The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me...
To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Isaiah 61:1,2c,3 (New King James Version)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

You're gonna prune me?

"1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.


5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:1-8

Yep, that's what he says. By observing my limbs I can see it must be a theoritical approach. My lusts and desires, my hopes, and my fears. This year, I feel as though I've been cut back pretty hard. Not too much extra foliage around these parts. But, he has pruned what I wanted and what I needed to part from. Some of my thinning out I am thankful for. I have grown in maturity and self worth, I have developed a renewed relationship with Christ, and have chased my darkest in hopes of finding my sunrise. However, I have also lost things that I won't understand why they were taken, Makenna, first and foremost the questions I have and the hurt that I bear will probably never be "pruned" from my soul. I don't think they are supposed to be. My job, that I thought was to be my career that I truly loved and felt great doing.  Then lastly, my friends; no family in Virginia. Although, their pruning was more of a transplant I miss them and want them to be a bigger part of my life.
So, here I am bare. Ready to make this fruit. I figure, this part is going to take a lot of energy. If any of you have had a conversation with my lately my lack of brain function is due to lack of sleep - can you see how that can be counter-productive to having energy, thus making fruit? Aaahh, perhaps THIS is why I am pruned. Perhaps, my life needed clarity and not just some room to grow. Just maybe, my mind was clouded with too much - more than I can bear. Now, with the clarity I gain from having less foliage between I and the "Son" (like that play on words?) I can devote more energy, to his plan. To my purpose. Granted, in my limited persception on the world I would of taken clarity in different ways, a lightening strike for example, that singed my nose hairs, gave me a killer headache, and launched my sneakers right off my shoes. THAT kind of awakening I would of taken over Makenna leaving so soon, but that's not his plan (and God, now that this plan is in action I don't think I need the lightening strike okay? thanks. amen) so for now. I take my life for what it is, my percieved New Reality.
So today, I take the hard steps  remaining in my walk, in my effort to stay with Christ. For my heart not to wander even when it's facing it's most difficult trials. These steps are ones I never thought I would take, a road I never hoped to venture. But, this life isn't about me. It's about being a servant to God, celebrating the life that he gave and fulfilling my purpose.  Living in the hope and eternal promises I have been blessed with, simply because I was created and have been enlightened in thte truth and the light. I celebrate today, not nearly what I will. But, I do. I am thankful for my prunings and the growth that comes with it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Questions

Why?
Why Me?
Why her?
What did I do to deserve this?
What did she do to deserve this?
How could this happen to us?
What could I of done?
What if we  would of gone to church instead of to the zoo?
Why did she take a nap so early?
Why did I spend extra time doing my hair?
Why did I do my hair before getting her dressed?
Why didn't he go to work that day?
Why that day?
Why did you give me her if you were going to take her away?
Why didn't I leave?
Will the pain go away?
Will I be happy again?
Hold another newborn again, after laboring for hours?
Will I be a Mommy again? To mor children?
Will I get married?
Will I be able to support myself?
Will I be happy?
Will I fall in love?
Will Colt heal?
Will Colt be happy?
How will I explain this to Cheyenne?
What kind of questions will I have to answer?
Will Chey hate me?
Will Chey hate her Daddy?
Will Makenna Jo be forgotten?
How will I get throught the "1st, 2nds and 3rds?"
When will I see her again?
What is heaven like?
Will I see her toothy grin, or just know her spirit?
Did she feel anything?
Did she know she is loved?
Why?
Just, why?
What happened?
Could I have done more?
What was her purpose?
What is my purpose?
Will something happen to Cheyenne?
Would I have done anything different had I known nine months and eighteen days was all I got?
Am I numb, or is this the extent of my pain?
What do I do next?
Why have I made the choices I have?
Will those who love her heal?
Do they hate me?
Do they blame me for their pain?
Do they blame colt?
Do they blame God?
Do the regret knowing her?
What happens next?
How much control do I have over my life?
Did I pray hard enough?
Was I punished?
Did God know I had doubt in my mind?
Did he know I had faith in my heart?
Do the people who responded to her call remember her?
Do the blame us?
Do they think we are terrible parents?
When is it okay, to be okay?
How long do I keep her urn?
Does she need to be buried?
Can I bury her?
Why do I feel selfish?
Why are there really no answers?
Why, can I accept there are no answers but still ask the questions.

