Monday, March 28, 2011

Today

So many times I wish I could talk ,wish I could share, wish I could cry. Wish I could feel what I am walking through. Wishing I could understand. Its hard to think about Elias, that he was here and gone. Its hard to believe that we buried him and now we go to this place to remember him. There is a part of it that does not feel real, did this really happen to our son? That I gave birth to a little sweet boy without a portion of his head and loved him, feel in love with him. The hurt and pain can come pouring out, today is one of those days. In the last four weeks there have not been very many of these days. The first week after Elias passed was the hardest and each day got better. Today I just miss him, miss not having that sweet boy in my arms. Longing to hold him one more time, even though I know that would not be enough. Longing to give kisses to his sweet cheeks. Longing to be his mother, to be a mother to a baby that is alive.

A few days after we buried Elias I had a dream that he was healed. It was a perfect dream and I remember waking up smiling. I can remember his beauitfully completed head and a full head of hair. His hair was thick, longer than any of my other childrens hair and a little red. He was sitting in a bouncey. In my dream I remember our nurse showing up at our house to visit Elias and walking over to his bouncey expecting to show her a baby with anencephaly but his head was healed. He was this perfectly healed little boy. I often think of this dream when I think about Elias. Think about how perfect his body is now that he is in heaven. I am not usually a big dream person but this was a special dream. A dream to be able to mend my broken heart seeing Elias healed. Despite that he was not healed on this side of eternity, my heart still rests in knowing that this was Gods plan for our family, for me. Elias has changed me, changed everyone around us. How awesome and great is our God to use this little life to change so many. Praises to Him.

"Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies. " Lamentations 3:32

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March of Dimes

My two special sisters are walking with March of Dimes in April in remembrance of Elias. What a great honor for me, Elias' mom, to have others in my life who he impacted so deeply to walk on his behalf. March of Dimes is a great organization! Please help them raise money for their walk! Thank You!!!

http://www.marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=3671677&ct=4&w=4683074&u=eliasbarnes

http://www.marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=3671313&ct=4&w=4682432&u=babyEliasBarnes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Long Week

This week seems to be going by so slowly. Our week is filled with doctors appointments, play dates and a girls night, but time is moving so slowly. The last few weeks have flown by and now it has stopped. I like to be busy. I like to be busy and cross things off my list, but maybe God has something different in store? Is time slowing down so I can actually think or maybe feel? I just started going through a devotional about losing a child and the first few are about hide and seek. It hit my heart right on the mark. Kind of scary, but just what I needed and wanted. It talks about hiding your feelings so well that you may think others do not notice, but how long can you stash that silent heartache? God has been opening doors for me to share that heartache, and has been wanting me to step through them. As much as I really want to hide behind the door I have decided to step through. God calls us to obedient and I am choosing to obey.
There are so many moments that the heartache fills up inside of me and wants to cry out. However, those moments seem to come at inconvenient times. Like right before I am supposed to see someone whom I might not feel is the right person to be sobbing too. But maybe I am? Maybe this person needs to see the rawness of this journey, needs to see God's love. Despite the fact that I feel that I am being obedient to the doors God has opened, I also feel that I may be missing other areas of my life that He is trying to work on. What else do I need to let go of? I am not sure I have an answer tonight, but the Lord is continuing to strengthen and mature me. I turn to Him. I give it to Him. Whatever those areas are, I pray I am obedient and allow Him to mold me into the person He wants me to become.

Family Fun

Thanks to all the sweet and generous families at our church we have enjoyed a month of meals. Our kids always love seeing what is for dessert:) Thanks to Cheryl our kiddos devoured the cupcakes. Ella loved getting her hands right into the icing! What a fun way to end dinner time.
Spring has yet to really arrive here in Michiana:( Despite the cold temperatures we still have bundled up and headed outside to enjoy some fresh air. The kids love being outside. We are hoping that spring gets here soon. Mom is tired of all the gloves, hats and coats:)!

Friday, March 18, 2011

1 month





Can you believe that a whole month has passed since we celebrated the birth of Elias. The weeks are flying by. We are keeping ourselves busy. This week was full of appointments, doctor visits, and normal household duties. Lots I want to share tonight.

First, I had my post partum appointment this week. I had been looking forward to the appointment because the results of the placenta testing would be in. The doctor who delivered me sent it in for testing because it had some visual irregularities to it. However, there was nothing conclusive to why Elias developed anencephaly. I knew that most likely the testing would be inconclusive, but I think I was still hoping for some kind of answer. I went to the doctor by myself which after walking in to the office, I was not so sure I should have gone alone. I did not realize how many emotions of our journey would come flooding back. How the doppler being heard through the hallways might bring back how real my journey with Elias is. He was in my womb, he had a strong beating heart, he was here, he was with us. I often wonder if my pain, my heartache, my loss is written on my face. Sometimes I wish it was. I wish that people could look at me, look into my heart and see that my baby is not here and how badly I wish he was. I struggle with crying, feeling out loud these days, I wish it was not hard to show the pain.

