Matthew's Pictures

June 15, 2009

Trials and Change

Sometimes we may go through trials in our life and wonder what we did wrong to cause that situation. Was there something we did that God was punishing us for? How could anything good possibly come out of this tragedy?

On Friday, the kids and I headed up to Florida Memorial Gardens for a much needed visit with Matthew. As usual, Abbie and Raleigh fell asleep in the car, so it gave me some time to myself. I started thinking about how I got to where I am at this point in my life. Sometimes everything I have gone through seems so surreal, and at times it’s hard to believe that we had a son, and he died.

My mind drifted back to when we found out I was pregnant, and I realized that it has been almost one year. In fact, one week from today is when I believe Matthew was already being knitted by God, and his fate already determined. My marriage was on the rocks at the time, and I did not believe anything could save it.

In fact, I really didn’t want it to be saved.

In my mind, there was no “us” anymore, and never could be. I was selfish, stubborn, proud, and very obviously not following God’s words. I was not kind or loving to my husband, and I know he often wondered when he would come home if I would still be there.

When I surprised Josh with the positive pregnancy stick the day before his birthday, he was so incredibly happy. I was happy for him, because I knew he wanted to be a daddy again, but I could not be happy for myself. I felt sad for our child, that he or she would be born into this loveless marriage.

After a few weeks went by, I started to feel some excitement. I slowly started acting more like the wife I committed to be 5 years prior. By 15 weeks, Josh and I had grown much more closer together and were working on things, but had no idea that it was by God’s grace.

At the same time was when we discovered something was wrong with Matthew. I spent a lot of time reading about Matthew’s condition and saw that situations such as ours often tore families apart.

But how? Why?

It was then that I began to see through the situation, and believe that God had a plan for our family. I had no other way of explaining how an unplanned, unborn baby with a negative diagnosis could bring TOGETHER a family that had grown so far apart. It was a gift. God was sending us a gift in the form of a beautiful little baby, hence the name Matthew.

Josh was out of town for job training during the most difficult part of the pregnancy- when the diagnosis was received, and the three weeks where I underwent weekly vesicocentesis. My husband was not there when I cried my eyes out every day, not knowing whether our baby would make it even through the pregnancy. I was resentful that he couldn’t be there. I wanted to be angry at him, but under it all, I knew he would have been there if he could. God was really testing our strength at that point, and we did not break. We grew.

As our story and the life of our son go, our beautiful son was born into a mother and a father who loved him as they loved each other. Who loved God even more.

Although we will never fully understand God’s loving intentions until we are in Heaven, it is so clear to me why we were put through this trial. Our loving Father knew what it would take to open our eyes to Him and to see how truly amazing His works are. He continues to remind me of my mission that He has so obviously placed upon my heart, and I look forward to sharing that with everyone in the weeks to come.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

June 10, 2009

This Craaaazy Life

I haven't done a regular post in about a month, since Matthew's 2 month birthday. It definitely has something to do with being back at work full time, and loading up my calendar with anything and everything. I have to always be busy, not sure why, but I thrive on this crazy life. Working 40 hours for a government contractor, working part time selling Arbonne, starting a non-profit organization to support moms in the area who have received a fatal diagnosis (I haven't really spoken of it much, will give more details when it is set up which it is almost there), gymnastics, swimming lessons, cooking, cleaning, kids, husband and our awesome Lord! Phew. I'm tired just typing all of that! LOL! Two things I miss so dearly that I was able to do when I wasn't working: 1)Spending daily time with the Lord. It wasn't long ago when I was consistently reading atleast three chapters a night in the Bible, going through my Bible based grief studies, and having daily conversation with the Lord. I haven't picked up my Bible outside of church in weeks now, haven't moved forward in my grief studies, saying only a quick prayer at dinner time. It's not that the Lord isn't important, because He is the light of my life. But how do I make the time? If anyone has tips on how they make their time with God, please share! 2)Time with Matthew. I feel as if I am neglecting his memory. Monday was his three month birthday, and I did not go visit him. I think the last time I went there was for his 2 month birthday, if it wasn't then, it was Easter. There are so many things I want to do with his items that I feel like I will never get done. Printing out his pictures, preserving his flowers, organizing his items, etc. In spite of my recent frustrations, we have had many good times over the last few weeks that I would like to share! So enjoy the pics!
Unfortunately, many of the PreK pictures didn't come out well, but I think these are the best of them.

Here are a few pics with Abbie's ballet costume. I was really far back at the rehearsal, so the pics didn't come out well for that event either, and we weren't allowed to take pics during the show. But my dad snuck in his teeny tiny video cam, so I'll eventually get a copy and post it.

And....the Premiere Orlando Hair Show! This was my third year in a row doing it, and by far the best experience. I worked for Sam Villa, who is also connected with Redken. I did the mainstage show presentation, worked the booth for a few hours, then was in the Stylist Choice Awards presentation for Redken in the evening. I'm trying to get some video, but here are some pics for you all to see. I left at 5 AM Sunday morning to prep for the show, didn't get home unitl about midnight. Longest work day of my life for sure!