them, so it is impossible to totally get the possibility out of your mind. I am just asking God to hold my hope and heart close to His until we have more information.

Even if this is just my body taking time to fully get rid of this pregnancy, there could be some leftover tissue found on the ultra sound and the doctor said it might be possible to use it diagnostically in finding a cause of the recurrent miscarriage so at the least there is hope that some good may come from this.

Take a look at this, a note written to us from Zara the best 5 year old in the world (I may be biased) when she heard about our miscarriage she wrote this. I love it even more because it is in her 'just learning to write' writing but it says, "I'm sorry you didn't have a baby I love you" I almost lost it every time I see it because it comes from this pure place of her wanting to enter in with us, kids are amazing.

Road Trip!! Jeremy and I took a short trip over to Spokane, WA to visit some of his good friends and we drove over in same drizzle but woke up yesterday morning to 6 inches of snow!!! It was beautiful and continued falling throughout the day. However, it meant that the 'check engine' light that flashed at us on the way over the mountain pass could not be ignored for the journey home, so he and his friend Josh did some catching up while they changed spark plugs in the car! Their efforts helped us get safely home.

Last night we connected with another of Jeremy's closest friends who works as a trainer for the Gonzaga basketball team, and watched their game against La Fayette. It was only my second time attending a college b.ball game and it was really fun. Afterward we went for dinner and drinks at one of Jeremy's favourite watering holes, The Elk. It was a brief trip but we did get to connect with friends and see and experience some of Spokane's finest; including the dumping of snow.

Look at my stud hubby brushing snow off the car so we could go out to yummy breakfast at Ferguson's cafe - If you live there you probably know about this place but if you come East for a visit check it out. I have to say, on another trip over to Spokane this year we were introduced to a couple of other GREAT breakfast places. People of Spokane never have to go hungry in the mornings!

We left that beautiful snow scene behind and are now back on the west side (no snow here), watching the Huskies vs Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl; with friends on our couch and pizza in our tummies we appreciate the simple pleasures of home. At this point Washington are winning 19 to 7 but who knows how it will end?!

I can't believe our Christmas vacation is almost over already. Jeremy is back at work Monday and I am back to school Tuesday. Better start switching gears so it is not too much of a shock to my system.

I am looking forward to celebrating the New Year tomorrow, and to having a new start. I am always empowered by January 1st and this year, I want to put 3 goals ahead of me with intention (thanks Katie). I just have a feeling 2011 is going to be a good year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I am cheating on Pumpkin...

...with Cranberry.

Seriously. My obsession with Pumpkin and squash has more recently given way to an obsession with cooking with cranberries. I think this began with the enormous bag of fresh cranberries that I picked up very inexpensively at Costco and couldn't bear to watch go to waste. Here is a list of some of the ways I used them.

Cranberry swirl cheesecake,
which was so moist and so very easy to make. We had this for Christmas day dessert, but I made it the day before and it lasted well. I love this recipe. I would pay more attention to how I did the swirl because I ended up with just a red top, but it tasted good nonetheless! The crust was also crunchy which is an important factor in my cheesecake judgment, I used chocolate Teddy Grahams which worked great.

Friends over for dinner was the perfect opportunity to try out this little creation, and it didn't wail to impress. Chocolate-Cranberry parfaits. I would say that these were not the largest portions, and I mention that more so you can make the best choice for serving them. I do not have glass dessert dishes but used stemless wine-glasses for these. However, I think they would have looked better in champagne flutes, even the plastic ones if you were serving these at a party. You need a little bit of time to make the cranberries ahead but they were well worth it. I didn't have the special sparkling sugar and used plain old granulated sugar but they looked very similar to the picture anyway. Scrummy.

On Christmas day morning I wanted to make something delicious that would also tide us over until Christmas dinner but was not too heavy. Earlier in the summer I ha made this recipe for Pain Perdu, and made it for brunch with friends and it was delicious. I thought I would tweek the sauce just a bit and use berries I already had. Fresh cranberries. and some frozen blueberries and raspberries picked fresh last summer. It turned out so well, and went from a taste of summer to a taste of Christmas in the simple switch. The stale french bread makes wonderful crispy french toast and not the soggy kind that I can't stand. This is a great make ahead breakfast/brunch because you can make the egg mixture the day before and the berry mixture and then the next morning just dip the bread and cook it, and heat the topping while they cook. The powdered sugar (icing sugar) sprinkled on top makes them look so fancy! I love to use my powdered sugar spoon that I think is the cutest invention ever, but is totally not necessary to make this meal look tasty!!

