Monday, January 30, 2012

Their First Communion

Last night my family and I attended a Family Night at Grace Chapel church.  We had been looking forward to it for a while.  Grace always does things 110% and you never leave disappointed.  Last night was no exception.  I was excited. Excited the girls would be with us in "big church".  Excited they would hear the music and the baby dedications.  Excited to spend an evening with my family, all of them, including Jesus.  Little did I know how amazing it would be. 

As a parent there have been many things I have look forward too.  First steps, first words, first "I love you mommy", first please and thank you, and in my house first "yes ma'am" ;). These and many more milestones and firsts have crowded my heart with anticipation.  But there was one first I was not prepared for.  One first I had not thought of.  One first that caught me completely and utterly off guard.  That first happened last night. 

The service was only and hour and 15 minutes.  They did a little skit, worshipped with music (unfortunately for Kathryne they did NOT play Glory to God and she was a bit put out by this), and then the pastor spoke of family and unity.  I stood with my babies watching them take it all in. Watching their eyes and their smiles as they examined other people, other families, worshipping the One and Only God.  Seeing them watch other Mamas and Daddys with their hands held high (yes we go to one of THOSE churches) singing and praying.  It was wonderful. I listened to Jesus as He spoke to me. I audibly heard Him as He told me "These are your babies.  I have blessed you with their lives and their spirits.  Enjoy them, love them and be content".  I felt genuine shame for my greed in wanting ANOTHER baby.  I squeezed my Presley Rose tight and breathed a quiet but firm "Yes Sir" to my Heavenly Father as tears ran down my face. 

The girls got antsy as the night went on.  Once the music stopped they colored as we listened.  And then it happened.  The sermon was over and the pastor explained that we, all of us, were going to do communion.  I looked over at Doc and whispered "do the girls do it too!?" he nodded and smiled.  So we sat and we waited our turn and when it came up we went as a family to get our "cracker and juice" (which by the way is the body of Christ and the blood He shed for our sins).  But in my family it was crackers and juice.  We waited as patiently as we could for the rest of the congregation to join us.  All the while Presley whispering (in a Melanie whisper which is NOT that quiet) "mama, do I get a cracker too?".  Oh my sweet babies.  They have gone 4 and 2 and a half years without a Ritz cracker or a Goldfish or any kind of cracker for that matter.  They were so looking forward to their little cracker.  I nodded assuring her that once all the other kids got one, we would eat.  And then it was time.  The pastor spoke and I handed that sweet blue eyed little person her cracker.  She ate it with the same big smile on her face that her mama had but for a completely different reason.  I looked over at Kat sitting beside her daddy carefully drinking her juice grinning ear to ear and the tears just came.  There I was with my family all of us recognizing the death of our Saviour on the Cross.  All four of us sharing in the body of Christ and the blood that He shed.  I smiled, I cried, and looked at their daddy that was doing both. 

I had never even thought about it.  I guess I knew one day they would take communion but I did not know when it would be or that I would be there.  It was not a first that I had dreamt of or imagined.  But it was a first that I will never, ever, forget.  We spent the next few minutes with my spirited Presley Rose begging for another cracker, I have to imagine Jesus was just giggling as He watched. 

1 Corinthians 11: 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

He will come my friends.  Probably, hopefully, sooner than we think. He will come and He will save us, all of us, from this sick, perverted, wretched world that we live in.  This world full of death and pain and sickness and sin. He will come and He will take home those that believe He is the Son of God and  acknowledge that He died and rose for our sins and our eternal life.  And the ones that believe now, the ones that acknowledged who He is and what He has done for us today in the middle of the chaos of this world, the ones that give their heart to Him and live to spread the Good Word for the Kingdom, they are the ones that get to go first.  I don't know about you, but I want to go first.  I want to be in the front of the line waiting eagerly to cross to the other side of the veil.  The side where there is nothing but Joy and Love and Beauty.  The side where some of the people I love most in the world live.  The side that houses my Heavenly Father and my baby boy.  So until He comes I will live for Him, praying for the heart and the guidance to make the kinds of decisions that will get me to the front of that line. I hope to see you there fighting me for my spot. ;) 

Blessings Friends,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Psalm 91 - Presley Rose

I am an addict.  It is in me, it runs through my blood.  In my other life, which is what I call life before Doc, I was a smoker and a drinker.  Truth be told, I loved both and if they weren't body and relationship killers I would still be smoking a Marlboro Light and drinking a glass of red wine every night.  Addiction runs in my family and we all use stress as an excuse.  Our addictions range from heavy drugs to marshmallows and everything in between.  It's the devil, he is in us, all of us.  When Doc and I got married I quit smoking and drinking.  It has been six years since I have had either.  I would say that if I had to pick something that I replaced them with it would be coffee. That would be my latest addiction.  Not the caffeine because I drink decaf 99% of the time.  Just the coffee.  It soothes me and when I am stressed, like today, I could drink a whole pot.  But as luck would have it I made a deal with one of my favorites and I have vowed to give up coffee in return for his cigarettes.  Days like this it seems like a ridiculous trade, but a deal is a deal and truthfully if he quits I will never drink another cup.  So, today my drug of choice (don't laugh) is hot coconut mango tea.  Oh the life of a chiropractors wife. ;) 

So here I sit typing away drinking my hot tea wishing it was glass of red wine and trying hard not to be stressed.  You see one of my babies doesn't feel good.  And tomorrow will be her second trip to the doctor in her entire life.  Yes, I said second.  Her first was for a purple cast last summer.  My sweet Presley's eyes are bothering her and we have decided it is time to have them checked.  If you know us, you know this was a thought out decision.  We are parents who don't do check ups or sick visits.We have a high deductible plan because in our family insurance is for emergencies.  So for us to concede to take our two year old to an ophthalmologist when she has never even seen a pediatrician, you could say is a big deal. Now don't misunderstand. We are not panicked and we have no reason to believe that it is anything alarming.  But she has complained enough and we have seen enough signs to have her checked out.  Hence the hot tea. 

When you lose a little one, suddenly the mortality of the ones you can still hold becomes terribly obvious. Almost to a hindrance of good choices and sanity at times.  I make myself crazy praying for my girls and their health.  Begging, pleading for them to outlive me because the idea, the thought, the reality of ever losing them takes my breath and makes me feel as if I could vomit.  I check on their breathing at night.  I am horribly aware of anything that changes on their bodies or just in their eyes.  I can tell by their breath how they feel even without complaint.  These little people, the girls, these precious babies are the reason that I live and I am ashamed of the fear I have of losing one of them.  Ashamed that I do not have more trust when it comes to their precious little lives.  And so I pray and I drink tea and I search for peace in the only place I know to find it. 

My life if full of believers and the more I connect the more I realize the importance of surrounding myself with people that know the Word and will direct me when I am lost.  This morning I asked a special group of women to pray for my sweet girl and one of them, whom I have never met, directed me.  She recommended that I pray this over my sweet girl using her name.  I have typed it as if I would read it asking that if you are in a place where it is appropriate that you would read it out loud for us.  You have all carried us for so long and I appreciate, once again, any and all prayers for our family and for our sweet girls.  Our appointment is tomorrow at 8:15 CST.  I will give you all an update as soon as we are done. 

Psalm 91
You, Presley, who sits down in the High God's presence,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you, Presley, are perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing Presley—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You will stand untouched Presley, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you sweet baby girl,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you Presley wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

Thank you as always for reading, but most of all for praying!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Kathryne

Sweet Kathryne,

You are four years old and in some ways it seems like you were just born.  Your birthday was Thursday and on Wednesday night I laid awake remembering your birth.  I thought about that day and that night.  I smiled thinking of how fun it would be to tell you the story one day.  The story of Uncle Michael and daddy standing in the parking lot at the beginning of my labor talking and expecting a normal night. The story of your Nana and Aunt Kasey coming to visit and you unexpectedly making your way into the world.  The story of your daddy and I trying to stop you from coming and how you, just like you still do, made sure that you got exactly what you wanted.  The story of Janet and Aunt Sissy and Big coming in the snow as quickly as they could so that they would be there when you took your first breath.  The story of Uncle Brett and Sam and Aunt Patty and Courtney making their way through bad weather, determined to be one of the the first to hold you.  It was, it is, a great story.  A beautiful story about a miracle, about hundreds of answered prayers.  A story of grace and mercy offered only from our Creator.  A story of a mama that wanted a baby so badly that her heart may have exploded if you hadn't been born.  A story of a little girl that changed the world for more people than she will ever know.  A little girl that stole the hearts of many and restored the souls of others.  It is your story my sweet Kathryne Elaine Hall and it never gets old and it is always as sweet as it was the day you were born. 

Janet came to visit you right before your birthday and Nana was here to celebrate.  We had "chips and sauce and mole" at your request and I made you a banana chocolate chip cake.  You wore a beautiful dress that Janet bought you, your birthday dress.  Today we had a party with some of your friends.  It was at a place called Story Book Village.  We had a gluten free chocolate cake that Nana helped dress up with marshmallows and sprinkles.  Pink of course.  You wore your birthday dress again.  ;) It was a lot of fun. 

