Loss, Strength, & Healing

I don’t know how to write this and the reason I am writing is not for my own understanding but for those around me.

This past weekend I had a miscarriage.

I was only four weeks along and it was thankfully painless.

Since then people have continued to ask how I am, how I am feeling, or if I am okay. The answer is that I am good, I feel normal, and yes I am okay. This of course sparks the conversation about how strong I am. No I am not strong, I believe in a God who is strong.

Psalm 121:1-2                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

These are the verses that explains the strength I have found.

So no I am not strong and yes I did cry. I could spend the rest of my life focusing on what could have been or I can wake up knowing there was a reason I didn’t get to hold that baby in my arms. I am young and miscarriage is sadly normal. I am not saying that it isn’t right for some people to take longer to mourn their loss, but the circumstances may be different and they are a different person. I however need to look to the future and find hope in the children I will get to hold in my hands and be thankful for the angel waiting for me in heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1    There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:                                                                                                                                                  a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

These verses are the reason I can accept the loss of this baby. He has told us that there is a time for everything, including the living and dying, mourning and weeping, the laughing and dancing. What I love about this is that there isn’t a time limit put on how long you need to spend experiencing each season. So yes I am okay and that is allowed.

I normally blog to get my emotions out, it helps me heal. Today I have already healed and I think the reason I need to blog is to help those around me heal. So to those around me please find peace in knowing our family is okay. We have a God who loves us and will protect us and a beautiful little boy who can’t help but make you smile. So until we are blessed with another little one we will enjoy him and be thankful for his gift of life.

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy

I love to curl up in the middle of my bed, cuddled under my duvet with my pillows supporting my back and blog.

I don’t get to do this often enough because after supper, clean up, bath time, & getting little man settled into his bed I am either too tired to focus on blogging or left with a million toys to clean up, a pile of laundry to fold, floors to be swept or my husband wants to sit down and watch TV.

Tonight my husband is gone out, I’m not overly tired, the toys are cleaned, and the pile of laundry can wait.

So tonight my blog post is on a quote I saw on Pinterest.

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy.

Those six words have truly made an impact on my life because in society today we flaunt what we have on Facebook or flash our new phone/car/(insert the item you wish you had) all around just asking for others to be jealous. I can scroll through my newsfeed and ask myself well why do they have a new house with shiny faucets or a car that’s bigger than mine, and spend my whole day down because the life I currently am living is different from theirs. Here is the issue, just because they have those things doesn’t mean they are living a better life than me, perhaps they are living in thousands of dollars of debt, or beyond the world of social media their marriage is falling apart, or maybe they just aren’t happy.

I have a healthy family, a warm place to live, a roof over my head. I am happy.

If I choose to compare my life to those around me I am robbing myself of that happiness. I am personally making the choice to let comparison steal my joy, and it isn’t going to give me what they have. I have the right to joy and my family deserves for me to embrace that.

So you don’t have a big SUV, or a 4 bedroom house with a shiny faucet, or whatever it is you find yourself wishing for, remember that God has a plan for your life and in time he will give you what you need. Comparing his plan for your life to your neighbours, or cousins, or high school enemy, will only bring you down.

Be content with what you have. If you are meant to have more it is already worked into your life plan.

Tomorrow when you find yourself wishing you had what someone else does, Don’t let comparison steal your joy.

d04bfbe6628bc2c55c50dfdd674589c3

Love One Another

This week I received an e-mail that pulled at my heart strings.

A few months before Graysen was born we started attending Cornerstone Baptist. From the time Graysen was a week old we were in church almost every week and sat in almost the same seats. I can’t explain the sense of community in a room full of hundreds of people but it is so welcoming. There was this sweet lady who sat in front of us and after weeks of turning around to say hello and mention again how cute he was she finally asked if she could hold him.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Week after week she would take him and just sit with him, playing with him and making him smile. He loved it. Graysen was almost five months old before I ever knew her name. I knew her warm smile, her sweet voice, and that she had a love for my little boy and that was enough for me.

Finally the church suggested we wear name tags to get to know each other better because even though there was an amazing sense of community it is still hard to learn everyone’s names. That’s when I learned her name. Her name tag was on her left arm, but she was too busy playing with Graysen for me to get it to stay still long enough to get a good look without being obvious. After much debate my mother and I finally came up with Valerie. It was nice to have a name behind Graysen’s sweet friend.

When she found out that we were moving out of province she told me she was disappointed, that she enjoyed their Sundays together. She was the sweet spot in our Sunday mornings, it gave me a little break and Graysen’s face would light up when she took him.

For the first few months of Graysen’s life she had a love for him, not because he was family, or because he lacked love but because she had a heart big enough to love. She had a smile bright enough to welcome him in and light up his face in return. She had hands barely strong enough to hold him but week after week she welcomed him into her warm embrace because she thought he was cute. She didn’t need to love on my little boy, she had her own grandchildren but she took time to love on my little boy and make him smile.

I encourage you to do the same. Find someone who doesn’t need your love and give it anyways. It will change your life. For five sweet months she loved my family every Sunday morning and changed my life in a way that made me cry as I read that she had passed away. It amazes me that a women I saw for a few hours once a week for a few months has made such an impact on my life just by loving.

So from my family to hers, I send my sympathies. The world was a better place because of the love she had. I can only imagine the love she had for her family. In the few months I knew her she was so sweet to my family and for that I will be forever thankful.

Our family will miss you Valerie.

John 13: 34-35 (MSG) “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

You Cannot Be Replaced

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

I previously posted about how To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) was a large part of my story.

