Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Foundation of Faith

I originally wrote this for Christy's blog at

When going through a hard time, I instinctively know how to cling to God as though my life depends on it. It was while my first son fought for his next breath that I learned how to pray without ceasing. But I don’t think I really knew how to build a foundation of faith until after my second baby died.

Now, it wasn’t until after our third baby died, that I realized the importance of building that foundation before tragedy strikes. I’ve outlined some steps I took to set my anchor – my life – in the rock that is Jesus Christ and hope to share a bit of my journey.

Read the Word of God. Pull up your sleeves, tune out those pesky distractions and immerse yourself in the Bible. In it are the literal keys to your life, so prayerfully ask God to unlock the truths you’ll need to embrace, so that you can know Him and He can transform you.
Remember what you read and look for opportunities to apply it to the situations you encounter throughout your daily life. If you read about patience than YES the lesson still applies whether you are in rush-hour traffic or if you struggle with infertility or insensitive doctors in the NICU.
Take your focus off of self. Don’t interpret this to mean neglect yourself. It just means take breaks from intense mental focus on your personal woes. Yes, grief is incredibly painful and draining and the process does require your careful attention. BUT, allow yourself to care about others and what they are experiencing, as well. If a quick prayer on their behalf is all you have the energy for – do what you can. When you can do more – do more. Read about situations in which Jesus grieved and follow His example. Three examples that stand out for me are when Jesus learned of the deaths of John the Baptist, Lazarus, and when He was on the cross. There are other examples in scripture, as well.
Pray, pray, pray. Spend time in meaningful prayer. Sometimes just thank God for being God and don’t ask him for a thing. Ask Him to teach you and guide you. Ask for help; for strength. Open your soul to Him. I think the book of Psalm is such a powerful example of how we can talk to God.
Decide to trust God and stick by Him no matter what happens next. Read Romans 8:28.

So I encourage you to build your faith on The Rock. If you put your faith in experts, family, modern medicine, or things – those foundations are destined to eventually fail. If you put your faith in prayer – without an actual faith in God - you will be crushed if you don’t receive the answers you expect.

For with God, nothing is impossible!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuff a Cookie in the Void??

I originally wrote this post in 2006, but wanted to revisit it here. How many of you have tried to fill the void with unhealthy or unhelpful things? Here's my struggle ...

I'm embarrassed to fess up to how many bags of Nestle Treasures (the caramel filled kind), peanut M&M's (they even have a 5 pound bag ...), 13X9 pans of brownies, break n bake cookies and even buttermilk biscuits slathered in honey butter I have eaten ~ by myself ~ while trudging the lonely grief path. I'm finishing up a batch of break n bakes right now and can tell you with 100% certainty that a cookie really won't make you feel better.

Sadly, I'm a grief expert. It's been four years since our first brush with infant loss and 8 months since our last. I've talked to countless women who are facing what you are facing now and lemme tell you, most moms usually feel like a failure after their baby has died. Her self-esteem really takes a beating. In her mind, she failed at one of life's most important jobs ~ protecting her baby. Why add junk-food pounds to an already lowered self-image?

Just keeping it real ... there is a difference between holding on to a little after-the-baby-weight when you have a baby to show for it. Everyone is very understanding about that. For me, when I had nothing to show for all those hips and curves, it's like I was fat for no reason. I felt this constant urge to explain or "apologize" for how I looked and the extra pounds, compounded by my "failure," made me feel absolutely worthless. Here's a more constructive way to relieve stress:

Hey ... I still indulge in my cookie-fix, but I balance it. Every morning I walk my dog and I also started running again. Exercise has been so therapeutic for me! Charging up hills 3 days a week has made my body stronger, built my confidence and has slimmed everything from the belly button down. For a customized running plan visit then click on “Training.” I also have increased my veggies and fruits. My goal is to hit at least 5 a day. Visit for tips about how to squeeze 'em in. Finally, I pay close attention to my blood pressure and have recently gotten my cholesterol level checked. (I am not affiliated with any of the organizations I link to on my site)

Today, I reached for the break n bake cookies, but I really should have cried out to Jesus in my despair. After spending the last two days with other people's children, I felt so aware of my childless state. I felt the painful emptiness coursing through my body and I said to myself hmpf. I deserve a treat. Those cookies sure do taste good, but they can never fill the hole left in my heart and my life. Only Jesus can do that.

I'd love to hear about how you are handling your loss. Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment.