Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Mediterranean Sea

We were so thankful to be able to go to a conference where many of our friends were at before returning to Nineveh.

However I didn’t expect the emotions I would be faced with when we got there.  It was held at the same hotel as a conference 2 years ago.  It was in this place where we finally announced we were expecting Seth.

The last time I stepped foot on that beach Seth was in my womb.  It was both comforting and difficult at the same time.

We had not seen many of our the friends at this conference since losing Seth, and many of them also had experienced much sorrow and loss during the past two years.  Those hugs were pretty sweet.  The Lord really used that time to encourage us and to bring some healing to our hearts.

What I love is that we have been able to take all of our boys, even Seth to the Mediterranean sea.  What a gift it is to have that connection with all my boys.  It’s one I am extremely thankful for.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014


Marvin and I had the opportunity to stop by the cemetery without the boys on our way to Tennessee while we were in the states.  It was dusk and getting dark, and we needed to get on the road and make half of our trip that night, but our route took us past where Seth is buried and I just wanted to be close to the only earthly connection we have with him.

I have these moments that well up inside me from time to time when I wish that visiting our child's grave just wasn’t a part of our life.  That day was one of them, I wished that we didn’t have to drive down dusty country roads and stand by his place of rest.  I love Seth just as much as my living boys but on these days, all my heart wants is to love him through kisses and hugs and wrestling with him and tickles.  Standing in a quiet cemetery that evening with only the cicadas buzzing left me in a heap of tears and just felt like wanting to press an undo button and erasing that aspect of my life.  I wanted to rewrite my story, one where I have four living children instead of three.

Sometimes I don’t like the story the Lord is writing.

This fall as we met a lot of new people, I was forced to answer my least favorite question over and over and over (How many kids do you have?).  It wore on me after a while and I came to the point of just wanting to scream over the injustice of it all.

But then I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my attitude.    Through tears I felt this question stirring in my heart..................

“What is the greater injustice, losing Seth or that God's son lost his life for me, for the sins of the world?”

So I’ve been begging God that in those moments when I wish he wrote a different story in my life, that he'd change my heart into one of acceptance and joy.

Because his stories always end well and are better than anything I could ever pen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Travel hiccups

The trip back was pretty uneventful.  Judah was an excellent little traveler, slept a good portion of our long flight and he slept through every short flight.  Micah actually slept as well as Calvin and they both enjoyed the inflight entertainment.  PTL for that and their leap pad devices.

The only little hiccup was that our stroller didn’t make it to France or on to Turkey, but it eventually made its way to Antalya.  Marvin spoke to the people at the airport and arranged to pick it up when we flew out.  Little did we know that we would be pressed for time when we were to pick it up.

Our transportation was arranged for us based on who was flying back at certain times.  One of the people in our van to the airport, forgot  his computer, so the hotel called and our van turned around and went back to get it, we had already traveled about 15 minutes, so we added another 30 minutes on to our already pressed time schedule.  We had 1 hour and 20 minutes to get checked in and retrieve a stroller when the van left to begin with, now we had a whopping 50 minutes and a whole 20 minutes before people began boarding.

We knew the clock was ticking because getting through security with our boys and 5 bags is a show in itself.  So we just prayed we'd make our flight to Istanbul.

I made my appearance at the check in counter to prove I was flying that day, then explained I needed to get our stroller that was lost on an earlier flight.  In my haste and franticness I forgot all the paperwork to the retrieve the stroller, and I didn’t have my passport since Marvin was using it to check us in for our flight.

After talking to a sweet and very helpful lady in the lost baggage area, our stroller was nowhere to be seen.  I finally asked her if it would be anywhere else, and came to the point of accepting that I was never going to see our stroller again.  She then paused and told me to wait just a moment and went next door.

Where our stroller was sitting.  ALLEHULIA!!! I love the Turkish people, they are so helpful and go above and beyond to help guests in their country.

Remember the part about not having my passport, well I did have my driver’s liscence and they let me use that to verify that I was the owner.  I was carrying Judah in the sling and our stroller was in a bag which meant I had to carry it.  Seeing that it was going to be very difficult one of the guys said, I will help you and he carried it to Marvin outside of baggage claim.  We ran to security, where people knew a flight was waiting on us, and staff helped us get everything through security and helped us to our gate.  Even carried our stroller for us.  Amazing.

We’ve never cut it that close before.  We seriously didn’t think we were going to make that flight.

Other than that everything went smoothly, unless you count the giant Micah meltdown at Ataturk before our flight back to our country.  It was monumental but I guess we he needed to make up for the stellar trans-Atlantic flight.  :)

We did conclude that 5 bags, plus a car seat is probably our max flying with kids who can't pull their own bags.  It seriously makes us ponder what are the essential items we need to bring back.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Christmas Lights

One of the joys for our entire family was getting to see Christmas lights this past year.  I didn't realize how much I missed Christmas lights.  Marvin even put up a few on our house, even though we were barely there in December, but the boys loved the fact that we had lights.  In Calvin's mind you weren't ready for Christmas until you had something lit on your house.

One night we loaded up the boys, stopped by QT for some hot drinks and headed to our favorite neighborhood in Wichita to see the lights.

I love how they make homes look like real gingerbread houses.  They completely take me back to childhood and I love that the boys got to experience Christmas in America this year.  It will be fun to see what their memories are when they are all grown.  What things will they treasure as a regular part of the Christmas season.


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Lifelong friends

My Christmas present this year I was able to go and visit one sweet friend in Washington state.  It had been almost 6 years since we last saw each other.

Our friendship was forged after a bus ride home our freshman year of high school, when we exchanged numbers on the back of a peanut butter m&m wrapper.  The Lord used her and another sweet friend to bring me to Him, another reason why our friendship is so special.

As I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight, I had time to reflect on this gift the Lord had given me all those years ago.  What I love is that this girl knows my past, she’s seen how the Lord rescued me from my sin, she's been there through some major life events, and rejoiced through our weddings, the birth of our kids, job changes, moves, etc.  We've praised God together, cried together, mourned together, and done a lot of laughing in between.  It was a sweet gift to be able to spend some time with her and meet all her kids and see her normal.

Definitely a Christmas gift that I’ll treasure forever.  I wish we didn’t live so far away Sherry Lynn.

Random Caveat
Seattle has one of the coolest airports I've even been in.  Love that it had a nursing mom's room, a playground, a guy was flying a remote controlled balloon shark around the food court while they played the Jaws theme song in the background.  Then a bunch of Carolers came around singing Christmas songs one of them was riding a unicorn and reindeer were pulling a airport cart.  Perfectly quirky and it was the perfect way to say goodbye to Seattle.