He turned 3…

Oh Si… We say this a lot. This kid, man. He brings me so much joy, and pain. He allows me to ‘practice’ my patience… a ton.

We are also treading on new ground with our newly minted 3-year-old. We’ve always had a reason to kick a kid out of the crib, no so with Si. We’ve always had at least one little in diapers, but we are almost done with those. (after 8 1/2 years) Lots of changes with out the promise of new life to fill the void that Benjamin would have filled for our family. So, I’m struggling. Struggling to get rid of baby clothes. Struggling to get rid of the crib. Struggling to get rid of the changing table. Just, all around struggling.

I wish I could say that the grief has gotten better. The last few weeks, I’d say it has gotten worse. I am a walking, crying mess. Sure, the chaos of the boys is a distraction. But it doesn’t help when things are quiet. Like when I’m trying to fall asleep and sleep won’t come. Or when I’m in the shower with nothing but my thoughts to torture me. This is hard. I wish I had it all together. I know one day I will, but not this side of heaven. And oh, how I long for heaven. To see my sweet boy’s face. To hold him. To tell him I love him. All those things I want to give him but I can’t. But he is FAR better off. He is dancing and singing with Jesus. How could I not want that for him. Man, these earthly emotions are killer…



When life throws you lemons…

I say throw them back at the powers at be! Ha!! Life has taken an interesting, scary, and stressful turn here in the Phillips household. Lots of change happening, and I’d love to tell you all about it, just ask me. (Not quite the place to tell of all the happenings.)

The phrase ‘God will never give you more than you can handle’ has been coming to mind quite a bit lately. But this phrase is so untrue. No where in the Bible does it say this. He says He will carry us, bare our burdens. But He also said we will suffer for Him when we hold Him close. We were never promised an easy life. Our family is in the trenches. Hardships are stacked upon hardships. All we can do is pray, trust God for the bigger picture. So, please, let’s stop lying to each other. God gives us what HE thinks we can handle, because let’s face it, He knows me best. I cling to Him to get me through. He will see me through. The question is whether it’s this side of heaven or not.

May passed in a flurry. Mother’s Day was probably the worst day for me. Benjamin was my Mother’s Day baby. Monday the 9th was his scheduled birthday. I was a ball of tears just trying to get through. And I did. So many people near and far were holding my up in prayer. And it’s the weirdest thing. I feel like the mourning period is over. My pregnancy is over. A friends mom described it like David with the death of his infant son with Bathsheba. He fasted and prayed, and when the child did die, he tore his clothing and ate. Life is moving on. But day by day, life is getting better. My depression is still there, the sadness is still there, but there was an ending. Sometimes the depression is overwhelming, but as I said before, I don’t have the luxury of giving in. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe not. All I know is that it works. Staying busy works, and at the same time, I long for quiet. (yup, a joke with 3 VERY LOUD AND ACTIVE BOYS) I am thankful for my 4 reasons to get out of bed in the morning.



Redemption

I found this gem on Tuesday evening, after I had spent the previous hour getting after the boys for not listening, leaving messes, and plain ‘ol disobedience. I was pulling my mommy hair out. (I think I should be bald at this point! Ha! ;)) But this boys unconditional love caught me off guard. It made me stop, hug them, and apologize for my shrew-ness that I had unleashed. Thank you, my sweet Matthew, for doing Mommy’s heart good, being so silly, and bringing the calm. I love you to the moon and back!!

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Room of Grace

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This. Sometimes pintrest can be a bad thing. I came across this picture, and it truly describes all of my emotions. Some days the pain is closer to the surface than others. But it’s always there. Many people ask how I’m doing. Fine is the general answer. Mostly because I don’t want to start crying, or overwhelm the person asking. So, how I really feel gets shoved down further. I struggle here. I struggle with how much to share. Some have gotten the down dirty truth of all of my emotions. (In the not so quiet corridor of an apartment building. Ha! Sorry about that one!) The struggle for me is knowing when I can feel safe to open up, without fear of judgement, and when to hold back. Because, let me be quite frank and honest, I’m struggling with a lot of ugly, sinful, and hard emotions. The run the gamete from hate to guilt, to fear, to deep deep deep sorrow. I’m not going to go into detail here, it’s not the place. So, I’m asking for a room filled with grace. Some where we can go, share what is on our hearts, knowing that not everyone has it all together. Somewhere where I can go, be honest, not judged, and know that I will be prayed with, over, AND have Truth spoken to my soul. I need it. Oh, how selfishly I need Truths poured into my life right now.

THAT’S IT! My next post WILL be a happy one!! Ha! I promise I’m not a depressing person. Just a sinner, struggling to find my way through the muck of life. :)



May

I’ve jokingly said (ok, and with some seriousness) that I am going to erase the month of May from the calendar this year. I know this will be the hardest month. I can feel it coming. Benjamin was due in May. May 16th. That’s 4 weeks from this coming Monday. 3 weeks until he would have been delivered via C-section. We would have already scheduled his birth by now. We would have known when we would have gotten to see him, hold him. But that day isn’t going to come. We have already gotten to hold him, for such a brief time. My arms ache for him. So many emotions are going through my brain, my heart. Seriously, this is so hard. Some days I get so tired of being strong. I want to be weak. I want to be carried. But, I know that is not my personality. I’m a time to put on the big girl panties and deal with life type of person. I know that can be a good thing, but it can also be very bad. All I can say is keep praying for us. We need them.



