Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's a Jack E World

Sometimes I play and sometimes I read.
I love my Mommy.

Sometimes me and mom go for a hike {never happened}, and play games {all the time},
and decorate {once, for fall}.
Most times I go to school, and sometimes I do science and exercise and take a rest,
and when I'm done I take a deep breath.

Sometimes I play, and sometimes I have birthdays. Sometimes I go to the park,
and sometimes I go somewhere to eat.
My birthday is October 30th. I will be the big 5 this year.

Here are the rules for my birthday:
1. No breakin'.
2. No messin' up.
3. No openin' other people's presents when it's not time,
and no peekin' inside somebody else's presents.
4. If you want to come to my birthday, you gotta be nice.

5. No scarin' people.
6. No vampires.
7. No muddy people.

8. No frowin' food.
9. No breakin' toys.
10. No frowin' chairs at people.

11. If you want to be a good kid, then you can come to my birthday.
12. No actin' wild.

13. If you have somethin' to say, raise your hand.
14. If you need to go pee-pee and you have an accident on the floor, call somebody to clean it up.

15. Don't ever show somebody your poop. Besides, there is nobody who does that, but if they do, they have to leave my birthday, but if they apologize, they can come back to my next birthday.

16. If you ever bring sticks inside, then frow 'em outside and never come back to my birthday...
unless I say so.
Jack Everett

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life, Interrupted

I had been married for 7 years, with 3 healthy children and a surprise 4th child on the way. Girl, boy, boy...and we could hardly believe it when the 20 week ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy baby girl! You can imagine how over-the-moon big sister was to finally even the score! Our family of 5.5 was already bursting at the seams as we adjusted to preschool and 1st grade, flashcards, morning {all-day} sickness, school fundraisers, Brownie meetings, ballet lessons, soccer practice, missions meetings, class picnics, playdates, work, church activities...you get the picture! Our busy world was spinning fast and furious.

And on Labor Day of 2006, our world stopped spinning. 24 weeks growing strong...interrupted. No heartbeat. Our baby Ruby was gone. Two days later, the earthly tent that would have been her was born to us, and we spent 6 precious hours holding her before we let her go. One year later, I would write these words:
Seems like if anyone could say it, I could...
after all, I'm the only one who felt your life...
Your kicking and growing...
rolls, hiccups, twitches...
I knew you, felt you,
loved you, wanted you...
weeks of feeling miserable, knowing it would be worth it...
back to nature, midwife and all...
couldn't quit the caffeine, though, brothers and sister to keep up with...
too busy to stop and enjoy,
to stop and feel my Ruby,
to watch my belly roll...
to realize you'd fallen still...
The world keeps turning for everyone else…
mine is still…

This tragic interruption, this insertion of stillness into our lives, was such a paradox. In one sense, the stillness was the worst thing ever. It represented loss and hurt and pain and grief and absolute brokenness and devastation. Our daughter was stillborn. I will never forget her tiny body and the coldness and stillness. Our lives literally became still. I sat on the couch while family and friends swirled around me, taking care of the things that were oh-so-important to me just days before. The kids took turns crawling in my lap while I just sat, mostly in silence. Still. And in those moments, when I could hardly catch my breath in all my stillness, His command became my lifeline. "Be still and know that I am God." I couldn't move. I couldn't do. I couldn't speak. I couldn't pray. I could hardly breathe. But I could be still. And know, in deep places that had never been explored in me before, that He is God.

And as is the normal course in life, days and weeks of stillness slowly gave way to moving, doing, speaking, praying...breathing. That silent desperation, of feeling Him in each breath as He momentarily broke the utter stillness, of being completely dependent on Him to wake me up each morning and get me out of bed, slowly gave way to a new normal. As the hurt began to heal, I began to become more self-reliant again. There is a part of me that longs for the day when I will not only be reunited with my Ruby, my treasure laid up in heaven, but that also longs to live every breath in and for Him, this time without interruption, without tears and heartache. Lord Jesus, interrupt us soon!