Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Little Treasure in Heaven, Mercy Grace

"...lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20 ESV)

My dear husband and I now have a precious little treasure waiting for us in Heaven. 
On Wednesday, August 7th, we went in for my regular 17-week prenatal checkup to see how the baby was doing, and to our shock and extreme grief, found no heartbeat or sign of life in our little unborn child. 
After spending Thursday night in the hospital, I was induced early in the morning on Friday. 

At 4:03pm on Friday, August 9th, our precious Mercy Grace Dreher was delivered. She was almost 7 inches long, and weighed 2.6 ounces.
The doctors were quite sure that the cause of death was something called amniotic band syndrome. There were threads of tissue around her little hands and umbilical cord. It is a freak occurrence, and not caused by anything I did or didn't do, and can't really be prevented or predicted.
Nate and I were able to hold her for awhile, and then a nurse took pictures of us with her. 
She was so perfect. Her little toes and fingers had the cutest little nails on them. Her tiny mouth was open a bit, and I believe we could see her little tongue. We could see her little eyes beneath her transparent lids. She had long little arms and legs. She was completely there. All she needed was more time to grow. 

But God saw fit to take her home, instead of giving her that time. We will never understand why God chose to take our first child from us. Nate and I miss our little daughter tremendously. We mourn that she will never call us "mommy" or "daddy", never give us hugs or kisses, never sing or dance for us; and we can never read to her, teach her things, hold her close, cover her with kisses, go on walks with her, or play with her...

But we do know, and rejoice in the fact, that she will never know suffering. Mercy will never see the sin of the world. Never know evil. Never know anything that plagues us here on earth. She is now joyously praising her Creator and dancing at Jesus' feet. We look forward to meeting her when we join her in Heaven someday. Our precious little treasure, Mercy Grace Dreher.

Mercy was wrapped in this little blanket and robe, which made her look even tinier and more precious. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Orchids, Crosses, and Love

A knock sounded at the front door. Quite certain it was my husband arriving home from work, I peeked through the peephole, only to see an empty hallway. Curious, I slowly opened the door, and to my surprise, upon the welcome mat I found a beautiful white orchid plant waiting for me. And quietly hiding around the corner was my dear Nate. He knew I had a somewhat rough, emotional morning that day, and kindly blessed me with a visual reminder of his love and care. Something beautiful that I can gaze upon while he's gone at work, and be reminded of all that he does for me.

It's much like looking at a small copper cross that we have hanging on our wall. It serves to remind me of the beautiful work that Jesus, through His love, did for me. Although His suffering and death were anything but beautiful, the result is. I am now a clean, spotless daughter of God, because Jesus bore the wrath of God that my sins deserved. But that wasn't all; Jesus continues to give me wonderful gifts in addition to His salvation: forgiveness, love for others, strength, family, friends, health...the list goes on!
What an amazing thing! And what an incredible gift, that God has also given me a husband to demonstrate to me, in the finite ways that he is able, the love and care of my Savior!

What?? If you've been following my blog at all(which is difficult to do, as I've posted less than a dozen times in the last year), you are probably wondering what happened! In my last post, I wrote about desiring a husband, and now I suddenly have one?? Well, that's just another post for another day... :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Don't fret about the future

Well. Here I am again! So sorry for the long, long absence. I've had a very busy spring and summer, and I didn't make blogging a priority, so it didn't happen.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my future. What am I going to do? Should I keep doing what I've been doing? Should I pursue something else?
If I ask myself too many questions, I often find myself worrying about it all. Stressing out about the unknown. I like spontaneity in life, but I also like to have some idea of what's going on, and what I'm supposed to do.

When I was younger, I would fantasize about graduating from high school, meeting the man of my dreams, marrying, and then having children. I imagined(and hoped) that I'd be married and have a few children by the age of 23. But that's not what happened. I'm still single, and taking care of other people's children, instead of ones of my own.
So what happened? If marriage and raising children is such a wonderful and important part of life, why hasn't it happened to me? I've asked myself this many times over the last few years.
And then I remember a very critical thing:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8, 9 ESV.

Even though my hopes and dreams may be nice, God's are so much better. Mine are about what I want,  and what I think is right, but God's plans are about what's best for me and those around me, and what will bring glory and honor to Him. The funny thing though is, God may fulfill my hopes someday, but I can already guarantee that it won't be in my timing. It'll all work out the way He planned from the beginning. 
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

So where am I going with all this rambling? Am I saying I should just sit around and wait until God audibly tells me what I should do? No. Am I trying to advertise that I'm single and available. Absolutely not. =P Am I saying that my life thus far has been wasted because my dreams haven't come true? Not at all.

I know that my life hasn't been wasted. I've been able to do many things that, had I gotten hitched straight out of school, never would have happened. I've learned and experienced so much through those things.
Although God doesn't speak to me in a voice, I know that He will guide me, either through His Word, my parents, or other godly adults, or He'll bring the right thing to my doorstep. ;) Or by all of those.

