Friday, May 24, 2013

He gets his courage from me. Clearly.

My hands were full as I opened the door to my house and saw a SQUIRREL scamper across my kitchen floor. I closed the door and walked right back outside.

My thoughts were, "Fine, you want the house? I'm not gonna fight you for it. I'll just take my kids to playground until Andy gets, like, 5 hours!"

I called Andy, "Uh, Babe, there is a squirrel in our house."

"What? A squirrel?"

"What should I do?"

We were trying to decide between him coming home from work and me walking over to my neighbor's to ask for help when Caedmon overheard me say something about a squirrel being in our house. Before I knew what happened, Caedmon was in our house playing peek-a-boo with the squirrel.

I felt like quite the role model as I stood outside the house peering in my kitchen window at my 6 year old son who was a foot and a half away from this squirrel. We call Caedmon "the Animal Whisperer" because he has NO FEAR of any animals and likes to get as close to them as he can.

I didn't want to freak him out but inside I was screaming, "Caedmon! Get away from him! That squirrel will bite through your big toe with those rabies-riddled teeth of his! He's likely to jump on your face and wrap all four limbs around your head while he gnaws on your nose.  And then I will have to peel him off of you and 4 year old Sammy will have to call 911 to tell them that his brother has rabies and his mom has suffered a heart attack!"

I didn't say that.

Instead I opened the front door and calmly said, "Caedmon, dear, don't touch the squirrel."

When the squirrel ran back under the couch, Sammy and I quickly made our way on top of the kitchen island where we sat safely perched while "coaching" Caedmon. I may or may not have said, "Caedmon, Mommy will pay you $5 if you can get this squirrel out of the house." Not that he even needed the incentive. He was having a blast. But you tend to say desperate things when in desperate circumstances.

My 6 year old son proceeded to move all of our furniture to expose the squirrels hiding places and then chased the squirrel around while laughing gleefully.

The dumb squirrel bi-passed the wide opened front door and ran downstairs. Caedmon and I followed. Once I found a safe position standing on top of the arm of the couch, Caedmon resumed the search for the hidden squirrel. The squirrel darted right passed me (albeit, 3 feet below me) and I screamed like a little girl on the playground. This delighted Caedmon to no end. He laughed hysterically as he chased the squirrel back upstairs.

This adventure lasted about 30 minutes and, when the squirrel finally decided to rejoin his proper habitat, my habitat was quite a mess. Every couch and table had been moved, one lamp was broken, and squirrel droppings were everywhere. Evidently squirrels poop when under pressure. It's their go-to coping mechanism.

Caedmon was awarded his $5 and walked around the rest of the day like he had received a badge of honor. That's the best investment of $5 I've made in a long time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Big Announcement

My friend wrote me an email the other day saying, "I miss you. I thought maybe I accidentally got unsubscribed from your blog, but then I went to your blog and saw that you haven't been writing..."

I thought to myself, "I miss me, too."

It's hard to know where to pick back up and begin writing again. So much has happened in my heart and life since my legs were taken out from under me last November. It has been quite a journey, and one that I couldn't find the words to express along the way. I felt like it needed to be a season of reflection, healing, and personal growth for me.

I've felt like Mary in Luke 2 where it says that she "kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often." That's what I've been doing. Taking all these "things" that have become my story and pondering them over and over again.

If you don't attend South Bay or follow me on Twitter, you may not have heard that Andy & I are expecting again! We are, obviously, thrilled and cannot wait to meet our Miracle later this year. I am 15 weeks along and (FINALLY) allowing myself to feel excited and expectant as we move out of the "danger-zone". After 6 years of hoping and praying and longing, this is really happening and it brings tears to eyes just to type that.

When we found out that I was pregnant again, it was a strange mixture of emotions for me. As much as I wanted to be head-over-heels excited, I felt very guarded and even a strange sense of grief. I tried explaining it to a friend by saying, "If a parent who had multiple children lost a child, that parent would absolutely be thankful beyond words for the surviving children. But the grief would still run deep for the child that was lost." I wanted to feel nothing but happiness and relief when this pregnancy became a reality; but for me, the grief lingered on a bit.

The following is an excerpt from an email I wrote to my family when I told them I am pregnant:

I can see pieces of the bigger story coming together, brushstrokes from the Almighty. It's just taking my heart time to catch up... to receive it all with joy. I have more peace. I'm just awaiting the joy.

The day our family drove home from that vacation in San Diego last November was a cloudy day. It drizzled on and off throughout the drive. I felt the grayness was quite appropriate. But the sun kept fighting its way through the clouds- visible rays of sunlight shooting down through a hole in the heavens. There was a rainbow that followed us almost the whole way home. It just kept showing back up on the horizon. 

I knew it was God's way of speaking to me but I couldn't receive it. I wanted to, but my heart was so raw. "Stacie, my promises are still true. I'm still the same faithful God. I will never leave you." All day long it would speak to me, remind me, taunt me. At one point there were two rainbows side by side, as if He took out a megaphone to try to get through to me. "I'm not done with you yet. This is not the end of your story. I'm still painting. Beauty is coming. Trust me. Believe me."

So, so much pain. I still don't understand how the pain makes the story more beautiful. I still don't see why it had to be written this way. But one thing is finally coming into focus that had been blurry for too long: I can see that God has been with me every step. 

This baby that I now carry is due the exact week that I miscarried in November. One year later to the date. My due date is November 9. The miscarriage began November 7 and the heartbeat was gone on November 12. It's a strange redemption. A painful, tearful redemption. But a redemption, no less. 

He's got me in His hand. And He's got you, too.  Wherever you are in the story, you can trust the Author to work it all together for your good and His glory.