Kathryne, mama and daddy love you very much. You are a sweet, smart, beautiful little girl with a very special heart.  Not a day goes by that we do not smile at the miracle that you are and praise Him from the rooftops for giving you to us.  You are bright and funny.  You are a good sister and daddy is certain that Jesus sent you to mommy to help take care of Presley.  Honestly, you take care of me too.   There are days that I am not sure what I would do without you.   I think we are probably too hard on you.  And maybe we always have been.  You are older than your age in a lot of ways.  If there is one thing that I would tell you it would be to have more fun.  You are serious and you are deliberate in most everything you do.  You are your daddy.  ;)  Our lives are full of pink and glitter and princesses because of you and neither of us would trade a minute of it!!! You believe that Jesus made the sky pink just for you but you are not real sure about Santa Claus.  That makes me think we are doing something right. 

This year we will learn more stuff and have more fun.  We will be silly and messy and drive daddy crazy! We will enjoy everyday that best that we can, I promise.  You want to be a Ballerina when you grow up.  Daddy says that is okay as long as that is your second job.  The first being an U.C. Doctor of course. Time is going by faster than we would like and you are growing up right before our eyes.  We could not be prouder of you. We pray for your health, your heart, your salvation and your future everyday, all of the time.  We trust that Jesus hears our prayers and that He will do exactly what He sees fit.  We look forward to seeing what He has in store for you tomorrow! 

Happy Birthday baby girl. 
We love you bigger than the whole sky.
Mama, Daddy and Sissy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today I will walk.

Well it seems I got a bit ahead of myself in my farewell letter to 2560 Tom Anderson Road.  I can say that for certain as I sit on the couch looking out back through the screen porch that is weakening as I type.  However, I am not as discouraged as you would think.  You see, we are in fact moving.  As God would have it, my prayers have been answered in His time and at the first of the year we got a letter from our landlords saying that we needed to be out by April 1.  It is January 16th and we already have walls lined with boxes.  Some would call us eager, others would say that Doc tends to be an extreme "preparer" either way, we are well on our way to living out of boxes by the end of January.

In three days my little girl will be four years old.  Honestly, I am glad to have the distraction of moving and looking for a home because otherwise I fear I would sink into a dark depression filled with coffee and muffins.  I will not bore you with "where did the time go" or "my how time flies" because I know exactly where the time went and am grateful that some of it flew right by.  I will say the fact that she is four years old makes it hard for me to breathe.

So here we are looking for our third home in Franklin TN. It is not as easy as you would think.  We have a few things we would like to have and obviously we have a maximum amount we are able to pay.  We have looked all over Williamson and into Maury to meet our requirements and so far we have learned two things 1)The people in this area are VERY proud of their homes regardless of how they have or have not taken care of them and 2) Most people are clearly financially stable and do not NEED to rent. With that said we have not yet found the home that God is preparing for us.  But we will!!

Life has settled down a bit for us which is funny to say in the middle of a move.  I guess that gives you a picture of the chaos that has been our lives over the last 2 and a half years. God has remained faithful in His promises to take care of us.  We have held steadfast in His love and trusted Him even in the very darkest times.  Did we ever waiver? Absolutely. Did we ever stop? Never.  Proverbs 3:5 my friends. 

The practice has been blessed beyond our prayers and imaginations.  The Lord has used Doc in tremendous ways and continues to do so daily.  He sees miracles weekly and we praise Him for allowing us to be even a small part of the work He does in peoples lives.  Doc is tough and works hard.  These girls love him so much and he is a great dad.  I pray that he learns to rest some and that he doesn't forget to enjoy life while he lives it.  We wish he was home more, but we see that in our future and look forward to it.

The girls are healthy and so much fun.  We have decided to keep Kat home one more year and are praying about homeschooling or private school.  We will do whatever He sees fit for our girls.  They are intended to be part of His army and therefore what He says goes!!

We love our church, that and the few true friends we have made since we have moved here make it easier to be away from family. 

As for me, I would say that I am at the most peaceful place that I have been since July of 2009. I am disappointed we are not pregnant and as much as I know it is not up to me, sometimes it just pisses me off.  But other than that, I am as strong as I have been since we left home.  This move, my boy, that baby, these houses, this schedule, no friends, no family, all of it and more pretty much rocked my world.  2010 will go down in history as the hardest year of my life thus far. The year that Jesus carried me everyday because walking was just not an option.  I spent 2011 trying desperately to recover and in many ways I failed. We prayed for the practice to do well and it did. We prayed for our girls to be healthy and they are.  But as I tried to walk my knees were weak and my heart was too heavy and again He carried me most of the way. It was a year spent trying to survive and we did by the grace and the arms of Jesus. It ended with a week long getaway just me and Doc. To say that it was overdue would be a gross understatement.  But I will say it was just what I needed, what we needed.

