Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Well today is officially our 10 year anniversary. Yes, 10 years ago, June 27th, 1998, Steve and I officially became husband and wife. What an amazing day that was. I loved my wedding day and would not change a thing.

Steve and I both grew up in Colorado 30 miles away from one another but did not meet until 1994 while we were both attending Colorado State University. We met through mutual friends. We were both, and still are, sarcastic people so we were not instantly into one another. Although I know each of us had an attraction to one another. This is my version of the story. Someday, Steve can write his.

Over the next year we would see on another more often on campus and at parties. Neither of us were Christians at this time. During this year we become more acquainted with one another until we would see one another and enjoy just hanging out. At the end of 1994, Steve left CSU for reasons I only found out later, but are very important to our story. It was during this time that the Holy Spirit was working on Steve. He left CSU and came to Denver to go to a school and get away from the environment. He began meeting was a couple of friends who had just gotten back from seminary and were starting a church. It was during this time that the Lord saved Steve.

In June of 1995, I graduated from CSU and came back to Denver to the same school Steve was going to to get my teaching license. We decided since we were both down here, we should get together and have lunch with one another. It took Steve 3 months to call me. We had our first date on December 8th, 1995.

When we began dating, Steve was a new Christian. In September of 1995, Steve faithfully told me the gospel and my need for Christ. I was brought up by two incredible parents, both who are Jewish. I want people to understand that I tell you this out of gratitude to God. I am blessed to be Jewish and to know Jesus as my Saviour. That’s a whole other blog!

By the Grace of God I was saved and pray that I have grown to walk in His ways. I am so very thankful for the sacrifice He made on my behalf on the cross. My hearts desire is to walk in His ways. I hope that while reading my blog you see that my strength is not on my own, but through faith in Christ alone. I would love to share with anyone, if you have more questions, just exactly what it means to have faith in Christ alone and exactly where my hope lies.

In November of 1997, Steve proposed to me and in June of 1998 we were married in the foothills of Colorado. What an incredibly beautiful day. It was perfectly clear (as you can see in the "blury" picture...Oops!) and extremely hot. Hot enough that my brother-in-law (the best man) passed out. We have some very fun memories of that day. I would do my wedding day over in a heartbeat.

So in 10 years of marriage what can I say? Well…it has been a good journey with many unpredictable roads. Some smooth, some bumpy and all with turns we are unable to predict. I have enjoyed each day with him.

Each day of our marriage has been a part of our sanctification in Christ and so I hope that through this time we have grown in our understanding of Christ, what He has done for us, and what our responsibility is to him. I pray for our hearts to continue to be open to His molding of us. This last year has been a hard one, yet a blessed one. One we could never have prepared for, but God certainly prepared us without us knowing. We saw so much of one another. Perseverance, Hope, Fear, Love, Compassion, Mercy and the list goes on. I guess you could say…this is when you see your vows in action…. I would like to share ours….

Steve and Corie:

As God has chosen to show forth the realities of Christ’s love for His Bride through your marriage, will you seek to live this gospel reality?
Will you seek the “Oneness” that God has intended for you to show the oneness that He desires of us?
Will you seek to show the world that as nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, nothing can separate you from the love that you have for each other?
That there would be nothing that you discover in each other, that would ever turn your commitment to love one another?

Will you use watchfulness and care to each others spiritual and eternal welfare?
Will you pray for each other and with each other?
Will you gently and affectionately bring to bear each others sins and defects?
Will you strive to stimulate the other unto spiritual ends by being a holy example?
Will you warn in temptation, comfort in dejection, and in every way assist one another in your pilgrimage to your true home?
Will you converse often together on the themes of redemption by Christ, and eternal salvation?
Will you study each others dispositions, weakness, troubles, decays in piety, that you may apply suitable remedies?
Will you exhort one another lest you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin?
Will you encourage one another to make communion with God your greatest priority?
Will you love Christ and labor together to make Him known?
Will you mutually share your thoughts, perplexities, joys, fears, sorrows?
Will you lay down your lives that the other may hear the words from our Lord, “well done good and faithful servant”?
Steve and Corie, will you strive to fulfill these according to the grace of God that has been given to you?

I promise and covet before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful husband (wife) in plenty and want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health as long as we both shall life.

And so my dear husband…Thank you for being my husband for the last 10 years. You have been a friend I could never imagine having. You listen to me at night when you would rather go to sleep. You go out every day and work so hard to provide a living for me and your children so I can stay home with them. You are patient with me when I am an emotional mess…sometimes for no reason at all. You patiently answer questions about “life” the best you can even when I have asked the question 20 times. You strive to bring glory to God in the way you live.

