Memories

memories.jpgToday, Facebook will remind me of when I went to the hospital to confirm that our daughter had passed.  Facebook will remind me of how I numbly pulled out my laptop and typed words on a screen.  Facebook will remind me of how I got back onto the familiar road of grief one year ago.

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I know that you can remove memory reminders on Facebook.  You can remove whole chunks of time if you want to.  But I don’t want to.  I want to remember the sweet nurse that kept hope for us as each medical device came back negative for a heartbeat.  I want to remember how the moment the ultrasound confirmed our worst fears, my OB turned around and created a new game plan.  If her sleeves weren’t already rolled up, I know she would have in that moment.  I want to remember my talk with Jesus, how I re-engaged my stubborn and desperate love in the middle of chaotic grief.

I thought I would be pregnant by now, though.  I hoped I would be, that maybe a new pregnancy would lessen the blow of grief that this week will bring.  But I do have my husband, God, friends, family.  And I’m so thankful that God has created these hedges of protection during one of the dark moments in my history.

God is good.  All the time.  Even in the darkened sad moments.  Especially then.

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8 Reasons I Love My Husband

This week, Michael and I are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary.

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So in honor of that celebration, I wanted to share eight short and sweet reasons I love my husband.

  1. He is a loyal friend. When he makes a commitment, whether it’s our marriage vows or a promise to help someone move, he does everything in his ability to meet that commitment.  Maybe he’s just a bad liar, but I’ve never known him to lie about anything, even a white lie.  And I’m not the only one who knows this.  His honesty and integrity is recognized with his clients and coworkers as well.
  2. He is a good man. Whether it’s at the job or in his hobbies, he doesn’t take shortcuts.  He wants to do things the right the first time.  And he wants it to be fair to all involved.
  3. He is generous with his time. He puts others before himself when it comes to time.  He will cancel his own plans if someone needs his help.  And he never complains about it.  It’s something he is supposed to do.
  4. He is generous with his resources. Whether it’s with his funds to support charities or organizations he believes in, or it’s intentionally buying granola bars to give to the homeless man begging at the stoplight on the way home.  He’s purposeful with his money.
  5. He is patient. The son of one of our neighbors just got into the aquarium hobby this past year.  Michael sat with him for two hours talking him through all the things he would need.  He does that with clients as well who may not kno.  Michael will patiently walk through each step with them.
  6. He is a creative. One of the first things a person sees when they visit is our fish tanks.  Michael has done some amazing work with the aquascape of his tank. He combines the colors and shapes of the coral to create a gorgeous scene of living, underwater art.
  7. He knows and values how to make me smile. The past couple of years, I’ve had some really low moments.  And although it’s important to me that Michael can make me smile, it’s even more important that he takes great lengths to bring a smile to my face because he honestly just wants me to be happy, whether it is an inside joke or a surprise bouquet of my favorite flowers.  That boy is pretty sweet.
  8. He is humble. In fact, when I told him I was doing this, he may have rolled his eyes a bit.  I mean, he appreciates Words of Affirmation, it is his love language!  But he’s not the kind of guy to do things for attention.  He’s a wonderful example of 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

The best thing is that anyone who knows my husband would agree with this list.  This is just the man that he is.  I am so lucky and blessed to walk this world with him beside me.  Happy Anniversary to my Michael!

 

A Year in My Life of Transition

If my life were a movie, I feel like the last year would be edited into a montage.  So, in a recap of the last year, I thought I would share a montage of my year in photos.

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Having my family come to visit in July was wonderful.  I am very thankful to have their love and support in the ups and downs of this past year.  Having a mom that I can vent my frustrations to (and vice-versa) is invaluable.  Also, having a dad and brother who will listen and be able to say exactly what I need to hear is pretty great too. 🙂

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This year, I have been especially grateful to be with this man.  We have had several small adventures through this past year, including beer brewery tours, concerts, long nature walks, even watching people launch things off of ramps to see if they could fly (also known as the Red Bull Flugtag, as seen above).

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At the end of September, my in-laws walked with us in the annual Alzheimer’s Walk.  I am so thankful to have married into such a  supportive, compassionate and loving family.

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When Michael and I were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, they took us on a hike through this beautiful park.  This past year, I have learned a lot about spending time in nature as a way to heal, relax and process.  I have incorporated it into my prayer time as a way to connect to God.

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Now, who would put up a picture from a cruise to talk about her job?  This girl!  The whole reason I went on this cruise was because of my job! This was our Christmas bonus this past year, and for Michael and me, it was very much needed.  Even though my job has been in a steady state of transition pretty much this whole year, I know that I have the love and support of my work family.  That really makes a difference.

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Speaking of family, this is one of my favorite memories of the past year.  I was honored to be able to watch Lori’s two older boys while she and her husband were welcoming in their third!  I think of this sweet family as an extension of my own, and I don’t know how I would have made it through this last year without them!  They are truly a God-sent gift into my life.

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The trip to New York was a pivotal point for me this year.  It was uncomfortable and pushed me outside of my limits.  From the moment I got off the plane to the moment I was back in Dallas, I was in community with people unlike me.  A lot of the time, I was by myself in the middle of one of the largest and most diverse cities in America, and I realized how I had forgotten to be with people.  When I came home, I was determined to keep a grasp on this feeling of worldwide community.

That’s when I really started feeling uncomfortable with where I was in my life.  I realized how much time I was allowing myself to go through the motions unchallenged.  A few weeks later, I’m signing up for a Spanish class at the community college that has allowed me to meet people from different countries and cultures who don’t always agree with me, even about core value things.  And, I’m learning to disagree gracefully.

There are more days that I keep my head down than I would like to admit, but I’m still learning to grasp for the challenging opportunities to grow.  I’m still trying to see the world from another’s perspective and make decisions in accordance with the direction and purpose I feel called to in this life.  I hope to go even closer to the life I feel called to lead in this next year, and hopefully I will continue to take you all along in my journey.