Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jay Can Make a PBJ

Jay didn't like what I made for dinner the other night.  He asked for a "samich".  I said he could have a peanut butter sandwich if he made it all by himself.  So he did!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby #4 is in the arms of God

Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby #4 is in Mommy's belly!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We got some pictures of everyone at Hilton Head.

Say, "Cheese!"

 Say, "Cheese!"
Say, "Karen's Pregnant!"

It was great fun telling the Cronin family that we were pregnant!  Getting excited about having a baby next January.  Talking about how we probably won't be traveling this Christmas.  Looking forward to next weekend when the Culpepper family would come visit for Ben's birthday party and we would be able to tell them the same way.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We went to our church's annual outdoor service, featuring many baptisms - one of the best days of the year!  We got to tell a few friends about Baby #4 afterward, who were all so happy for us!

Jay called Morgan, "There's a baby!" he said.  "Where?"she asked.  "In my mommy's belly!"
Ben learned to point at my belly and say "Baby!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

I wrote this journal entry:

I truly want to love Baby #4. But I'm too afraid to commit. Last time I committed with my whole heart and when Baby #3 died my heart crumbled. Can I handle that again? YES! Of course I can, because I know what it is to be pregnant and I know what it is to miscarry and I know what it is to have life with my child and I know what it is to have life without my child- I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation; whether listening to my child sing scripture or digging a grave for my lost baby...

I can't finish that statement the way Paul does.  I want to so badly.  And that makes my body shake with weeping.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I got out of bed and discovered that I had miscarried.  The tears poured.  I called Shamus.  So many questions.  Are you sure?  Were we pregnant?  How do you know?  Did you call the doctor?

We went to the doctor that afternoon.  "Yes, this was another miscarriage." said the doctor.

That night I began putting my heart on paper.  So much fear.  I wanted to love the baby but now it was too late.  Already gone.  Gone.  But I am still that child's mother.  I will always be that child's mother.  It's part of my identity.  Shamus's wife.  Jay's mother. Ben's mother.  Baby #3's mother.  Baby #4's mother.  Each new relationship redefines my identity.  Who am I becoming?  Do I get to choose?

"It's okay, mommy.  Now Baby Number 5 can come live with us,"  says Jay.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I cried this morning.  Before church.

Peter preached on Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

These verses are just before Paul says this: 
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)

That's the secret I wanted to say I knew last week.  And I couldn't.

We sang.
"I'll set my gaze on God alone,
and trust in Him completely,
with everyday pour out my soul,
and He will prove His mercy"

I cried more.  With Shamus.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Who am I becoming?  Do I get to choose? I am becoming more like Christ.  I get to choose.  My identity is primarily defined in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When my child in my womb dies, I get a choice.  To become angry, bitter, discouraged, depressed.  Or to become more like The One Who Died For Me.  To say, "Your will be done."  The One who gave everything to love everyone.  The One who knows that many will reject Him, hate Him, yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  

Oh, to love like Christ!  Do not be surprised if Shamus and I commit "too early" to loving another baby.  Do not be surprised if we "get too excited, especially after miscarrying twice".  Do not be surprised if we "put ourselves through pain" if we miscarry again.  Our hopes are UP!  Hope, that is.  For hope does not disappoint! 
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
(Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

If we miscarry again, we can rejoice.  Which is not the same as being happy.  We can rejoice in the midst of deep sadness.

Can I say that I am content in any and every situation?  I can say that Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed and reborn and growing to be like Him and saved from eternal punishment, no matter what my situation.  And that brings joy every time I say it.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.  A child is a good and perfect gift.  If God puts another child in my womb, it will be like Christmas morning when you're 7 years old!  A gift!  The one we wanted most!  

We know that we will struggle with anxiety and fear apart from a particular miracle.  But we will refuse to struggle with love.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ari's Visit

Ariadna came Friday to spend the night! We went to Refresh at church on Friday where we got to worship with other women and to be encouraged by a beautiful testimony of how God pursues Christ-followers with his steadfast love. We were inspired and ended up spending a lot of time discussing how to share the gospel.

