Dec 08

Discouragement

I was sitting in the floor, and the kitchen was a mess. William was playing with his doctor kit, and Mary Kathryn was rearranging stickers in a basket. She would take them out one by one, and then she would put them back in one by one. William was giving me a “shot” and listening to my heart, and I asked him:

buddy do you want to be a doctor like daddy when you grow up?

W: I don’t

me: that’s ok, you can be whatever you want to be…. what do you want to be buddy?

W: I don’t want to grow up mommy, I just want to stay little and home with you.

me: sobbing

W: walks away onto the next thing….

I kept sitting there for a little bit longer. Frizzy hair, stretched out nubby old sweater, leggings, and my warm socks. I wasn’t super hungry, so I was eating leftover pepper jelly for dinner, and in walked Dan….

He couldn’t find me, and I waved around the sofa from the floor, and of course he asked if I was okay, and I said yes that I was just enjoying the moment. I found a new husband/wife duo that I liked, and their Christmas music was on in the back ground, and it was a sweet moment that I wanted to soak up.

Discouragement.

It’s what’s getting us right now…. Our robbery happened, and it seems like we just keep getting hit…

robbery,

asthma attacks

car breaking down

tight finances

workers everywhere

a lot of time apart

loneliness

a new (ish) city

Christmas without our baby girl

It starts to get to you….

We love Paul David Tripp, and we heard a sermon a long time ago about discouragement, and how it is Satan’s greatest tool to get a follower of the King off track. I know it’s happening, but it’s hard to fight it.

I will raise up shepherds over them who will tend them. They will no longer be afraid or discouraged, nor will any be missing. This is the Lord’s declaration.
Jeremiah 23:4

Testerday someone stopped by to say hi, and she asked how we were, and I was doing the typical: oh we’re good lalala… thing that we all do. And then I was like well, this and that happened, and then I started crying. It hit me. The discouragement of the ways that Satan is trying to knock us off path right now. Satan is real, and he’s an ASS y’all. He knows where to get you, and he’ll keep doing it.

As I sat in the floor watching my littles waddle around, I was reminded that I just can’t let him win. I can’t. I have to keep preaching it to myself, because the other day when I walked almost 6 miles and my legs were numb, I wasn’t feeling super positive polly.

He grew up before him like a young plant
and like a root out of dry ground.
He didn’t have an impressive form
or majesty that we should look at him,
no appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
he was despised, and we didn’t value him.
Isaiah 53:2-3

I read this is my Advent devotional today right after I drug both of my kids in the rain to the clinic, where we have TONS of work to do, and I pulled in and literally hit our other car {that is literally dying and we can’t afford to fix it right now} with our only car that works. Yes. I hit it.  I didn’t turn wide enough. Dan came out. I looked at him, and I burst into tears, and said: we just can’t catch a break d. So now that car is in the shop, because it sounds like the wheel is going to fall off.

We are so close to opening this business that we feel very called to do, but we have no income, because that’s what it takes to start a business, and we feel attacked. Alone. Discouraged.

Yet, Jesus came down to earth and was despised and rejected, and he took all of this on himself, so that we could know what true love is. True love that died for us. True love that teaches us how to Keep Walking, even when it keeps hitting you where it hurts. True love that reminds you to sit on the ground and cry, because some kids don’t live long and some will grow up and leave, but you just snuggle them while you can…

Keep Walking.

Oct 06

Not Today…

Today as I walked into church I thought that I could do it, but I just could not. I tried. I stood there for the first two songs, listened to a prayer, and then looked at Dan and said, “I can’t do it today.” He handed me the keys, and I walked out. I drove home weeping and swerving because I was so sad that I could not drive straight. I opened the door, ripped off my stupid skirt and heels, and walked upstairs and put on yoga pants and fell into my rocking chair in my baby girl’s nursery. I wept for her. I cried out to the Lord in anguish and deep rooted anger. WHY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I went to church today for you, but I just don’t want to do it right now. I want to scream and yell and tell everyone that SHE IS STILL NOT HERE. Stop smiling and stop singing these words of these songs that promise hope and rest.
Although you probably are thinking that I am crazy, which at times I think that I am, I opened the Word of God. The infinite, infallible Word of my creator, of Mary Anna’s Creator, and He spoke to me. He told me that He gets it. He told me that he is weeping with me and loving me a little bit more right now. I ended my anger spell in humility and trust again. HE always seems to bring me back to Him. I think that I needed this time this morning to just be alone with the Lord and trust in Him. Not to be at church appearing to be o.k. in my trendy little outfit and my pretty red lips, but alone with puffy eyes in my yoga pants at the foot of the cross.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Hebrews 4:16, 5:7-9

Dan kinda started this hard day, because before church he told me that he was sad. I hopped into the car with my game face on, and I turned on this song that has been touching my heart lately:

The part where it says, “Twas He who taught me thus to pray, and He, I trust has answered prayer, but it has been in such a way as almost drove me to despair.” I told D that I know that Mary Anna was such an answer to prayer, but that answer has driven us to such despair. We pray for rest. Then I told him about how not long after Mary Anna passed away that I was crying and saying that I could not take another hit, and Melissa said to me, “Kari, I know that you say that you took another hit, but God is saying I didn’t give you a hit, I gave you a blessing. So Mary Anna was not a hit, she was a blessing.” So in the depth of despair, we know that He has answered our prayer and given us a blessing.
Keep Walking.
“That thou mayst find thy all in me.”
Oct 01