Losing Elias has already brought so much glory to God's kingdom through so many lives. Well another life was touched Wednesday night and it was all because of God's work in my heart and life. Remember how I asked you to pray about sharing my testimony. God's peace was with me Wednesday night as I lead a young lady to the Lord. Thank you for all the prayers. I was in awe of how God was very clear that night that this young woman was ready to accept His love and grace. I was feeling really down after I shared my testimony because I left out a big chunk of what I thought I wanted to share. However God knew exactly what words needed to be spoken and who needed to hear them. The young lady who accepted the Lord this night had just lost a baby girl in November, she had 9 hours with her precious baby. At 17 this girl made the choice to carry her little girl despite knowing she would lose her. How strong and courageous she had already been. I pray that she continues to be strong by relying on our Lord. She has a tough road to break cycles and change life situations, but I know because of our God's love and grace He can carry her through. Will you join me in praying for her? I know the Lord knows her heart and situation, I rest in that. Praising the Lord for using my Elias to bring someone to know Him. Blessed be His Name!

Today Elias would have been one month old! This month would have been filled with lots of new things for us:
  • Bringing Elias home for his first time
  • First Bath
  • Understanding Elias signs for hunger, sleep and holding
  • Lots of nursing
  • Lots of rocking
  • Hopefully lots of sleeping
  • Singing my favorite songs to him
  • Watching him grow
  • Seeing how Ethan and Ella would have been loving on him and adjusting to having Elias with us

Instead we visit a place where we can go to remember him. Give him his little prize. Give him my heart. Give him my tears.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Visiting

Two post in one day. There are times of rejoicing and praising the Lord for all He has given us and done in our lives, and then there are times of grief and sorrow. How quickly those times can come and go.
Corey and I headed out this afternoon to run some errands. One of those errands would be to visit Elias grave site and put some flowers on it. There is no headstone yet because they do not place them until the ground and weather is better, and I wanted something there. On a side note I have only been to his grave once, and that one time there was snow on the ground which made it difficult to see anything. It's not that I haven't wanted to visit the cemetery, but that it is much easier for me to see pictures of Elias living and thinking of how he is in heaven. We headed to Hobby Lobby in hopes to find something to place on his grave in lieu of his headstone. We found some perfect white daisy's and a pinwheel of a flower to place in the ground. I get so excited when we get to buy something for Elias or in memory of him. It makes me feel like I am his mother, that he is my child, and that I am taking care of him. On our way back to the cemetery, we noticed a sign posted that clean up would be on 3/15 and anything not removed off of a grave would be thrown away. I was so disappointed, so sad that I could not give Elias his prize today. We continued to Elias grave, but my excitement of going there turned to sadness. Sadness that he is not here with us, difficulties in helping Ethan realize that Elias is not here but this is a way to remember him. To get back to the cemetery it is a long road filled with lots of pine trees. I love this drive. Growing up when Mom would take us to visit Dad, we would roll down the windows on this drive and soak in the smells of the trees. While driving down the road this afternoon the sun started to shine briefly through the clouds. I could feel God whispering as if to say that it is okay, Elias is okay. He is perfect, he is well taken care of. He needs no prize, he has the best prize. The best prize of living with the Father. The Father who has promised so much to so many. I rest in all of those promises. Despite these promises I still have the need to be Elias mommy, take care of him, nurture him, love him. Despite knowing that he is in Heaven and no longer needs me, I will still continue to show my love for him by sharing his story, buying things in memory of him, and remembering how he has done so much for me, his mother, in his short life. We love you sweet little Elias!!! Your prize is coming soon...

Blessings

The blessings that have been given to us throughout our journey with Elias have been so amazing. Each blessing has allowed us to praise the Lord for His work in our lives. I wanted to share some of things happening in our life. The Lord is real and He is working on our hearts.
Blessings received:
  • Cards and emails filled with scripture, love, and words of encouragement

  • Prayers- We know our family has been bathed in prayer over the last six months. We are so grateful for this. There were and are still times when I am so sad and heartbroken, but hold onto the fact that someone is praying for me, praying for our pain and grief.

  • Food- We are scheduled to receive 30 meals!!! How awesome is that? It has been a HUGE blessing to our family. We can just be a family and not worry about the details right now in our life.
  • Financially- We were able to give an awesome gift to the children's ministry at our church through the hearts of others.
  • Ultrasound Pictures- The Woman of Grace Church gave us a gift card to The Miracle in Me that helped us see our little guy during the time he was in my tummy. These ultrasound pictures allowed us to bond with Elias in a special way and to prepare for the delivery.
  • Pictures- Eileen at Traditions Photography has been so giving of her time, resources and energy. She gave us so much in the maternity, labor and delivery pictures. These pictures represent such a tender moment in our life. I love being able to look through and relive the start of our journey until the time we met Elias with remembering the smallest details because of her gift.
  • Friendships- Our friends and family relationships have blossomed and become so much more real then they could ever be.

  • Church- Our church continues to provide meals, prayer, support and love. We are part of an awesome local church family. I am so grateful to call Grace Church my home.

  • Appreciation for Life- Elias has taught us how precious life is on a deeper level then we knew before Elias was born.