This past year you have proven yourself even more to me. I have been even more grateful for the gift you are. It is easy to commit to your spouse at the alter, but when something difficult happens is when you really see one an others love and commitment. I will never forget the day we got Larsons diagnosis and you looked into my eyes and said, “its going to be OK, we will get through this together” and we are. I can’t say its been a bowl of cherries, but we have walked hand and hand together. When I felt horrible and could not imagine saying good-bye to our son, you continued to encourage me even while your own heart was breaking. And when it was time to meet Larson on January 22nd you held my hand and prayed with me during the entire c-section. You show so so many around us the beauty of a marriage that is built on Christ.

You were willing to make decisions that I never wanted to make…memorial service songs, meeting with doctors, funeral arrangements. You did all of this mostly by yourself, because I could not make the decisions. You put your family above yourself and walked with such strength and courage with your head held high. With complete humbleness you have lead your family through this valley. I know that as we enter into the next decade we do not know what is before us. I do know that by Gods grace our marriage will strengthen. So my dear husband, thank you for all you have been to me the last 12 ½ years and thank you God for the gift you have given to me to walk through this valley with. Here’s to another 10!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

5 Months!

I can not believe it has been 5 months since I have held my sweet baby boy. It has been a bittersweet day today. Thinking of all he would be today on his 5 month birthday and yet embracing the blessing he was to our family for just 23 hours. I would give anything to have him in my arms again for that 23 hours. Maybe to take in a little bit more of who he was. Smelling him again, and examining every inch of him to remember what I could. It just doesn't seem real that I had him for a mere 23 hours on earth. How could I ever possible get enough of him. Hard to believe that we really had a baby 5 months ago and that we give him back to the Father. I often have to sit back and remind myself this is reality. We really do have a person to visit at the cemetary and it is in "babyland".

I can only imagine what Larson is doing right now. I am certainly not worried about him. I know he is doing just fine. How could he not? He is the best place and the safest place.

How am I doing 5 months later? Still a very hard question to answer. Am I good? Well sometimes, but I am not over the death of my son. I don't think I ever will be, nor do I think God would want me to be. It is just figuring out how to go forward without getting so down about it. I know that I will always have the "mark" of a mom who lost a child. To be perfectly honest...I will gladly carry this "label" with pride the rest of my life.

God gave this family a blessing that not everyone gets to experience. I know this may seem wierd to some, but we have had the opportunity to see Gods grace, mercy, love and faithfulness in a way we may never have been able to without Larson. How I am doing depends on the day and sometime the moment. Summer is great, but I sure see alot of babies. It just makes me wonder about Larson so much. Would he like the swimming pool? What would his sister and brothers love about him? Would he love to snuggle like the rest of my children?

I am enjoying my other children and a whole other way then I did before. Trying to take in all the miracles I see in them everyday. Watching them laugh and giggle. Watching them sleep and then wake up. Blessing I never say that way before. I pray ever day that God would continue to give my grace to make it through. I know it seems I should not have to do this all the time, but I do see everything so different. I could I get through any day without his grace. Being a mom, aside from losing a baby, is a high calling and hard job. I have 4 little ones to nurture and admonish, teach and guide. I hope to cherish so much with my children here, knowing that God has determined their time on earth as well. We don't know how long we have and so I pray I step out of bed each day, whether it is easy or not, and walk in a way that would bring Glory to God. My desire to please him is greater and yet reality is it is sometimes harder. My weaknesses are more evident, His strength so perfect.

The picture above is of one of my most precious pieces of jewelry. When Larson died, the cemetery did his foot and hand prints. They shrunk them down and put them on these little pendents. I guess that is what you call them. I see them kind of like his "dog tags". I wear this everyday and it touches right at my heart. I am thankful to "carry" this with me since I don't have my son to carry.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to walk with my family even 5 months out. I have been SO blessed by your comments and emails. I can not express enough how much it means to me that you would still be willing to listen to a grieving mother such as I. I have some amazing family and friends and also some amazing new friends. Love to you all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The teeter-totter

Well we are back after an enjoyable 7 days together. This is the only picture we took the entire week. Isn't that pathetic. We really did do things. Mostly relaxed at the pool, but we got to Universal Studios and the beach also. It seems so weird to say this, but it was hard to know just how to relax. I really have not been away from my kids this long or this far. Steve and I have gone away to the mountains for two nights at most. It is hard to believe. We really do enjoy one another, its just been crazy. Good reminder to just make the time. We need it as parents to refresh and rejuvenate for the kids.

Well this blog may be random. Just going to put down some thoughts from the week. Like I said it was a good week, but felt like I was on a teeter-tooter. You minute you are up and the next minute you are down. I had a lot of time to sit and think. This can be good, but if you over analyze everything like I do, is not always so good. I have not had any down time since Larson. Really since this whole journey began. You get the news of a fatal diagnosis and life does not slow down for you. Kids still need to be fed, cared for and loved. This is good or I would have thrown the covers over my head many times. Anyway, while sitting at the pool staring at all the other families who had little baby boys, I would really be down thinking and "reliving" my life which frankly feels like a dream. I would tear up realizing this really did happen. I know this may sound so weird to say. I mean really, I should know by now this is all true and not a dream. But, honestly it really feels like one. I look at my pitcures and think "He really was ours for just a moment" and yet I know that all my children really are not mine, just given for a time to train up to Glorify our Father in Heaven.

