Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
~ Psalm 118:1 ~

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving - already. The years are going by so fast. It's kind of crazy. This will be my third holiday season without Michael. That's really crazy.

I think it's easy for me to get caught up in the preparations for the day and to not take the time to express my gratitude to God for what He has done, and is doing, in my life. I know that I am guilty of focusing more on what I think my life is lacking than what I've already been blessed with. Shame on me.

So here's my moment to reflect on some of my many blessings.

  • I am thankful for what Jesus did on the cross for me.
  • I am thankful that God has revealed himself to us in His word.
  • I am thankful that he has seen me through the worst of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
  • I am thankful that Michael accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior because I can count on seeing him again one glorious day, and that gives me hope and comfort.
  • I am thankful for our beautiful daughter, Michaela. She's my miracle.
  • I am thankful for the loving and supportive family members and friends who help out in various ways and who pray for us.
  • I am thankful to have a good job.
  • I am thankful that Michaela and I are both healthy.
  • I am thankful for my home.
  • I am thankful that my dad was healed of cancer this year.

Although there has been great loss and many disappointments in my life, I can see that there is much good, too. I also know that the Lord is working everything together for my good (Romans 8:28).

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
~ James 1:17 ~

Monday, November 19, 2012

Do They Have Phones in Heaven?

Every now and then I see that quote on Facebook or Pinterest that reads something like I wish Heaven had a phone so that I could hear your voice one last time. Have you seen it, too? If you haven't lost someone, it is so corny. But if you have lost someone, you totally get it. Although, if I were to have penned that quote, I would have put a period after voice. Why would I want to torture myself with the one last time part? Been there. Done that.

It occurred to me very recently that at this point I haven't talked to Michael for the longest time since I met him in 1992 or 1993. Except for a two-year span from 1995-1997 when we had no contact, he was always available to talk to me. Sometimes we'd watch a television show on the phone together, other times we'd talk for a long time about a whole lot of nothing. It was just so easy to talk to him. I know I'm not the only person who felt that way about him either. I loved the sound of his voice, too. Very easy to listen to...

One time, Michael was on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea (for work with the band), and we hadn't talked in several days. I was really missing him. I had his itinerary with the number where I could reach him. I knew it would be an expensive call, and we hadn't discovered Skype yet, but I didn't care. It was the middle of the night, but I got a hold of him. Our conversation was only ten minutes long, but that call cost me $100!!! It was worth every penny.

If they had phones in Heaven, I'd be calling all the time - just like I did when he lived here. If I could, I'd tell Michael all about my day. What's bugging me. How amazing our baby girl is. I'd complain about work, politics, and the neighbor's barking dog.

I'd listen, too. I'd hang on his every word. And I'm sure his words would be encouraging and affirming. I'm sure he'd tell me to press on, and to remember that this separation is temporary. He'd remind me of the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. And, he'd tell me, "I still love you, Honey." He always told me that, and he promised that he would love me forever. I know those things to be true. I just wish I could hear him say them.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Michaela @ Eighteen Months

November 18, 2012

We celebrated Michaela's year-and-a-half birthday by having some family photos taken today. Here's a cute one of the half-birthday girl. She loves the camera, and the camera loves her!

Our next appointment with the pediatrician isn't for another week or so. I'll update with her official weight and height after that. But I can tell you that she is finally wearing 18 months and 18-24 month clothing. Her growth rate had really slowed down, and I was taken by surprise at how long she wore the 12 months and 12-18 months clothing. I was beginning to worry that the winter wardrobe I'd stockpiled for her would not fit. Thankfully, it now does. She will be well-dressed for the coming months. She is also just about ready to transition from a size 3 to a size 4 diaper. As for her shoe size, she is now a toddler 6 or 6.5. We started the year off in size 3 shoes! Mama has bought many, many pairs of shoes this year trying to keep up with all the changes. I hope we will get some more wear out of her new shoes than we did some of the other shoes she's had in the last six months. {Updated to add: Michaela weighs 23.4 pounds, and is 33.25 inches tall. She has grown 2.25 inches since August, and gained 2.4 pounds since then.}

Michaela is crazy about Dora the Explorer. She calls her "Doe!". If I say, "Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, no swiping!", Michaela will say, "Oh, man!". It's SO funny.