  • Appreciation for one another- Elias has brought our friends, family and church closer. Closer to each other and closer to the Lord. Corey and I have also been brought closer together. We are trying to walk together through this valley, not alone. I love that Elias is teaching and showing his mom and dad how to better love and serve the Lord through their marriage and family.

  • Sharing God's Love- Will you pray for me about this? I am headed to the local juvenile detention center next week to share my testimony. I am so excited as the the Holy Spirit is laying verses and scripture on my heart to share with these girls. I am also scared and nervous. I know the Lord will be right there holding my hand and leading me in my words. I know on some level what they are thinking, feeling and dealing with. My prayer is that these girls would know they are loved by our God not because of what they have done, but because of what He has done for us. God's love and grace has been poured over my life, I pray they see that.

  • Growth- The Lord is working on my heart. My passion and desire to follow, obey, serve, love and praise Him is rising up inside me. I am unsure of what He has planned for my life, but I know that His plan is way better then mine.

I feel there are so many more blessings that have come from my sweet sweet little boy that can and will be added to our life here on earth. There is not an hour that goes by that an image of his precious self goes through my mind. He is a part of me, he has a part of my heart. That can never change or be taken away.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Impact

My dear and best friend blogged about her lessons learned from Elias. I have read this about ten times and am just in awe how a little life has and is working in and on peoples hearts. Hope you are challenged as much as me by this post. Challenged to be more Christ like; love with no expectations, give without nothing in return, be a Godly friend, praying without ceasing and praising the Lord for everything He has given us.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sharing Elias' Story

Its hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Elias was here just two short weeks ago. So many emotions, so much pain, so much joy knowing he is in Heaven. Most everyone who we are surrounded by knows the journey we are walking but there are a few who might not. I had a scheduled dentist appointment today and decided to keep it, really no reason not to. No crazy nursing schedule of a newborn or sleep deprivation brought on by a newborn like I might have thought we would be experiencing when I made my six month checkup back in September. I arranged for my mother in law to watch Ethan and Ella, which they were super excited; and headed to the dentist. This was only my second time at this dentist office, but was seeing the same hygienist. During my last visit I got to know a lot about my hygienist; what church she went to, that she liked to scrapbook/stamp and about her twin daughter and son. I knew she would remember that I was pregnant last Fall and ask me about our newest addition and she did. I was not hesitant. I was not sad. I was not mad. I was not sorry for myself. I smiled with a smile that God had given me and shared our story of the last six months. Shared how we chose to carry Elias, despite the recommendation for termination. Shared how we respect the life the Lord has given us, and that we are not the ones to choose when a life should end. Shared how the Lord has worked on my heart, my family's heart and so many around us because of Elias. Shared how God is the perfect plan. Shared how God knew all of this way before any of us. Shared how we continue to rest in His hands. She cried, surprisingly I did not, and she was so blessed and touched by our story. I was rejoicing and praising our Lord once again for Elias and the blessings that have flowed from him. Many blessings that people have bestowed upon us but will never now. I prayed for my hygienist tonight, I pray her heart is of the Lords and that hearing my journey today is an encouragement to her walk in Christ. I continue to pray for my heart, my convictions and that my life would be wholly His, not just a part of it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Gone Already?

Spending days, months and weeks preparing for Elias' arrival has come and gone. How could it be gone already? How could he be gone already? I printed some pictures of him and put them in our room. I love being able to wake up each day and see his sweet face and hands. Going to bed each night remembering how he allowed us to just love on him his entire day here on earth. We miss you terribly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Up and Down

As I am sure is so very common with anyone dealing with a loss of a loved one, the ride is a roller coaster. It truly is a day at a time, sometime hour by hour. The ups are the smiles, hugs and encouragement brought on by my two cuties, friends and families. We have been blessed beyond words and humbled to the floor. We have gotten so many cards, emails and Facebook messages that are uplifting and so thoughtful. The Lord continues to bless us and I pray that I continue to just give it back to Him. He is the one that deserves all the glory. The downs come at times when I hug, hold, love and laugh with my two cuties and at times I break for the need to have Elias here with us, part of our daily family life. He was and is so special to us, its so hard to believe he is gone. He lived his perfect God determined amount of time. I am so thankful for all that time- I can easily remember his peacefulness, his body and that day. I hold that time near to my heart.
A close friend had gotten a book about Heaven for Ethan and gave it to him last week. The book is simple and oh so very sweet. Every time I read it I remember how awesome, amazing, beautiful, perfect, worshipful place Heaven is. We know that Elias is singing praises to our Lord and is just so perfect. We long for the day to met Elias again...
Corey went back to work Monday and I have been busy busy busy from the time I wake up to the time I decide I need some rest. I have had some dear friends sit and keep me company, running errands, writing thank yous, thinking of crazy tasks to add to my to-do list and it could go on. Its good to be busy, it scares me to not be busy. I know the Lord is working on my heart to heal me and restore me in Him. I am craving my quiet time even more than when I was pregnant. Psalms has been a great book for me to consistently be in during this journey. I am reminded of his comfort and promises with every reading.

"The Lord is m light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"Psalm 27:1