Finally I saw this recipe for Meringue-Topped Cranberry curd tart and have been needing an excuse to make it so an invitation for a holiday meal with Tim and Sarah was just the ticket. This looked like such an interesting combination. I love lemon meringue pie and the combination of tart and sweet so I thought this sounded like a festive variation. I was right. It was quite an involved recipe and I am not sure it is something I would pull out every year, but it was tasty and delivered a good balance of tart and sweet. Here are a few pictures I snapped along the way.

Here is the Pain Perdu sauce, and the Chocolate Ganache Tart - oh my goodness, this was a dangerous find for me. I used orange zest in the crust and it gives it a really wonderful balance to the rich ganache. I have dreamed about this tart for the past 6 nights, it's that good!

So if you have cranberries, I suggest you try out one of these delicious ways to use them up!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fruits and veggies and blood tests

Last night our darling friend Maggie stopped by armed with ingredients to make us all some beef stew - it was amazing, as is she. As Maggie was getting ready to leave, Jeremy noticed a big truck in the driveway and announced the arrival of our delivery from Full Circle Farm. Jeremy had singed me up as part of my Christmas present and we will get a box of local organic fruits and vegetables every 2 weeks delivered to our door. There are also options to get organic mile from a local dairy, pastured meats as well as local bread, eggs and cheese to name just a few things.

They also deliver local made chocolate, and in our first order Jeremy had included a bar of their Christmas Gingerbread flavour! He knows the way to my heart.

We just feasted on some turkey sandwiches made with some of the lettuce we got in our box! Delicious.

Sadly Jeremy came down with a nasty flu bug yesterday and is feeling pretty sorry for himself today. Have you seen the 'Man cold' clip on Youtube? It's like that in our house today. He just needs a little bell to ring! ha ha.

So he is laying next to the fire, I am snuggled in a chair about to crack open the book he gave me for Christmas and excited to just relax and let the time go by in this dreamy snuggly way.

On another note, we did have to get up early this morning to go to the Doctor and get some blood taken. On Christmas eve I took a home pregnancy test to make sure everything was out of my system but it came up with a faint second line still so now we are facing the prospect that we might need some intervention to get things out.
Geesh, feel like we can't catch a break with this whole pregnancy thing - but at least we have each other.

Boxing Day

Not going to lie, this Christmas was tough. I think I had underestimated what this day would mean. Somewhere in my mind, Christmas was the date. The date we would announce a pregnancy in some creative and festive way or the date we would be laughing and dreaming about how this year would be the last Christmas without a baby, and how different it will be next year. This day would be significant in the most joyful of ways, but that's not where life has brought us.

My heightened emotions made if difficult for Jeremy to know how to care for me. My hope for what this day would be had been dashed by life and yet my expectations were still high; impossible to meet. We survived, but not before I had a 'Dawson's Creek' -worthy meltdown. All was resolved and turkey was then consumed in huge quantities. All was well with the world again - at least on some level.

We skyped with my family which was special and it was so good to see their faces as they opened the gifts we had packaged up and sent all those weeks ago! Then we watched the Royale family Christmas special which was such a great reminder of home and Christmases past ("Mary's in the Dyson", ha ha ha)

Who knows what will happen in the year ahead? God does. And the lightness I feel after the grief of yesterday is refreshing. There is always something healing about a really good cry; it cleanses the soul or the spirit of something. I feel restored. Hopeful once again for what is ahead.

Praying your hope was renewed this Christmas season and that you are beginning the new year with a restored purpose and confidence in the goodness of our God.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve, Eve

Today is Jeremy's last day of work until the new year. I am so looking forward to some time together. This have been a busy week, all good busy; time with friends and family celebrating the Christmas season but it means we have had little time to process this season and plan our next move.

After talking with our doctor yesterday and discussing some more recent test results, there seems less chance of us conceiving a baby that will stick around without some help than we had originally thought. This has many implications on the direction we will take next. More invasive treatment options are so expensive and insurance doesn't cover it. We also have the option of pursuing adoption but that is also not cheap and certainly not a walk in the park. Some agencies have restrictions about the length of time you have to be married to be eligible to adopt which we are still a year away from. Do we adopt internationally, domestically, infants or older children? Or do we continue trying, and pray that God grants us a miracle? Ok, I'll stop with all the questions, but you get the point.

