Hi friends, I haven’t written much since the birth of our babies in August so I wanted to let you know how we are. All I can say is God does miraculous things with broken hearts.
When I thought about life after infant loss, I thought about all the things I would not be able to do:
get out of bed, go to work, have another baby, be a good friend, be a good wife. I forgot that God does miraculous things with broken hearts.
Getting out of bed is hard, forget about work, and having another baby? We are terrified. I am not a good friend, daughter, or wife. In fact our marriage has never been harder. Yet, here we stand, safe in the love of Jesus.
God does miraculous things with broken hearts.
Recently I was talking to someone who lost his daughter just weeks after we lost our daughters.
He said when people ask him how he is, he wants to say;
“how the hell do you think I am”?
I nodded with tears.
I said “but Jesus right”?
He looked at me.
So I said it again, “but Jesus”.
I know exactly how he feels.
But Jesus still.
I thought this part, life after infant loss, would be the easier part. Easier than preparing for our babies to die. But it’s not. I asked Tom why. He said maybe it is because we aren’t clinging to God like we were when I was pregnant. I think he’s probably right.
We have hope, and still we have joy. But our grief is so normal now. Like it will never go away, probably because it won’t. I was struggling with that but the bible says;
1 Thessalonians 4:13: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” Yours is a grieving with hope. Theirs is a grieving without hope. That is the key difference. There is no talk of not grieving. That would be like suggesting to a woman who just lost her arm that she not cry, because it would be put back on in the resurrection. It hurts! That’s why we cry. It hurts
To be grieving and still hopeful, to have sorrow and abundant joy; it’s all part of the miraculous things God does with broken hearts.
Always grateful, always thankful,
This November was the first time Tom and I participated in No Spend November, a spending freeze where you only spend on ESSENTIALS for a whole month. How did we do? Well, we kinda blew it on black Friday when I needed a laptop and Tom needed? a PlayStation….yeah, so there was that.
Otherwise, we did pretty good and it made us FINALLY sit down and pay close attention to our budget so I’m calling it a win. I am including our ACTUAL REAL LIFE BUDGET here because I find things like this super helpful and well, I’m all about transparency so here you go.
Our REAL LIFE ACTUAL BUDGET for November:
It is a google sheet and you can also view it here: https://bit.ly/2UTpeBA
I love google sheets and because I love you, you can use this budget template to create your own. (just make a copy, save it and it’s all yours)(message me if it doesn’t work) Even if you never do a spending freeze (which, totally do it) ANY kind of budget will help you get a grip on where your money goes. What are your budgeting tips? Have you done a no spend month and did it help?
Let me know.
Lots of love,
It’s here! No-spend November. Which means not spending money on anything extra for a whole month.
Wish us luck! We are still writing the rules but so far I’ve put back a ton of stuff I would have bought at Target that I really didn’t need so I think it’s going to teach us a lot. Have you done a no-spend month? How did it go? If you have tips do share because I need all the help I can get.
Missing iced-coffee already,
1.Pick one pre-made, store bought costume– $15.00
2. Buy one pumpkin bucket– $1.00
3. Buy two bags of candy– $9.76
Eat pizza for dinner– $5.64
Happy Halloween everyone! How are you doing Halloween this year?
Keeping it real. Ever since I had a #pulmonaryembolism two weeks ago, I have doctor appointments on top of doctors appointments. On top of doctors appointments. At least that is how it feels because one doctor appointment will wipe you out. So does making the bed. Sheesh. So today Tom’s mom watched Tommy while I went to the doctor, then she left and I remembered I had to go get my blood drawn. Not sure how I forgot since I do it every day. ANYWAY. I had to drive all the way back across town to the hospital, with Tommy. I was grumbling the whole time.
Then I’m walking across the parking lot and it hits me. I am walking across this parking lot. I am holding my baby’s hand. I am walking into the same hospital that saved my life. I drove myself here. I can walk. I can breathe. I can hold my baby’s hand. We, are okay. . . I got to the lab, my favorite tech was there (shout out girl) and she got my blood in .007 seconds instead of three tries like everyone else. “See,” she says, “that was easy.” She smiled and gave Tommy a Scooby-Doo sticker. . .
I asked her why he got the sticker instead of me. But I was kidding, I would have given it to him anyway.
My favorite tech reminds me of Jesus. Not because she gets my blood in one try. She is radiant and confident and comforting. I would never tell her that but I should. So today when she told me it was easy and gave us a Scooby-Doo sticker, it reminded me that God is like that too. We have to do inconvenient things and there is God, with a pat on the back and a Scooby-Doo sticker. See, He says, that was easy.
We also have to do hard things that are hard.
On the way home there is a sunflower field. It’s right off of the road, all of my friends know about it, so shout out. I may or may not take credit for it. Even though I’m sure it has nothing to do with me. It’s just that this one time, I tried to buy sunflowers from a family on the same road but the wife kindly explained that they only grew them for bird seed. I told her she was missing out, that I would pay her to cut sunflowers. The next year there was this field across from their house. $3 for 13 flowers. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
But you know for sure I am going to stop. Every time. “Tom, Tom! Pull over, the SUNFLOWERS!” Yeah, he never pulls over. But Tommy and I did today. Because today wasn’t so hard.
My phone only had 2% battery and I’m pretty sure Tommy thought I was crazy, speed walking through the flowers yelling “LOOK how pretty they are!” “Look at the BEES!”
At one point I was smack in the middle of the field trying to pick the perfect flower, (because I only had $1) and Tommy was just staring at me like, my mom, has gone crazy.
But he humored me, and told me the flowers were pretty, just like I thought.
Back to doing hard things. This morning, at one of my doctor’s appointments, my doctor blurted out “Congratulations on having twins!” He didn’t read my chart (or maybe he did, what the heck is in my chart?) I said “Oh, Dr. Lin, my babies died”. He quickly apologized and said he was heartbroken for me.
I am too, I said. Heartbroken. It’s the first time I said it out loud.
It’s a hard thing, missing these babies. It’s a catch your breath, can you breathe again? Kind of hard. It makes everything else fade away. Doctors appointments? Blood work? Great. Give me a Scooby-Doo sticker, I’ll be fine.
But in the hard things, the catch your breath THIS IS SO HARD things, God is still there. Not with a Scooby-Doo sticker. More like a field of flowers. A whole field full. With butterflies dancing all around them. And a toddler, smiling at his crazy mama. A reminder to breathe, a deep breath in lungs that still work. And talk to a God who made flowers this pretty.
If you need a Scooby-Do sticker or a whole field of flowers, let me know, I know where to find them both.
Still thankful, still grateful,