Four

IMG_0824.JPG

If I could post this picture a hundreds times without the rest of the word thinking I was crazy, I would. It is without a doubt my favorite picture and probably will be for a long time. Yes, I love it because we all match perfectly for the holiday of July 4th. Yes, I love that it was taken in front of my best friend’s house and if you look closely you can see her sweet boy riding his bike in the background. Yes, I love Jane Taylor’s outfit. I stalked the internet for months trying to find the perfect look for our new neighborhood’s biggest day of celebration. But what I love the most is that in this picture there were four of us.

 

Four. We weren’t planning on becoming a family of four at the beginning of July. We weren’t planning on having a new baby arriving in March. We weren’t expecting to have two kids under two. It wasn’t in our plans. But in early July we were reminded that God is in charge and this was the greatest unexpected plan we could ever receive.

 

A couple weeks later I miscarried. An unexpected pregnancy turned into an unexpected loss. And it rocked my world. Hard.

The question “why”. Ugh. I hate that question. Has been at the forefront of my brain ever since. Why did God give us this baby only to take it away? I was just beginning to process the idea of this baby being born. What the nursery might look like. How to convert the stroller into a ride for two babies. What would it look like taking two kids into the grocery store. And as all of those exciting, nervous thoughts were coming into play – our baby returned to Jesus.

 

It was amazing how I could go from receiving the greatest news to the hardest news all in the same month. How quickly my days went from dreaming to heartbreak. No one told me my body would go through all the motions again like it did after giving birth to Jane Taylor. No one told me that my postpartum anxiety would come back. And boy did it – worse than ever before.

 

I was great around people because they were a wonderful distraction. A moment in time where my head wasn’t having to fight off the darkness that seemed all consuming. Alone was scary. Night time was the worst. Becoming a one in a statistic hit me harder than I thought it would.

 

Summer was hard. I would lay on the floor in a ball of tears wondering why. Why us. Why me. Why am I going through this season of darkness. What Lord do you want me to learn from this. What was the point of gifting us new life only to take it away. It brings me to tears just to even type it out.

 

I am not on the other side yet. I am closer. But I am different now. Pregnancy is different now. I see mothers differently now.

 

I also see God differently – in a very good way. See through all of this I have had to lean on Him more than ever before. I see His work. I see His kindness. He works so hard to remind little fragile me that He has got the strongest grip on my heart. He is in charge. He is fighting for me. And it is a beautiful gift. I wish it was a gift that I didn’t have to receive through a heartbreaking loss. But I am so grateful for the way my eyes see Him now.

October 15th is now a day that will have a bigger impact on our hearts. So will July 1st – the day we found out we were pregnant. July 10th – the day we lost our child. And March 5th – the day our baby was supposed to breathe his first breath in this world.

Apart of me will always long for the child we lost. These dates will be filled with a mix of emtions. But I pray that when these dates come and go that I will use them to remind me of how great our God is. His plan might not make a lot of sense but it is set into motion for a reason only He knows. Putting my trust in that fact is the best thing I can do. It is not always easy. Some days it is the hardest thing I have to do. But it’s all I can. I pray for the mother’s who have lost today and I pray that through the hard moments they can see how tightly God is holding on to them too.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3

Holding You

A couple nights ago I was holding Jane Taylor late into the night rocking her to sleep. For various reasons I kept having to move from one room to the other, keeping her asleep, as Adam set up her bed. I was tired, but at all didn’t mind holding my sweet girl on my chest. Honestly, I could sleep that way every night.

As I moved from room to room, holding her close and keeping her safe, I got this overwhelming thought about my fellow mothers in the world. Mothers that I have never met and will never fully understand what they have been through.

Becoming a mother has given me this strong desire to protect all around us. Protect her, Adam, our home. Thankfully, I live in a town where I am not constantly running in fear. I can speak of my love for the Lord. I can wear whatever I want. I can go wherever I please. I can do whatever I need to do for the best for my child.

But there are mothers in this world, in cities and countries I honestly can’t pronounce, who move from room to room, house to house, city to city, holding their children to their chest. Keeping them safe. Doing what is best for them. They are moving out of fear for their lives. A fear I can’t begin to imagine. Those mothers weighed heavy on my heart as I held my girl that night. 

The way mothers hold their children close is, to me, the physical representation of how God holds us throughout each day and night. He covers us with His arms, moving us from room to room, house to house, city to city, in efforts to guide us to a safe destination. One that can only be found by bringing Him into our hearts.

Today I pray for the mommas out there who are doing all that they can for their children. I pray they know that God is there to guide the steps. I pray that He can help carry the fear, in whatever form it comes, and turn it into trust in His plan. And I pray for all of you to know that you are being held, so closely, each and every day by our Savoir.  

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. - Psalm 91:4

In the Waiting & SheIn

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

Dress: SheIn || Boots: Target || Suggested Earrings: Kendra Scott || Suggested Handbag: BP

One of my go-to places to shop lately has been SheIn. It is an online shop with seriously low prices. I'm talking SUPER low. For example, this velvet dress was a total of $20. That is a price you can't beat. What I have learned when shopping at SheIn, is you need to read the reviews. They help a lot in determining the quality of the fabric and how it might actually fit. I also like that the prices allow you to play around with different styles without having to make a huge financial commitment. 

Velvet is one of those styles you might be scared to embrace. So picking up a piece from SheIn would be a great way to see how you really feel about the style. Me, on the other hand, can't wait for the weather to velvet ready. I think it is such a fun detail to add to a look. 

Wearing velvet at just the right time isn't the only kind of waiting I have been doing these days. The week my daughter was born I had been having different levels of contractions for days. Some were mild, others would be a little more intense. With each increase in strength of contraction my hope of potentially getting to meet my girl that day would also rise. So after about two days of this and the contractions coming to a stop, my patience was starting to wear on me. 

That Sunday we went to church and a card with the verse "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) was laying there on my seat. Which of course lead to a powerful message on the importance of trusting the process of His plan. It was one of those moments where I looked up and said "ok I get it Lord." As if He had finally gotten through to me that I wasn't in control. 

Later that night my daughter made her arrival into the world. So the waiting process wasn't what I expected at all. In fact, I remembered thinking that if He was trying to teach me to wait, I didn't really have to wait that long. So what was I going to be waiting for? Or was God just trying to teach me a quick lesson? 

It would be in the coming weeks where the joy and stress of a newborn can cause you to feel completely overwhelmed with emotions. Don't get me wrong, being a mother is the greatest gift in the world. But those first couple weeks of trying to figure out how to adjust to this new world is a waiting process. Not to mention you are waiting to just feel like yourself again. The baby blues are a real thing, y'all. 

I think when I heard the message on waiting it wasn't about waiting for her arrival, it was about waiting to realize that I was going to be able to be a good mother. It was about getting through those first couple weeks where you a smiling through the tears because you are so tired and so incredibly grateful all at the same time.

The part I thought I was waiting on was really just the first step into a whole new waiting game. A game where I would find myself wishing for her to reach the next phase, while praying for time to slow down. Realizing somewhere between feedings and the diaper changing that I needed to live in the now and trust God with the steps towards the future. I had to find the courage to hand over that control to Him. 

What are you waiting on today? Is it a new job, a new house, a new relationship, the next step in a relationship, or maybe just for the weekend? While you wait for that next moment I hope you will see the beautiful steps God is taking in your life. Use the strength He provides in you to just wait. It's hard. But it's worth it. 

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:14

IMG_6103.jpg

This post was sponsored by SheIn. Opinions are my own. All products were selected by me. Thankful for partnerships like these that make a TAD more faith possible