We have been busy with the celebrations of the season and not had much time to consider these options. Not avoiding the subject, just wanting to feel 'normal' and like there is more to life than this struggle. I can't believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow. How did we get here already? Last Christmas seems like a lifetime ago. In some ways it was. Lat Christmas was filled with simple dreams for the year ahead, dreams of babies and a future that seemed so easy.

This year Christmas is filled with sadness of those little ones who are not here, and fear of what lays ahead. Carrying the weight of the decisions, and grieving the loss of joy in this process. What will our life and family look like?

We are reminded that this life is not our own and we are truly trying to come with open hearts and open hands into what God has in store. I hate this part. The waiting, the not knowing. It is testing me, testing us and we want to trust that God will hold us together and lead us into the next place of life. We are open to something different but we are not sure which different it will be.

How much more can my body take? How many more times can we try and lose? Why does it have to be so hard? My faith is stretched thin. Do I have what it takes to truly trust this to God or am I determined to take steps in my own strength? The letting go of our plan and trusting God's, seems to be a struggle for both Jeremy and I. We are both first-borns, we like to get our own way, we like to be in control. We hope and pray that in the midst of this painful situation God can bring redemption in that simple way, and we can emerge on the other side of this with a deeper trust in the God we serve.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ in the coming days and weeks we are praying our hope will be restored. Christ came to bring us life and life in it's fullness and we believe that there are good plans for us and for our family. Plans full of laughter and joy, full of love and hope and service. We just need to be reminded of that possibility when life gets gloomy and clouds our vision. So we will be taking time to remember this holiday season, and make sure to start 2011 with our eyes fixed on Jesus so we don't miss a thing. Who knows what Christmas Eve, eve will look like next year?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The longest night

'Tis the season and all that. But what does that look like this year?
The worst of this miscarriage is behind us and now as the Christmas celebrations hit in full force how is this going to go? We wanted to be celebrating with a belly full of something more than turkey and mince pies.

Recurrent miscarriage for us has meant that each month we make the decision to try again to get pregnant. I wish we could just let this happen but now with certain medication prescribed to be taken at certain points in my cycle that's not possible - unless we said screw it and just forgot the meds all together. We'd have to be pretty certain that God was leading us there, but we're open to it!

We celebrate the birth of our Savior, our Jesus. We joyfully proclaim the life he promises us and at the same time we grieve the babies we will not hold. This is rough time for those who have lost a baby, the air everywhere is filled with songs being sung about babies being born.

Last night, on the longest night of the year, or church held a service recognising that this time of year is not always just a time of joy. It was such a beautiful space. The candles on the advent wreath lit in remembrance; for people we have lost, for the pain of loss, for the heavy burden of grief and lastly for the hope we have in Christ.

Readings and hymns which remind us that Christ enters into our suffering, that he carried and carries our burdens and that he is with us. Jeremy and I have such different personal experiences of faith and different ways we communicate with God that sometimes it can be hard for us to find common ground to grieve and worship in the midst of all this. This service granted us an opportunity to do just that.

I hadn't really considered it until last night, but with our miscarriages we have had no place to recognise our losses. No service or ceremony to say goodbye, no way to mark these painful events. That was what the service offered. A place to say our lives are changed. To say we had something so special and we lost it. To say we miss you, and we are heavy with the knowledge we will never get to hold you, and lastly a time to say goodbye. We won't forget you.

After the service, the tears, the goodbyes we came home and shared laughter over a glass of wine with some good friends and their little guy. It made the truth of joy in the midst of suffering come to life. The blessing of friendship and community made stronger in the midst of the pain of life.

Here is Jeremy last night with baby Thomas, we love this kid! Look how festive he is in his red overalls!

Isaiah 53:1-8 (The Message)

Isaiah 53
1 Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?

2-6The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,
on him, on him.

7-9He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he'd never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn't true.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beginning of the end.

The twinges I had yesterday morning signalled the beginning of the end (physically) of this pregnancy. The severe cramping and the start of physical miscarriage began late Thursday afternoon and kept me up most of last night unable to get comfortable. I am taking pain medication but it wears off a few hours before I can take more, so I am trying to sleep in those moments when the pain is kept to a dull roar.

Miscarriage is not for the faint-hearted.

There is a sense of relief that this is ending naturally, an answer to prayer. As the days past, I was beginning to fear that the progesterone I had been taking would mean that we might need some medical intervention to physically end this pregnancy but thankfully it didn't come to that.