Desperate

I am desperate. I am desperate for Christ. His leading in my life.

Despite the revolving door of sickness that continues to ‘bless’ us, we’ve had some good weeks. When they do come, life feels good, manageable even. The tailspin of sorrow isn’t overwhelming. The tears aren’t harsh, they are quiet.

This Psalm has been on my heart and mind lately…

Psalm 42

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how would I do with the throng
and lead them in the procession to the
house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because
of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall praise him,
my salvation and my God.

So many thoughts resonate with my heart. The tears as food, praising God in the night when the darkness threatens to overwhelm. But, in the end, I don’t feel forgotten by God. He is my daily hope. Oh, how fickle human emotions can be. So thankful for the salvation I have found in Christ, that I have been called to be his child.

On a side note, pray for us. We are contesting the medical bill from my last post. We could use guidance. We want a change, the ‘system’ needs to change. No parent who looses a child should get something like that in the mail. I am so thankful for the support that we do have.



Harsh realities

Ugh. Argh. Tears. Medical bills. Insurance companies. Copays.

We finally received the bills for my hospital stay and Benjamin’s delivery. And the world came crashing in. They line item-ed him. On one single bill, that one line item, told me that I didn’t want my baby. ‘Induced Abortion’. WHAT?! That is a procedure you have when you don’t want a baby. (Seriously wrong and immoral, but that’s not my point) Don’t they know how badly I want to still be pregnant with my little boy? How much I want to hold him? See him grow? Hear him say ‘I love you, momma’? Wounds that were healing are suddenly ripped wide open. Raw and bleeding. It’s down right mean, and it hurts. I’m hurting like never before. I have to pay for a procedure I never wanted to have. I don’t even know what to say other than pray for me. I could really use comfort.



This…

That’s all… (oh, and have your tissues ready)



Crying is over-rated, right?!

I don’t like crying. I’m not a cute cryer. Yet, God has abundantly given me this gift.

Today is hard. Today is not a good day. I want to go back to bed and forget the world. I’m willing to let my house turn into a scene from The Lord of the Flies just to escape. But, I can’t. It’s that simple. I have 3 little boys that need their mommy present. Math lessons need to be taught, and laundry needs to be tackled. The world moves on, but I want today to it stand still. It’s hard to cling to God’s Truths on days like today. I want to hold my baby boy so desperately.

Yesterday was Benjamin’s 2 month birthday. 2 MONTHS!! I need a good cry over him, but I haven’t allowed myself to do that. I don’t know why. Maybe I subconsciously think it’s a sign of weakness, and I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to fall apart. But I think that’s what is going to happen today. Pray for my boys! Ha! At least it’s not a dreary day.

AND… now the tears are falling…



Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

Today is Friday. That means we’ve had almost a full week of ‘normal’. No sickness, no medication, no tears; it feels good. No, it feels GREAT!!

Since Benjamin’s birth, I have been leery of babies. Scared to hold them. I didn’t want the flood gates of tears to overwhelm me, and the poor dear momma of the baby I was holding. But I did it. Yesterday I met my best friends newest little, and I survived. I didn’t break down, I didn’t even cry. It was healing. I loved feeling her soft skin, holding her swaddled little body. One thing they don’t tell you with a baby lost as early as Benjamin, it that his skin wasn’t normal. It was kind of sticky. I wanted to caress him, but couldn’t. His skin wasn’t smooth. So feeling this little girls skin helped fix that need to caress a baby. Although, I have to admit, I am a bit jealous. But then again, maybe not. I LOVE sleep. Ha! :)

But this peace I have, it’s supernatural. It is beautiful. I can’t explain it, but loosing Benjamin hasn’t destroyed me. I am devastated over his loss, but I’m not broken.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as a shield. – Psalms 5:11-12

I came across this verse this morning. I am in His covering. I feel shielded. It puts a smile on my face.

But the verse I really wanted to talk about this morning is one most every Christian knows, well, at least the 2 previous verses. I’m talking about Lamentations 3:22-23.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Most stop here, because let’s face it, how beautiful is it that the Lord gives us a fresh start EVERY SINGLE MORNING!? I think this is so refreshing as a stay-at-home-homeschooling mom. But don’t stop there. Read verse 24:

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

I love that it says the LORD is my PORTION. He is all I need. He is my hope. He will sustain me on the good days, and hold me tight on the bad. He is hope. Hope for the weary soul. Hope for the grieving, the happy, the sad, anyone! We serve an Awesome God! But the question is, do you?

I want you to know, I welcome any questions about Benjamin. I love to talk about him. I may cry, so be prepared, I may not, which means I’m having a good day. :) I hate being a mood killer, the room silencer, you know? Anyways…

I’ll leave you with this last verse. Praying for all of you as you come across my mind.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7