These questions rush through my head, visions of the morning and of the time we had together. I've accepted what has happened, accepted there are no answers. Yet they are a daily conversation with myself.
I Love you Makadoo, I can't begin to explain how much you are missed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do "We" keep this club exclusive

     Today, is two months since my Makenna died. My Makenna Jo went to heaven. I want to be selfish and say she was mine - but she was a gift to everyone. I was just lucky enough to carry her in my belly for forty weeks and one day, to hold her in my arms for nine months and eighteen days, and hold her happy little toothy grin in my heart forever.  Yet, she was also a grandaughter, a neice, a great grand daughter, a friend, and a sister. However, I am held in my own category of grief. People look at me and wonder how I live - I look at the world and wonder how I could choose not to.  I am viewed as a suffering, hurt, sad, heartbroken mother - to often people don't see that I have those emotions because I got to love, kiss, hug, feed, care for, and call Makenna "mine" for the time she had here.  So often, they think their grief comes second to mine, her Daddy's and her Sisters. But, she was theirs too - as they were her's. Grief is grief, loss is loss and it's not an exclusive level of loss depending on "whose" she was.
  Just because I am her Mommy, I am put into a club that no ones wants to be in. One, that I fear I will exclude those who loved her from because they don't "know how I feel." Well, I don't know how they feel. Why don't "they" have a club or a label. Why do I feel like I will be defined by so many by the death of my daughter? While I don't want her to be forgetten, while this pain is the worse I have ever felt, I will not choose to be defined by what happens to me. I choose to be defined by how I grow and continue to impact this world positively. 
 If there is any "club" to come frome tragedy, it involves everyone who loved her, who saw her smile, who heard he melodic voice (as a very good friend put it, in the key of pterodactyl), who got open mouth kisses, and got to put her to bed at night - the people with whom she was blessed and who were blessed by her. We will miss her, we'll laugh, we'll cry. There will be moments of hurt, anger, and blame. There will be moments of hope, love, and forgiveness. Grief is grief, and this club isn't exclusive. I don't want it to be. Grief is both a celebration and a depression - both of which need to be shared by friends and family, combated, celebrated and accepted.
It brings a smile to my face knowing how many she blessed in her life, it brings a sorrowful burden knowing the pain her absence creates in so many that I love, and brings me hope that one day we will all be together in heaven and on earth when it's renewed.  There are thing in life that are endured, things that are accepted, things that are fought for, and things that are celebrated. Each has it's own place, each allows us to grow and redefine our life daily. Every life experience leads us to our life's purpose.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beauty Will Rise

                 Beauty Will Rise, it will. It has too. Yesterday, I planted a garden for Makenna - for ME for Makenna more precisely. I am sure it fails to compare the wonders she is experiencing in Heaven. Makenna Jo, she was a hot pink sort of gal. Full of spunk and fun, didn't need to go out of her way to be noticed - her beauty was inside and out. So, her garden is pink - can't tell you the names of most of what's piled up in there, but my favorite are these hot pink Gerbera Daisies that I have noticed this year. I smile when I see them, and thank God for lettng me have them to look at.

                I decided to name Makenna's Garden, Beauty Will Rise. To remind me, of promises made to me so long ago. Being a garden, it reminds me that it's the pursuit of the goal - the hard work, successes and frustrations that make fantastic happenings phenomenal; unfortunately, those same emotions make failures and shortcomings that much more heartbreaking. 
Beauty will come from Makenna's life, additional to the wonderful glow she gave us while she was here. We'll all find the beauty; in nature, in the good her memory inspires in us, and perhaps most tangibly everytime we recollect a moment we were able to share with in her wonderfully beautiful life.
          I struggled to find purpose in Makenna's death, I have discovered the purpose...the purpose behind any Believer's death - that is to gain the opportunity to be with God. Experience heaven, and Mak - if Heaven allows you to peak between the clouds, hear a whisper - save a spot close for me maybe we could create a Saturday morning, you, Cheyenne, and I perhaps a couple episodes of Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse - sippy cups all around!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Music

             Music has always been a huge inspiration in my life. From my beginning days as a musician learning to play "Hear We Go" with my Grandma Lea on the piano, to the times I spend meditating and praying listening to various artist today. Perhaps, the most inspiring artist I listen to today is Steven Curtis Chapman. His new album entitled Beauty Will Rise, is a complimation on songs one hopes they could never truly understand - yet when they can it inspires and enlightens them to a pain and a hope that is known intimately by many. See, Steven Curtis Chapman last his young daughter in a tragic automobile accident in the driveway of his own home - a momentary decision changed his life forever. While Makenna's death and his young daughter Maria's death are vastly different circumstances - his lyrics bring to life what is held in my heart. Specifically, the lyrics of Spring is Coming has given me hope that the heaviness in my heart will lighten and one day, all my dreams and aspirations will be realized. However, while I can guarantee myself that one day I will experience "spring" again - sometimes one has to climb the tallest mountains to be able to enjoy the most beautiful of flowers.
God is Good.
Spring is Coming
We planted the seed while the tears of our grief soaked the ground

The sky lost its’ sun and the world lost its’ green to lifeless brown

Now the chill in the wind has turned the Earth hard as stone

And silent the seed lies beneath ice and snow

And my heart’s heavy now, but I’m not letting go

Of this hope I have that tells me



(Chorus)

Spring is coming, Spring is coming

And all we’ve been hoping and longing for

Soon will appear

Spring is coming, Spring is coming

It won’t be long now

It’s just about here



Hear the birds start to sing

Feel the life in the breeze

Watch the ice melt away

The kids are coming out to play

Feel the sun on your skin

Growing strong and warm again

Watch the ground

There’s something moving

Something is breaking through

New life is breaking through



Repeat Chorus



Spring is coming (Out of these ashes beauty will rise)

Spring is coming (Sorrow will be turned to joy)

All we’ve been hoping and longing for (All we’ve hoped for)

Soon will appear (soon will appear)

Spring is coming (Out of the darkness beauty will shine)

Spring is coming (All Earth and Heaven rejoice)

It won’t be long now (Spring is coming soon)

It’s just about here (Spring is coming soon)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Forgiveness.