Michaela talks about Daddy all the time. We have many photos of Daddy around the house, and she points to them and says his name throughout the day. She also knows that there are pictures and videos of Daddy on the computer. So she will point to the computer and say, "Daddy!". I will then show her what wants to see. She has a short attention span, so she doesn't get through the entire video yet. I love that the video allows her to hear his voice.

She has spent the last month teething four teeth - the cuspids. This has resulted in a very runny/snotty nose. I think the worst of it is over now. The teeth have pretty much cut through the gums, and her nose isn't as runny as it was. That was really her only symptom. She just doesn't seem to get fussy like some little ones do.

In the last month she started singing. I noticed it when we were watching Olivia on the television. Michaela was singing along with the theme song in her own way. Since then, I frequently hear her singing. She has the sweetest little voice.

This is a fun age. It's a very busy age - she's always on the go, or into something. But I am enjoying seeing more of her personality come out as she grows into herself. The last eighteen months have been a joy. I'm a very blessed mommy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 11, 2007

Another wedding anniversary has come and gone. It would have been our fifth. I have now experienced more anniversaries without Michael than I did with him. That's a crummy milestone.

The weeks leading up to it were far worse than the day itself. My aunt and uncle graciously invited us to spend the weekend with them, and that was just what I needed. Our time there included some shopping, a trip to the zoo, good food, and lots of visiting with my aunt and uncle, and my cousins. It was good for me to be distracted, and to focus on watching Michaela enjoy herself.

All that kept me from dwelling on the sadness that I do feel. It is hard to wrap my head around all that has happened in five short years. How I went from a bride-to-be, to a newlywed, to an infertile, to the wife of a seriously ill cancer patient, to a young widow, to a mother-to-be, to a new mom, and so on. That's a lot of living in a short period of time. A lot of highs and lows.

If you'd have asked me where I thought I'd be five years from November 11, 2007, I'd have said that I expected that we'd have had a child or two, and that we'd be in a new (to us) larger home. Our intentions were all about having a family and making a home together. We were so excited about our future together. We could never have imagined that this would be our reality five years from our wedding day.

Although things are not what I'd hoped they would be when we married, the Lord has blessed me in so many ways. Michaela is my greatest blessing, obviously. In her, I have my most tangible connection to Michael. When I am at my most disheartened, I remind myself that she is the best of the both of us. In her I see Michael's joie de vivre, and of course, his likeness. That sweet little face is so like her daddy's.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

{Bitter}Sweet Dreams

I had another dream last night. Dreams like this are sweet while they are playing out in my sleep, but somewhat bitter once I wake up.

Last night's dream featured Michael, and a new addition to our family - a premature baby boy Michael named Joseph. He said that should be his name because the biblical Joseph had overcome so much in his life with the Lord's help, and so would our Joseph.

I remember Michaela kissing her baby brother. Such a tender scene.

Hearing about other people's dreams is kind of weird and uncomfortable, I know. However, dreams are fleeting. If I don't write them down, they will slip away as the day goes on. Since I will never live this dream, I don't want to forget it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Currently November

I've seen this monthly meme on some other blogs I read, and I'm going to pick it up if only to increase my blogging frequency.

Listening: Lots of talk radio during my commute.
Loving: That I have a three-day weekend and a week off this month. Woohoo!
Thinking: About my wedding which was five years ago this month, and missing Michael all the time.
Wanting: The weather to cool off so it actually feels like fall.
Needing: To have a garage sale; just can't seem to find the time.
Music: Fresh Beat Band, Michaela's favorite. Ha!