OK, so then just as I relive life, I am blessed by the reality of my life. God has given me an incredible husband who has faithfully has led this family and carried us many times in the darkest of times. Being that it was fathers day I thought so much about all he means to me and my children. Know I don't always say this enough to him so Steve if you are reading this...You are loved and appreciated more then I could ever fully express. Thank you for working so hard daily to provide for your family. Thank you for listening to me even when you are tired, I've used my 20,000 words for the day and I am asking the same questions I have asked the last 8 months..Why? Know what? What if? What about? Some of you probably know what I am talking about. During our last 8 months, you have carried your family so well. You have had to make decisions I wish you never had to make, but you did so with much grace and wisdom and you never complained. Steve you loved Larson so well in the time we had with him. I am so blessed with the memories of all you did to prepare for him. You met with the hospital staff to make sure everything was ready for him, you planned his service on your own. Not because you thought others wouldn't help, but you want to plan this for your son. You knew this was the one day you could plan for him. You kept me sane and you continue to remind me of all the good that has come out of this even when I don't feel like that. Yes I am up on the teeter tooter when I think of the things here that the Lord has given to me to appreciate.

So where am I going with all of this? Good question! I had so much time to contemplate, evaluate, and THINK. Thinking about so much. Where do I go from here. Trying to embrace the pain of the loss of Larson, while also embracing the joy of my husband and my children and my life while still on earth. I feel like it is something I am trying to balance. Not getting too focused on my loss and also not thinking about it at all and shoving it in the back of my mind! Which honestly I feel like I weight heavily on thinking about Larson so much. It really can get me down. I do feel like this has become a big spiritual battle for me. Learning to listen to Gods word and not Satans whispering in my ear. That somehow this was a mistake and I had some control. I know this is not true. God has faithfully planned every detail of my life. I may never understand all of it, but I know I have to trust Him. I know that it has been almost 5 months since I held Larson in my arms. My arms still fill empty. It seems just yesterday I was looking into his eys preparing to say my final good-bye and yet it also seems so long ago.

Right now on this teetor-totter, I am praying to be somewhere balanced in the middle. Enjoying life without getting so down, without trying to figure everything out, without asking so many questions that there are just no answers to. I want to remain balanced and focused on the word of God. Training my children to love God with all their mind, heart, soul and strength. Reminding them daily that our hope is in believing in Jesus and one day spending eternity with him. Reminding them to not get so comfortable in this world where we don't long for Jesus any longer.

I certeinly hope these words are not so random. I could have spent a lot of time editing, but then when would I have that time? If you think about it, I would love prayers to hang on to Gods promises, trust him on this journey and to not try to figure it all out. Honestly you would think I would know by now that I can not plan my life, but I can trust a wise God who knows the beginning and the end.

One of my favorite verses in Proverbs since being a Christian is
Trust the Lord with all your heart
Lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He shall direct your path.

Fitting I like it so much, certeinly reminding myself of the truths daily. Thank you for reading and praying.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Trip

Steve and I are leaving today to go on our 10th anniversary trip! Actually it is June 27th, but this was the best time. Can't believe it has already been 10 years. I certainly look at our wedding picutes and see a different person. I know this probably sounds so weird. Honestly though I was full of excitement, not knowing what was ahead of me during my life with Steve. We have been blessed with 5 wonderful children. Blessed to watch 4 grow to the ages of 8, 6,5 and 3. Blessed to have been able to be a part of a little boys life for 23 hours.

When we were married our "plan" was to have lots of children. I am not sure exactly what we thought as far as many, but the both of us love children. Steve grew up in a family of 6 children. I was a 2nd grade teacher. We just enjoyed children. I got pregnant with my first child just 10 months after I got married, and that is where the "pattern" begin. I was pregnant every 10 months after that with each child. The first of my children are all 19 months apart. Well having 4 children in 5 years was busy so we took a "brake".

In August of 2006 I found out I was pregnant again much to our excitement. At a routine exam, we found out we had lost that baby. I had another miscarriage in November of 2007. We were heartbroken. Looking back now, I am thankful that those babies went straight to see the Lord and that I did not have so much information about the "whys" and "what ifs"

In May of 2007 I found out I was pregnant again. Our family was looking forward to another addition to our family. Our "dreams" were dashed in October when we found out about Larsons fatal condition. The four months following were very difficult. So many questions, fears and anxieties. Although my journey following Christ began 12 years ago, the depth of understanding was beginning. My heart ached to know more and more about the Saviour who died on the cross for my sin. I can say that although this has been the most difficult part of the journey, God has taught me much. The pain has not been without MUCH worth!

