Monday, February 18, 2013

Elias Birthday

We spent Elias' birthday with our family and friends. The Zartmans graciously opened their home and invited us over for dinner and cake to celebrate and remember Elias' life. It was a great evening with friends. The kids loved all being together and playing with one another. I was terrible and did not bring my camera but it was a special night.
The following day on Elias actual birthday, the day started with a beautiful sunrise, just like the day he was born. Corey took half of the day off so we could just be together. That morning I meet my mother in law at the mall and enjoyed her company while we shopped for shoes and ate some lunch. When Corey got home we headed to the cemetery to lay some flowers and release some balloons. The day was so full of peace and joy. It was the perfect day to remember the life that Elias lived. 
"I thank my God on every remembrance of you." Philippians 1:3

I never imagined

When Corey and I got married I had dreams, ideas and expectations of what our married life might be like. I think everyone does. To say all those dreams, ideas and expectations all came true would be false. I am thankful that some of them didn't:) We knew we wanted to wait a few years before having babies. After two years of being married we thought we were ready for kids. God proved to be in total control and we did not welcome our first child into our family until two and half  years later. Throughout that two years of "trying" there were times of doubt , worry and anxiousness. I often wondered if having our own kids would be a reality for us. I am thankful that God allowed us to experience those feelings and emotions. My heart breaks for those moms and dads that have not been able to have kids.
I NEVER IMAGINED I would be pregnant within a year of having Ethan. Again God proved to be in control and it was the perfect time to add another child to our family. The adjustment was not what I expected or thought it would, it was a lot better.
I NEVER IMAGINED I would be pregnant within nine months of our Ella being born. And yet again God proved to be in control.  My idea of a third child in three years was not what I expected or dreamed or hoped but I knew that this child was from God and that He would provide. I thought we would have 3-4 kids, with 3-4 years in between them. As of today I don't know how many kids we will have or how many years will be between them but I know that my God does. As we have navigated through this walk of joy, sadness, grief and blessing I continually am overwhelmed by all that He does for us.
I NEVER IMAGINED a life without one of my children. Most people don't but some of us are called to walk that journey of losing a child, while others are called to walk on other roads. As I reflect over the past two years of having said hello and goodbye to Elias; I have realized I have gained far more than I have lost. My son is not lost to me but in Heaven waiting. Perfectly healed and waiting.
While talking with Ethan and Ella about Elias they wondered why Jesus didn't heal him and send him back to us. Our kids are often hearing about the miraculous and wondrous works that Jesus performed while here on earth so we know He is able. I wondered that too for a long time, why God didn't chose to heal Elias. Its easy to see God's hand in all of his physical miracles but sometimes harder to see ones of the heart. We can hope, pray and believe whole heartily that God will heal or fix the problem in which we want Him too. However its awesome to be able to share with Ethan and Ella the other attributes of our Lord and God that I have had to cling to. That he heals the broken hearted, that he weeps with us, he protects and shields us, guides with His wisdom, He is faithful, He loves us unconditionally, He is good, He is eternal, giver of grace and He is always near. Ethan and Ella have seen Corey and I walk this road of grief, but I pray that when they look back they will also realize and experience the goodness of God through our earthly loss of Elias.
This verse has help my smile up today as we remember Elias on his second birthday. God has done way more in my life and in my heart than I could ever have imagined when I felt the call by Him to give back my son.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love to surpasses knowledge-that you may filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or IMAGINE, according to his power that is at work within us."
~Ephesians 3:16-20 NIV

Because of You

I am brave.

I am stronger.

I am more confident-spiritually, motherhood, wifehood, and family, really in every aspect I am more confident of who I am and what I believe in.

I love deeper.

I cry harder.

I hug longer.

I love Corey more.

Our marriage is stronger than before you.

I give Ethan and Ella more kisses.

I care less of what others think; well I am really working on this one. I never knew that I did care until I was walking on this journey of life and death with you.

I laugh harder.

I have courage.

I pray more.

I give more.

I say yes more.

I go outside my comfort zone more often.

I dream more.

I long for Heaven more.

I understand that I have a choice in losing you-joy or sadness. Most days I choose joy.

I am a better wife and mom.

I know what a friend is.

I say I am sorry easier, even when its hard.

I am more understanding.

I forgive more.

I know that life matters and each one has a purpose.

My entire heart, soul and mind are changed in a way I never knew.

Because of you sweet Elias. I miss you sweet boy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter Fun

We have had a few good snow falls and then some good days full of sunshine to take it away. The kids have had a great time this winter playing outside. After our last snow fall Corey started to make them a fort around the bottom of the swing set! They loved being protected in the fort!
Saturday Corey had to work so I decided that we would enjoy winter days at the zoo again. It was a lot colder than our 50 degree day in January but it was still fun. The animals were very active and we had a nice walk through the zoo.

Friday, February 8, 2013

23 weeks

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My cousin J had requested a baby bump picture and it made me realize that I had not taken any pictures of this sweet life growing yet!!!! This picture will have to do until the next time I am showered, dressed and have makeup on-maybe Sunday for church:) I am feeling great! The baby is moving all around and its awesome for the kids and Corey to feel all the kicks now! Precious times!