Sitting here on Easter Eve, I am experiencing so many feelings - hope, happiness, pain, suffering, and agony. It's a complex inner argument to try and make sense of a situation - rather than accepting it along with it's blessings - even if they seem intangible. While I fight my inner turmoil, I also contemplate forgiveness. A powerful word, associated with many emotions, some positive and other negative.
Tomorrow is a day of rememberance - to celebrate a wonderful promise given to us the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead, insuring those who choose to believe everlasting life.  He died a sinners death, a man who knew no sin - so that we the world's people can have everlasting life. A time in heaven to live in eternal bliss with those we love.
Today, this idea is constantly in my head - the concept of heaven that is. I feel peace and Happiness knowing those that I love will know no more sorrow. I see hope that one day I will be able to see Makenna's toothy grin and my Grandpa's twinkling eyes.  However, my mind drifts a times to more earthly thoughts, when I think about the circumstances that have lead to where I am - the good, the bad, the benign. I feel angry, hurt, irratated, disappointed, and filled with grief. I concentrate on my own selfish thoughts I have here on earth - I forget that those I mourn for don't feel these things - because of a promise made so so long ago. Thank You God!
The pop phrase of "What Would Jesus Do" ran rampant on wrist bands as I went through high school, at the time I applied this concept to where it is convienent, saying no to drugs, raising my hands in praise at youth group, crying a church camp, and remaining abstinent to sex. When it was inconvienent I hid my wrist and followed the sheep.  Losing my daughter, made me realise my faith isn't about convienence. It's about the choices I make daily - in living a righteous life, in leading by example, and showing my faith when it matters most - in those crucial moments. Today, I choose to walk as Jesus did, and I choose to forgive those who have hurt me, those who I once felt I hand no cheeks left to turn,  especially to those that I once loved and allowed my heart to callous to. I choose not to live my live in anger and animosity - but in love and compassion.  The first person I will start with is myself, then the world.

Scripture to share:
"If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found. In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away! (NLT, Luke 15:3-7)

 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you
o be with me that you also may be where I am.(John, 14:2-3)

this is what brings me the most happiness..not for second will Makenna know she left before me..not for a second will I know who I left behind...how great is our God?
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

Happy Easter, He has Risen!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why do I believe in God?

This question was recently asked, since I have always believed in God - one would think the answer would of come easily. That I could spew out some bible verse, some profound miracle in my life that was the defining moment in my faith. The truth is, I struggle. I struggle daily in my walk (okay sometimes sprint to catch up) with God. So, the question was posed I sat and I thought. I thought a lot. A lot more than I thought I would have to.  Then it dawned on me, I don't struggle with my faith - the fact the I believed in God, I struggle with the religion that tells me how to.
I am too much of an analytical thinker, while I can think creatively - it is rarely with passion or emotion. It is more a culmination of what I have seen and experienced then interpreting the meaning of those events based on hard won knowledge and research. I rarely rely on a gut feeling. Except for when it comes to my faith. So that is why I believe in God, it's in my gut. When I question God and try to find where he is not - I am enlightened in finding where he truly is. I cannot define the exact "why" aisde from the fact it's in my guts.
.....pretty profound huh?
My most recent testimony, starts the day Makenna died. When the depth of the situation began to sink for the first time in my LIFE i dropped to me knees to pray. In the middle of the street as chaos surrounded me - fire engines, police cars, media, neighbors...I prayed. I prayed and I doubted and I prayed. I wondered if anyone was listening. Yet I continued to pray - I felt compelled for to pray, I begged that Makenna "be okay" to let me know she would be okay - I was never compelled to pray she would live that I would still have her. Today, I believe she is more than Okay, she is in heaven - what Mother could wish their child back from eternal life and happiness.

Also, as I rose from my knees I had a peace come over my heart. That I knew I had given it up to God, that whatever happened next was fullfilling her time here on earth. I have kept that peace, my prior convictions on life and death have given me the ability to look forward to my eternal promise, where I will experience unrelenting happiness surrounded by those I love.
That being said, it's HARD. Trying to understand why things happen is HARD, however I don't think it's my role to understand anything from earthquakes to accidents, it's my job to accept circumstances that I cannot willfully change. To have faith their is a bigger plan, that these things occur in my life to guide me to my purpose.
Perhaps it's an inner scientist in me, that I rule out what I can and what I can't rule out it most likely is.  There are so many things in this world I can't understand why it happens an never will...form egg and sperm meeting and the first cells splitting to the day a heart stops beating. What I can do is accept it as part of a larger plan, created by and Awesome God!