Reflection

After our get away this weekend to the beach, I have spent a lot of time thinking. It was our first time back at the beach, and it was hard to stand at the ocean and think about what we were doing the last time that we were there. There was definitely such confirmation in knowing that our decisions that we made for her little body here on earth were the right ones to make. Someone said to me that the beach was the perfect place to give her back to the Lord, and I could not agree more. The serenity and the peace standing at the ocean and looking as far as you can see and seeing nothing but the horizon, was exactly why our earthly closure came at that very place. There’s just something that you cannot deny standing there. You have to admit that there’s a God. That there is something bigger than yourself ordaining it all. All praise to Him alone.

As I was thinking off and on today, I had a moment where I just could not think straight. I was standing at a coffee shop trying to decide what to order which should not be hard because I order the same thing every time, and I realized that my mind went to Mary Anna because of the song that was playing. Listen if you so desire…

My mind starting going into, the way a blogger described it, “scrambled eggs.” I get her thoughts. Sometimes my mind that used to work so well just does not seem to work the way that it used to. When Ben Rector says, “This isn’t easy, it isn’t clear, and you don’t need Jesus until you’re here… when a heart breaks.” It hit me that so many times in my life that I have felt like I didn’t need Jesus, and Ben is so right, dang even though I needed Jesus all along, I need Jesus right now. In my heart break. I could not do this without Him. My heart breaks.
You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.
Corrie Ten Boom

The real truth is that in the heart breaks or the blessings that we need Jesus. I am learning that the hard way in the midst of my loss. As the world continues to spin and our world seems to remain still, I learn to find joy where I can. I learn to relish in what the Lord gives and takes away, and I’m reminded what’s important. After our little moment on the beach yesterday morning, we began to walk away hand in hand smiling and thankful for each other and our girl. How? I don’t know except Jesus. He’s the answer y’all.
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice,
AND NO ONE WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR JOY.
John 16:20-22

Keep walking.
Sep 21

Hey Pretty Girl

This song came out during our pregnancy with Mary Anna, and Dan came home one day from school and played it for me with tears rolling down his face. We thought it was such a sweet song about a walk through dating, marriage, and a baby. The ending did not hit us until the day that we got into the car from the hospital. Dan cranked our car as we were driving away from UAB without our baby girl, and we didn’t know what to do or say or think. Instantly, the radio starting playing, and this song was on. It was at the end where it said:
 Hey pretty girl, you did so good 
Our baby’s got your eyes
And a fighter’s heart like I knew she would
Hey pretty girl, you did so good
Hey pretty girl, when I see the light
And it’s my time to go
I’m gonna thank the Lord for a real good life
A pretty little girl and a beautiful wife
Insert lots of tears.
We don’t believe in coincidence. 
Aug 11

Rock of Ages

Today was our first day back at church since Mary Anna passed. We haven’t been avoiding church, but due to being gone a lot lately, we haven’t been in town on a Sunday yet. I woke up wanting to avoid church with my every being. I was tired, my head hurt, my body ached, and I did not want to deal with the emotions of walking through those doors. Against my will, I got up and took a shower and each step towards leaving for church I could feel my anxiety heighten.
I grabbed my coffee, Bible, and waterproof mascara and hopped in the car with Dan and started the dreaded drive. Sundays have always been happy days. I always look forward to Sundays, because they recharge my batteries for the week. The kicker is that my baby girl was born on a Sunday. We had her service at our church in the same room that we meet every Sunday. Now, Sundays are just hard. They remind me of her birth and her death. We get to church, and we walk in and Dan says, “here we go…”. We sit down, and I feel numb. I can’t sing, smile, or cry. I sit through the whole service without any emotion until we get to the end. Our church sings a song and during that song we do communion every week. The music starts to play, and I feel my stomach tighten, it’s Rock of Ages. It’s one of the songs that we sang at Mary Anna’s service. It makes my heart ache for her.

Dan and I had a miscarriage last summer that was very hard. The first Sunday that we walked into church afterwards they played this song at the same point in the service. I remember standing there and at the end when it says “your will be done”, thinking that I could not bear to sing that line. I had just recovered from losing a baby and how dare anyone think I should sing that. That song reminded me of the baby we lost, but slowly it gave us hope for the future and hope in the Lord.
We decided once we found out that we were pregnant with Mary Anna that we wanted that song sung at her baptism. It has always been special to us, a song of tragedy and triumph. So when it was time to plan her service after she passed, it was an easy decision to have that song sung.
Needless to say, I sobbed the whole song and never even sang one word. I sobbed the whole walk to communion and the whole walk back to my seat. I couldn’t help but think as I ate the bread and drank the wine that my Mary Anna has already seen the whole picture. I haven’t yet. I don’t get it. I miss her, and I am angry.
All I know for sure is that, Rock of Ages, YOUR will be done.
Again, I took a step out of the churches doors and decided to Keep Walking.