My hope is that through reading this, you will be encouraged. And if you've been struggling with shattered dreams, that you'll realize that sometimes those dreams aren't God's plan. That He will give you new, better dreams; ones that He will fulfill. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  -Psalm 37:4 ESV

So to answer my original questions, I have no idea. But that's okay. God has it all figured out, and He's in control. =)

One of my little sisters and me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just One

As I was eating a few conversation heart candies this evening, a phrase written upon one of them struck me unpredictably hard. It simply said, "just one". Knowing that it was most likely referring to a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a husband/wife, I commented on the fact that it would be hard to eat only one piece of candy. Haha. So funny. :-P
But then I thought further about those words, and the item upon which they were written.

Just one. Written on a piece of candy. Often times, handsome guys, or gorgeous girls are called "eye candy". And sadly, quite frequently many people who acquire that term don't have "just one" girlfriend, or boyfriend. Or even when they are married, their spouse isn't always the only one for them. They welcome, or even encourage attention from others of the opposite sex, instead of seeking it from their spouse. (I'm not saying that this only happens to the amazing-looking people, sadly it is common with all sorts.)

But how does this happen? How do people get to the point where their spouse(or the one whom they hope to be their spouse in the future), suddenly isn't quite enough anymore? I have a theory that this is similar to eating candy.

When you eat a piece of candy, it usually tastes good, and makes you happy. Then you want more, because you remember that taste and pleasure you received from it. If you're not careful, you'll end up eating far more candy than you should have.

The same goes with people. If we are attracted to someone, and if spending time with that person makes us happy, then we want it to continue. We want more. The problem comes when we seek those attentions over those of our own spouse. We should never rely on people to whom we are not married to bring us happiness and companionship.
And if your spouse just isn't making the grade, then work on it yourself! Find out what makes them happy, and in so doing you should be able to find joy and happiness for yourself, too. And the companionship you desire.

"Oh, yes. You are one to talk," you might be saying to me right now. Yes, yes I know that I am single. So I've never experienced being married. But I do know that your closest friend of the opposite sex, should be your spouse.

And getting back to the "eye candy" stuff, I know that as a single person, if you allow yourself to be enticed by just any(or every) fabulous person, you are in for trouble. Before marriage, you should get used to the idea of only having one person from whom you seek your happiness and companionship.

I do have to admit that I don't have this all learned yet. And I need to be satisfied in "just One" right now. He is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Maybe someday He will bring a guy along that will put these thoughts to the test.

[Sorry that this was so long winded. I just had to get it out. And please excuse any false ideas that I may have voiced. If you noticed any, or have any insight or input into this, please leave a comment on the blog. Although I moderate comments, I readily welcome them.] =)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It is not all about me.

I've been realizing this more and more lately. It is not all about me. It never has been. And never will be. Even on special days like, when I was born, my birthday parties, and my graduation party, it never was all about me.

This entire life, from beginning to end, is about God. God chose to create this world. Even though He knew all the sin and sorrow with which it would be filled. He chose to create me. Even though He knew I would be born in sin, and that I'd live a far-from-perfect life.

And that's where the story becomes amazing. God chose to create me-not for myself-but for His glory. To call me His own. I am His daughter. Not because of anything that I could ever do, but because of His grace and mercy, through the work on the cross.

So all this life, everything I do, it's not about me. No, instead, it is about God. He's the One who chose to give me life, and to redeem me from destruction, by giving me eternal life. May the way I live, be a reflection of the joy that is mine through that redemption. =)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sleepy Thoughts and Kids

Since I didn't write last week, and I'm not quite asleep yet, I thought I'd write a quick post.

Life is so precious. I have a sweet reminder of that fact, sleeping next to me. She's my cousin's daughter, who is also like a little sister to me. And although it can be hard to share a small, twin size bed with a two year old, I really don't mind it so much.

I love watching kids sleep. Especially after they've been naughty, or wild, or just plain acting too much like a kid. ;) Seeing them so peaceful and quiet, is soothing, and helps me to remember that kids aren't always such a handful.

But at the same time, I'm pretty sure that if kids didn't act the way they do(running all around like crazy, singing the same song a hundred times a day, changing outfits every couple hours, etc.), we would miss it. Wouldn't life be boring if all little kids acted like adults?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fortune cookies and Life

Hmm. It's Friday. The day I try to get out a blog post. And I didn't have anything specific in my mind about which I should write. So I looked through recent pictures in iPhoto. And this picture popped out at me.

Really?!? It will?

I know that fortune cookies don't influence our lives at all. But what if this was true? What is my wish? And even if I have one, am I ready to be content and happy, even if it never comes true? Maybe God has something entirely different from what I want. Am I so stuck on my wishes and hopes that I blind myself to God's direction in my life, and instead try to achieve the things that I think should happen? Do I just somewhat loaf around since nothing seems to be happening? Surely whatever I'm doing right now couldn't be exactly where God wants me to be. Or could it?

Is it really so hard to grasp that no matter what happens in my future, today is my life. What I do today, is what makes up my lifetime. Tomorrow never really comes, because we were created to live in the present-not living multiple days at a time. Instead of worrying about what I will do on tomorrow's today, I should enjoy living each moment. And whether or not my wishes ever come true is not the important thing. Doing everything(even mundane tasks) in a God-honoring way, and treasuring each day and minute, is of far greater value.