2012 starts in the Hall house with changes, a new home, a growing practice, and a mama with a body and a heart that is stronger.  It's a better start than the last two years, so I will take it ;)  We are stronger than we have been since we moved to Franklin as a family, as a couple and individually.  Our faith is stronger, our hearts are stronger, our love is stronger.  We will take this year head on in a new home with these two precious children, praising Jesus as loud as we can.  Who knows what He has in store for us.  I imagine there will be joy and there will be sorrow.  I imagine that we will smile and cry and laugh and scream.  I imagine that we will look at our families and these kids and each other and remember what we have already been through and be thankful for each day that is easier than the hard ones that are behind us.  And I imagine that when it is time, He will test us again.  I pray that when the time comes we will have the strength to stand together once more and praise Him in the darkness.

So today I will pack another box. I will look for a house.  I will listen to Jamey and put puzzles together. I will think about what I can cook for my sweet husband for dinner.  I will miss my daddy and my brother and I will anticipate when I get to see Sam and Steph next.  I will smile knowing that my mama will be right back and I will get the end room ready for Nana who will be here on Wednesday.  I will check in on Kelly and chit chat with Brett.  Today I will catch up on my reading for the and giggle as I think about what God is doing with this group of ladies.  I will clean out my drawers and add to the pile going to Our Thrift Store and I will tape up the boxes of maternity clothes and add them to the boxes lining the walls.  Today I will smile as I walk through this house remembering the size Kathryne was when we moved in.  She was 20 months. Today I will giggle as I scrub crayon off the walls and get raisins out of the carpet.  Today I will be grateful for 2010 and 2011 but I will praise Him for 2012 with every breath remembering how faithful He has been and how He has carried me for so long.  And today I will enjoy walking for a while knowing He is walking right beside me.  Amen!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year my friends!!  2011 went by so quickly that I fear I missed a lot more than I wanted too.  As I sit and reflect on the year behind me, I realize how much I was taught by you and by Him.  I smile at the lessons that I learned, at the hurdles that I jumped, at the moments that I treasure. 

2011 taught me patience.  It taught me how to love myself more than I did in 2010. It taught me that my idea of failure is not the same as my husbands or my Saviours.  2011 taught me that there are some friends that never go away, never quit, never fail me.  It taught me that being a mother is more important than bed time and eating right.  It taught me that loving someone unconditionally is one of the most important things that I can ever do.  2011 showed me that I am tougher than I thought.  That I am weaker than I ever imagined.  That even though I classify myself as independent, I am not.  It showed me how much I need my mom.  It reminded me why I married my husband.  It humbled me at the right times and sometimes, many times, it kicked me when I was down.  There were moments when I quit.  Moments that I am ashamed to remember because I failed as a mom, or a wife, or a daughter, or a friend.  But then there were moments that I succeeded beyond my imagination. Moments where I watched someone I love make a change, find hope, and move forward while God used me to encourage them.  I saw miracles and deaths, loss and love.  2011 showed me that some of the people I love most are stronger than I gave them credit for.  I was encouraged many times by the people closest to me as I watched them succeed and overcome at different points in their lives.  I was blessed by new friendships, and inspired by old ones.  I was reminded that I come from a family of the biggest hearts Jesus ever made.  That I have a mom like no other mom in the world.  That my dad loves us all more than we realize.  That my sister misses me as much as I miss her.  That my brother loves me just as much as he did ten years ago. 

I have a list of resolutions.  Some attainable, some probably unrealistic.  But don't we all?  Sure I would like to get back in shape.  I would like to eat less and run more.  I want to read the bible, the whole thing.  I want to learn to be content in TN rather than spending my time wishing away the weeks and months until I go home again.  I want to be a better wife.  A better mother. A better friend.  A better student of life.  I want to cry less and laugh more.  I want to enjoy everyday with my kids, even the hard ones.  And yes, I want to have one more little person to carry and love and raise.  That one is not up to me entirely.  I realize that.  But it is on the list.  I am grateful for 2012.  For every breath that I get to take today and tomorrow.  Grateful for these girls and this man that holds my home and my heart together.  Grateful for my favorites, you know who you are.  But more than any of this, I am grateful for a Saviour that allows me to have all of the things I love the most.  Happy New Year my friends.  I pray you are blessed beyond measure!!