I didn't think I had tears left but with every wave of pain they fall down my face. Grieving the finality. Another baby we won't meet. Fear of what it means for the future. And the sting of tears also remind me that there is story in motion that I can rest in. Fearing not and trusting for the peace that passes understanding as we heal and make decisions for what lies ahead.

Thank you for your prayers and love, I can;t say enough how much it has meant to us and and how it has carried us.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For the love of my kitchen

Yesterday was a tough one. Waiting for this to start so it can be over. Talking with a lovely friend who is also struggling with infertility and a message from another who is grieving the passing of her infant son...and wondering why? Where is the redemption in these stories? God, where is your plan?

It is so easy for me to call friends, to get out and forget about all the questions. And while I believe there is a time for that, today I needed to be alone with my thoughts to allow them to surface. So I took to my kitchen.

I have wanted to do some Christmas baking for some gifts and needing some distraction it seemed to be the perfect pairing. Jeremy and I are also looking for ways to get to build relationships with our neighbours, so I thought a little goodie bag of treats and a Christmas card would be a nice gesture and a reason to knock on the door.

Here is a snap of a couple of the things I made. Peppermint bark and chocolate dipped pretzels. I also whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and now have some frosting to get to today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiting is the Hardest Part

A week ago today we found out we were pregnant. And now, even though we know it is over, we are in limbo waiting for the physical process of loss to begin. We have been keeping plans in place; dinner with friends, making gingerbread houses, other fun Christmas activities, but in the back of my mind or at the end of a call or email I am adding, "unless something starts and I can't be there." This waiting is hard on my soul. Every morning I wake up and for a second everything is normal, my stomach still has that strange early pregnancy full feeling, but then reality hits me. It's over, I am just waiting, helpless, for the physical process to actually start and then finally be over.

The medication I was on meant that everything stuck around longer than it should have, so the physical part of the miscarriage this time is even more daunting because I just don't know how it's going to go, or how awful the pain might be.

I went crazy finishing up school work Monday and Tuesday so that I would be able to just stay in bed if I needed to later in the week but now it's Wednesday and still nothing is happening. I have never wanted to start cramping more than I do right now. I hate walking around with this failed pregnancy, this lost baby inside me. I just want it gone. I want to start thinking about something else, to have this be less than all-consuming.

One thing this miscarriage has revealed is that sometimes my disappointment can feel heavier when I am caught up in the time frame of other peoples lives. Hearing a friend announce a pregnancy, or (heaven help-me) a second or third pregnancy makes me more anxious to have a baby. It is my comparison that makes our infertility weigh more heavily. When I stop and look at my life I am not sure why that comparison has so much power. I have so much. Please don't hear me downplay how much we want a family, or saying I am not ready, or this loss is not breaking my heart. But simply that I see how heightened it becomes when I compare my life to those of my friends. It is a dangerous road to go down.

Jeremy and I want to have a family and we would like to start it soon (like yesterday), but we are not just sitting around waiting. Our losses are changing us. Hopefully making us stronger, deepening intimacy and allowing us to learn more about one another. We need to take stock of what we have. Step off the tread mill of comparison and the rushing of life and recognise that our story is just different, unique, as every person and family's story is. We are so sad that the process of having a child has not been "normal" or easy but it is our story, and I don't want to wish it away. It will always be a part of us. We pray that one day we can share with our children the journey that we went on the be parents but we just don't know what the future is going to hold. Wherever life takes us, whatever the story God is writing - it's our story. And when I consider all we have, and the journey we have been on so far I know I can truly be excited about the future, even if those feelings are foggy and distant right now.

We have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and support from our friends, this would be a completely different experience to go through something like this alone. We are so very thankful to each one of you who has been praying for us, we have felt each and every one of them. We are so thankful to have people who just want to sit with us, eat dinner with us and not rush to make any of the sadness go away but freely talk with us about our experience. I don't want to run from this pain, I don't want to forget. I don't want to dwell but I am forever changed and each of these pregnancies is a part of me in the deepest of places. The hopes and dreams, the wishes and plans, the loss and the pain. Each time different, just like each child is. I am feeling a little "mama bear" about our miscarriage experiences. They are mine. I want to remember everything because they were gone too soon. I want to let them soften my heart and keep it open and vulnerable, not let my hear get hard with the feelings of bitterness, jealousy and injustice.