On Saturday we woke up to pancakes made by Shamus and Jay, full of sprinkles and chocolate chips! We played with the boys and then did some gardening together. It was such a joy to work in the gardens with Ariadna. She helped so much!

English is her second language (and French is her third!) and she had never learned the words ”rake” or ”mulch”.

Shamus: ”We need to rake the mulch today.”
(which sounded like ”we need to something the something today”)
Ari: ”What is mulch?”
Karen: ”It's on the bed.”
Ari:  :?
Karen: ”the flower bed!”
Ari: ”And rake?”
Karen: ”it's like a shovel but it does this: *raking fingers through carpet*”
Ari: ”that sounds so funny-rake the mulch! I'm glad it's not upstairs on your bed!”

Turns out the word for rake in Spanish is rastrillo, which also means razor. All I could picture was a wife trying to rake her husband's shaving cream off his face. Also funny.

After gardening, I put Ben in his new big boy bed. Teaching him to stay in the bed took a long time. So long that I fell asleep doing it! Ariadna and I got to visit a little more and we actually remembered to take pictures!

I'm so blessed to have Ariadna as a friends and sister in Christ. Jay thinks we should go visit her in Alabama. I agree.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baby #3 was not born

Today is Thursday. Thursday is when my OB is on call in the hospital. My due date with Baby #3 was February 24, 2012. My doctor doesn't like her patients to carry a baby 42 weeks. Today was the last day. The last possible day that Baby #3 could be inside my womb. She would have to come out. Except she had already left months ago.

On Thursday, December 4, 2008, I woke up at 5 am to call the hospital to see if there was a room available. 11 hours later, I was holding our firstborn, Jay. That night, I drank a Double Chocolate Fudge milkshake from Steak 'n Shake.

On Monday, May 3, 2010 I had an OB appointment to check on Baby Ben, who was late like Jay. The doctor told me Thursday, May 6 I would be induced. But then she switched days with another doctor so we changed it to Friday. On May 7, 2010, I woke up at 5 am and called the hospital to see if there was a room available. 6 hours later, I was holding our second child, Ben. That night, I drank a Double Chocolate Fudge milkshake from Steak 'n Shake.

On Thursday, March 1, 2012, I woke up at 6 am. I went back to sleep because I didn't want to remember that I didn't have to call the hospital that morning. That it didn't matter if there were a room available. That no matter how many hours went by, I wouldn't hold Baby #3.
I woke up at 8. I went to the park with Jay and Ben. I talked and laughed with my friends. We ate lunch together. We talked about how we can be godly mothers. We watched our kids run and climb and throw dirt. I bought the kids fancy lollipops and gummies shaped like hot dogs and hamburgers. I smiled. I took the van to the high class car wash where they even vacuum the space where the sliding door's wheel rolls. It always has cheerios in it. I sang Philippians 2:14-18 to a catchy tune while I waited for the van. I went on a date with my husband. I cried because we weren't at the hospital. We held hands in the car. I ate sushi and thought it was delicious. I held Ben and we laughed and laughed for no reason. I read books to Jay and he asked me questions about the pictures. I didn't drink a Double Chocolate Fudge milkshake from Steak 'n Shake. I cried.

On Thursday, December 4, 2008, God gave us Jay. On Friday, May 7, 2010, God gave us Ben. Two miracles. On Thursday, March 1, 2012, God gave me rest, fellowship, wisdom, laughter, entertainment, His Word, order, romance, and peace. What would you call those things?

When I cry about losing our precious daughter, I remember who God is. I remember that He is holding her along with the rest of His children. When I cry, I cry on God's shoulder. That is called Comfort. You might have had comfort before. But you can't have Comfort unless you have Christ. And I have Him. So I have everything.