-While having my other children, I can say I would say that they were blessing from the Lord, NOW I know what that means. After learning about so many medical things (probably to much) It is TRULY a miracle to have a baby without any medical issues. Yet because Larson had so many didn't make him less of a miracle. He has taught our family SO much more than I could have imagined. He is still a perfect miracle in Gods PERFECT plan.
-I have know felt the "peace that surpasses all understanding". In the midst of knowing that I would be having a child only to release him back to the Lord, GOD gave me this peace. So thankful to have felt something so sacred.
-As much as I have had a plan...its never been mine to begin with..."man plans his ways, BUT THE LORD DIRECTS HIS PATH" Wow is that ever true. All my children I planned... well I realized that was foolish to have a plan or even think it was mine. Gods ways are far better. It hurts sometimes, but we learn far more through Him as our teacher, if we are just willing to listen.
-God has blessed my husband and I in our marriage. It is by His grace alone that we made it to 10 years. Yes we are part of this marriage and we don't just sit and stare at one another hoping to get through the years. But God has given us a standard to live by in our home. He has changed our hearts 12 and 15 years ago to "take up His cross and follow Him" and so this is the standard in our marriage...that we would honor Him. Yes we have weaknesses and times we have to work on things. BUT He has guided us with His Mighty Hand.
-God has shown me much during my 10 years with Steve. He has shown me my weakness, my strengths, my sins, "my plans", my blessings,my daily need for Him.
-God has revealed MUCH about Himself...His Grace, His Love, His strength, His kindness, His plans, His word.

Lord willing I will have 10 more years with my husband on this path. Larson has taught me that we don't know what will happen today, tomorrow or the next, but one thing is for sure and that is...Jesus will be there, if we cling to Him, at the end of our path. What a glorious day that will be to see Him sitting on His Throne as I enter the Heavens. Until then, BY GODS GRACE, I will press on in this journey.

Please pray for our time, our travels and our children. We have never left our children for this long or being this far. I know they are in Gods hands, but please pray that I can relax while away and TRUST.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Ok, so this was a day that I was dreading. Maybe that is to much of an exaggeration, but honestly I really wanted this day to go quickly. Today is my birthday and there was not much about it that I wanted to celebrate. I am 35 today, so the thought of being labeled "advanced maternal age" just really makes me sad. Last year at this time I didn't think about it as much. I figured at least I would have a sweet little baby to snuggle with and celebrate with. I have to say I DO have 4 other children to celebrate with today, but their brother is missing. On top of this, I found out my thyroid is not working correctly so I will have to take medication to get it back in sync. Really not such a big deal, but add it all up and it makes this birthday hard to take.

The day was uneventful. Swimming with the kids and a friend. I have to say, they are definitely what makes me get out of bed in the morning. In the evening I was quite surprised to have my husband bring me home roses. We then went to the restaurant that we had our first date almost 13 years ago. On top of that, he called ahead to get the booth we sat at on that night. Its as though we went back to where our journey began. Great suprise I must say. He is a gem and I am so thankful for him. He knew this day would be difficult, but as always he tries to make the best of it.

I have to say that throughout the day I have thought a lot about the last 8 months. That one year ago I was doing a garage sale. I didn't get rid of all the baby clothes because we were trying to have another baby. I found out just a few weeks later I was expecting Larson. During the last months I have really been pressed in many different ways. Most importantly spiritually. But in a good way!

As much as this has all hurt so much, I know I wouldn't change it. I would not be the mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter if Larson was not here. If I choose my path in life, it would be one of comfort with not a lot of hardships. Who wants to suffer? Who wants trials? Yet I know, I would not have this desire to know my Heavenly Father more intimately without this hard season of life. I know that in the last few weeks as I continue to try to grasp my new reality, that God is saying to me..."My Child, just trust me. What comes into your life may not be what you had wanted but as your Father I know what is best for you. Someday you will understand why, but for now...just trust me." I have had to be very intentional to lay my burdens, cares and worries at His feet CONTINUALLY throughout the day. I can not say that I have this down yet, but I want so badly to cling to Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I know this is a daily choice, often a hourly choice and yet I know this is exactly what I want and what He is calling me to. I am only asked to do TODAY. For I know that I have NO idea what tomorrow has for me.

My journey as a believer in Jesus began just 11 years ago, and I can say that this part of the journey He is taking me on is challenging, often scary, but also real. I know He is walking with me just has He has promised. So as I walk into this next year of my life, I walk into it different. A different person. I hope one that has more understanding of my Heavenly Father and yet there is more He will reveal to me. I walk knowing I have no control over my future. I must rest knowing that only one does know the future. May this year be one of continually trusting Him and Him only.