God is good.

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Five weeks ago, on February 8, I looked up into an ultrasound screen and marveled at the beautiful sight of my nine-week-old baby.  The technician that day showed me something I had never seen before; she used a feature that highlighted the blood flowing through the umbilical cord right into a bright-blue central area: my baby’s heart, beating at a vibrant 161 beats per minute.  It was amazing.

About two and a half weeks ago, on February 27, I again found myself looking up into an ultrasound screen, but listening in numb disbelief as the midwife turned to me and said, “I’m sorry.”  That heart which had beat so strongly two weeks before…had stopped.  The image we now saw on the screen was merely the empty shell of a person who no longer lived inside me.

Countless emotions have coursed through me since then, but in the end…

I know that God is good:

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psalm 103: 8, 11-13

I know that this baby’s life was always in His hands:

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

And I will praise the Lord in His sovereignty:

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

We are sad as we grieve the loss of our baby Riley, but we rejoice in the exceeding riches of God’s grace and mercy, and rest in His good and absolute control over everything that comes our way.
Hallelujah…”Praise the Lord”

A Not-So-Subtle Riddle:

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I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

“Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath

(and if you still didn’t get it, here’s another clue)

How to get that missing ingredient you need at the last minute for dinner:

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1.  Marry a wonderful guy.

2.  Send text to said wonderful husband at his workplace, bewailing tragedy of said missing ingredient.

3.  Hug and kiss said husband when he unexpectedly walks in the door 15 minutes later with said missing ingredient.

 

And yes, the Beef Bourguignon was a success  🙂

Happy New Year!

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And…we’re back!  After an unintended break from the blogging world, I’m back and rarin’ to go.

I find that the turn of a year is a particularly good time for introspection and self-evaluation, inevitably leading to new resolves to do better.  I tend to get carried away with New Year resolutions.  If I didn’t temper it, my list would include (but by no means be limited to) the following

  • Be more disciplined
  • Get up earlier
  • Read my Bible more
  • Pray more
  • Practice the piano more
  • Exercise more
  • Read more
  • Write on my blog more
  • Don’t be late to things
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Keep up with housework
  • Stick to a schedule
  • Walk the dog more
  • Be more prepared for mealtimes
  • Be more prepared for teaching Sunday School
  • Be a better mommy
  • Be a better wife
  • Be a better Christian

But…that’s an overwhelming list and, let’s face it, not things that just magically change because I flipped a page on the calendar.

So instead, I’m simplifying.  I found some fantastic advice on this blog, which I am adopting for myself.

Imagine who you want your kids to become.

Be that.

That, and my husband and I both want to use our mornings better, so we’re tackling the other end:  bedtime.  We’ve planned to start going to bed earlier so we can actually function in the morning (a novel idea, I know…).
That being said, goodnight all!

Theology so simple, a two-year-old gets it

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A couple of days ago, my two daughters were mesmerized by the sight of a fresh blanket of snow sparkling in the morning sun.  When my husband asked our daughter who made snow, she answered simply, “God did.”

Unfortunately, that beautiful first snowfall didn’t last long.  Today the sun shone down on the same dead, greenish-brownish grass we’ve had for the past month or two.  Disappointed, she cried,

“Where’s all the snow??”

“It melted,” I tried to explain.  “The sun came out and it got too warm for the snow to stay.  It’s ok, though, we’ll get more.”

She nodded assuredly, “Yeah, God will give it back.  He promised.  God promised to give us more snow.”

She’s right, you know.  The very seasons themselves testify to the faithfulness of God.

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
Genesis 8:22

And we have a dog because…?

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Our dog ran away this morning.

It was my fault, really, but we won’t dwell too much on that point.
Suffice it to say that with hair still wet from a shower and my two daughters still scampering about the house in their jammies, I regrettably became aware of his absence.  Dumb dog.  So my beautiful, relaxing morning was abruptly switched to “we need to get out of the house NOW” mode.  I took a deep breath and plunged in.

First I had to wrestle the baby into a clean diaper and some clothes.  She put up a pretty good fight, but I declared myself the winner and began to hunt down my two-year-old.  I found her easily enough, rounding the corner  into the room with blood all over her face and hands.  Great, another nosebleed.  I dabbed impatiently at her nose while making a mental note to buy a filter for the humidifier, all the while imagining the miles and miles of terrain that our pooch was covering with each minute that ticked by.  Thankfully, the nose cleared up quickly and we were on our way again, stuffing feet in shoes, maneuvering coats onto wriggly arms, and lugging the monstrous double stroller up the basement stairs.

I flew out the door with children in tow, flung them into the stroller (okay, not literally), and set off in hot pursuit.  Half running, half walking, I made my way down the nearby alley, self-consciously calling out his name—not because I actually thought he’d drop everything and come bounding at the sound of my voice (ha! that would be the day); no, because it’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re out looking for your lost dog.

We turned onto the next street over and I began scrutinizing every yard.  To anyone watching from a window, I must have seemed terribly suspicious.  I regretted that I couldn’t make the vacant leash more obvious, but alas…my daughter insisted on holding it herself.

Finally, I glanced across the street and noticed a flash of brown and black.  Was that…Could it be…?  Yes!  I began running awkwardly with my train of a stroller, frantically calling out his name.  His head popped up.  He looked me straight in the eyes.  Was that a smirk??  And with that, he spun on his heels and lolloped off down the sidewalk, thoroughly pleased with himself and loving every second of this fun game.

Thankfully, some dogs in a nearby yard distracted him long enough for me to slip his leash on.  After that, he walked home like a stupid, perfect little angel.

Apparently my dog wants to be walked more.

Daddy-Daughter Breakfast Date

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All set to go on their date!

Today was a very special day for my two-year-old.  She’s been talking about it all week.  It was the first thing out of her mouth as soon as her head popped off the pillow.  What had her all giddy and excited?  A date with Daddy!  Not only that, but a breakfast date, where they got to go to a restaurant and eat WAFFLES and pancakes…not Mommy, not her baby sister, just her and Daddy.

Before going, she did express to me a concern that the restaurant might not have syrup.  She had just decided to take some with her (you know, just in case) when, on second thought, she changed her mind.  After all, she might lose it.  🙂

Oddly enough, the waffles she’s been SOOO excited about apparently went untouched, but I understand the pancakes, honeydew melon, and saltine crackers were superb.