So I wait. For the cramps telling me it's finally over. For the sparkle, hope and joy of the Christmas season to shine bright again. For the tears to slow. And one day for a baby to hold.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The thrill of hope, needed desperately

I wasn't sure if we would blog about recent events or not, but as I have emailed back and forth with dear friends I see the way writing helps to organise my thoughts and get them out and stop them spinning endlessly in my head.

Last week we asked close friends to pray for us after discovering our latest pregnancy was heading towards our fourth miscarriage. We were heart broken. We had the medicine, our answer to prayer, our modern day miracle and yet it failed us and we still didn't get our baby. This impending miscarriage has brought with it floods of revelation. Much of which pointed to the huge pile of fear, hopelessness, abandonment and rejection that I had felt toward God since the first time this happened almost a year ago. These dirty emotions are sprawled in a big pile in a dark corner waiting to be fully embraced. If you ignore something like that it just goes away right? That is the British theology in me. No offense meant. But I do see how my lovely homeland shys away from the negative and the things we can't explain. We hold our heads high and tough it out, we claim God's goodness until the bad feelings are tucked deep enough to forget about.

We don't see the damage this can do, or at least the damage this did to me emotionally, and more so the damage it did to my relationship with God. My emotional dam burst and took a few casualties down in its powerful stream. Literally hundreds of counseling hours later I could at least begin to put words to my "undesirable" feelings. I could see out of the fog and I could be present with people in my life today. I could sit and truly be me in a place at a time. I embraced the good, the bad and the ugly and I sat with it. Aware of it all, and unashamed. It was hard work, and it will never be done. I am on a personal counseling hiatus right now but perhaps this is the perfect time to re-evaluate that?! hummmmm, that wasn't where that thought was going at all when I started typing.

Anyway, I feel like my anxiety disorder is a good illustration of a cumulative effect. As it builds to a peak at the start of a long-term episode I would keep my life in a routine to keep control but gradually I will stop doing one activity at a time, and before I know it I haven't been outside for a week. With my negative or big hard to understand emotions to do with our infertility it is the same way. As I neglected these issues one at a time, they built a wall in my heart. Higher and higher it has been building until today I stand on my tip-toes trying to peak over the edge to catch a glimpse of my true self. My heart and passions are caught under the massive pile of emotional junk.

I am a shadow of myself.

And some days it is too much effort to care.

Some days it is easier to sit in my shell, and let the world happen around me. Keeping it at arms length as much as possible because the truth of where my life is today and the pain it has faced is too much.

Wearing the hurt and the fear, the disappointment and the feeling of hopelessness feels like putting on someone else's clothes. They don't fit me, they are uncomfortable and they draw attention. In my shadow I can slip thorough life relatively unnoticed. I don't have to answer questions I don't have answers for. I don't have to admit how angry I am, or how powerless this makes me feel. I don't have to be the person this loss has made me. I can take back control, but I can only do this for so long, my arms are getting tired.

Today I sit. Mourning another child we won't get to hold, and fearful of the physical process that its about to happen. I recognise my true self, behind the wall of emotional junk. I know the day is coming when I have to deal with it, one piece, one lie of the enemy, one painful truth at a time. For today, my arms are burning but I am holding on a little longer to this shield of false protection. Isolated and confused.

The wall of tears is impenetrable this afternoon. Jeremy's kisses fall on wet cheeks unable to stop the flood.

Feeling so far from my Jesus, and aware it has been my feet that have wandered. My heart that is afraid, and my fear and pride which will prolong my return to his arms.

Pray for us please, we need hope.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finishing strong

It is already December, December 5th to be exact. With every twinkle light I see I am reminded that we are flying towards the end of 2010. I finish my second quarter of college next week. Christmas shopping and preparations are well underway and suddenly the stress begins to rise.

The shopping becomes mundane and the crowds become a frustration. School assignments become a burden and my desire to learn is fading. My exercise routine is lacking and I realise I am not feeling so jolly.

I love Christmas and I am so blessed to be getting an education. I think a change of focus is in order. Finishing strong.

I want to finish school with the best grades I can and not just scrape by to get to the end as quick as possible. I want to remember the joy of showing others they are thought of with a special gift. I love the Christmas baking and treats, and I really love sharing them with others. I am excited to dress up for Christmas parties and still get a little thrill opening my advent calendar each morning!! I want to finish strong.

This time of hopeful expectation of all that's to come means so much more when we recognise all that we have and hold today. Happy Advent season, and happy finishing strong to you all x


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