Yesterday I posted this to Facebook.  “I am alive because of people who cared enough to make sure I was okay.” Along with a link to http://www.twloha.com in support of National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW) 2013.

– Globally, there is one suicide about every 40 seconds. –

– 14-24 percent of youth and young adults have self-injured at least once. –

– More than 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. –

Every 40 seconds some dies of suicide. It took me 40 seconds to write that sentence.

Life is short, if you are struggling with depression, self injury, addictions, suicidal thoughts then find someone to talk to. You can start with a close friend, a youth leader, a teacher. Who you start with can change how you end up. You have a chance to become someone, to realize YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED.

This year the slogan for NSPW is YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED.

Why not? Because you have more to offer life than what you are living, because you may turn out to be a teacher, a dancer, an actor, a waitress, a grocery store clerk, a lawyer, or maybe even a CEO, but whatever you end up to be you will be the only you. There maybe someone “just like you” but at the end of the day a mother will never replace her love for you with something else, a best friend will never find someone who shares the jokes you do. You are a unique person who cannot be duplicated, who cannot be replaced.

I cannot be replaced because I am a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, niece, friend, granddaughter, daughter-in-law. I am Bethany Robinson. My birth date will never be replaced, my wedding date will never be duplicated, my sons birth certificate never altered. I will always be those things, but I will also always be a lover of scarves, Starbucks coffee, a dedicated supporter of TWLOHA, a stay at home mom, and a Grey’s Anatomy addict. I love to take pictures, and lose myself in the rain, I would take fall & winter over summer any day, and love watching the snow fall while cuddled up in warm comfy clothes with a mug of hot chocolate. I love fire, and hate my husbands facial hair, I insist on sleeping on the right hand side of the bed, and love cuddling, I hate burnt burgers, and love chicken. I have Celiac Disease, and would give anything for a Subway cold cut combo on Italian Herb & Cheese with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles, mayo, cheese, no salt or pepper.

There is no one else who is every single one of those things.

If you know someone who is struggling with self injury, depression, or thoughts of suicide be the person who cares enough to make sure they are okay. You will forever be a character in their story of life, a story that you helped add another chapter. I promise you will never ever regret it.

So please this week remember that Hope Is Real, Rescue is Possible, Love is the Movement, & You Cannot Be Replaced.

So Long Sweet Summer

Tonight after supper, bath time, and pajamas we all got ready, put on sweaters and went out for a walk.

The air was crisp. Fall is coming.

That means the leaves will turn colours, then fall off for us to build piles and jump in. There will be pumpkins to carve, and if you’re lucky enough to live by a Starbucks there are Pumpkin Spice Lattes to drink. If you aren’t near a Starbucks (which I sadly am not yet) then there is another warm beverage waiting for you to wrap your hands around and enjoy. There are sweaters to bundle up in, boots to be bought, and scarves to wear, I have a rather large collection and cannot wait to enjoy them all. There is the happiness of Thanksgiving to enjoy, gathered around with friends and family sharing just what it is you are thankful for. There is the joy of watching kids run around dressed up on Halloween and politely demand candy from neighbours. Then there is the pure amazement while you watch blustery winds sweep in and steal the last few days before winter sets in.

I love fall almost as much as I love winter.

It makes my heart happy to think of those things and I look forward to enjoying them because before you know it I will be posting about Christmas and Graysen’s birthday.

Time flies by much too quickly. Learn to embrace it.

Sure the blustery days of fall aren’t my favourite and the thought of bundling up to watch my kid play in the leaves isn’t exactly topping the lists of things I could do but those are the things we take for granted. Some day Graysen will be too big to jump in leaves and the blustery days are the ones that bring us closer together as we snuggle up inside.

I am actually happy to see summer go, I find it a hectic time of year. The nice weather tends to make us feel like we always need to be on the go and we just get so caught up we forget to enjoy each other.

So until next year, so long sweet summer.

Standing On The Edge

Ever step out on the edge of a cliff and been very scared if it was going to hold you?

The fear of the unknown, what lies beneath the cliff that is going to hold you up and ensure that you don’t fall to the bottom.

Today I feel like our family is standing on the edge of a cliff not knowing what is beneath us, where we are going next, but I do know that what is holding us up. Faith is the rock stopping that cliff from crumbling, it may be faith as small as a mustard seed but it is Faith in God, faith in His plans for our lives, and faith that He is in control.

Yesterday I quit my job, today Michael started as a full-time student, and our lives have yet again been turned upside down. We are confident this is the right decision for our family but struggling to put our whole lives in His hands and know that He will provide.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

There is no lack of proof that God is the center of this so we will continue to seek Him in every aspect of our lives and find hope in these words. Pray with us as we start this adventure together and learn to trust God in everything we do.

 

 

Here or There? Decisions are Everywhere.

I have been blessed beyond measure.

I have a wonderful husband who would do almost anything for me & our family.

I have the sweetest little boy who could cheer up a room no matter what.

I have a great family who stands by me in the best & worst of times.

I have an amazing group of friends, each whom contribute and benefit my life in their own ways.

I have a roof over my head, a reliable vehicle, a warm bed, and food in my fridge.

I find myself wondering sometimes if I took a left instead of a right in my life choices would I be where I am today?

5 years ago I was suppose to start the early childhood education program at Holland College. If I hadn’t worn flip flops to work and fell would I have completed my volunteer & CPR and been able to attend, would I be a different person today?

3.5 years ago I married Michael. Someone recently asked if I regretted getting married at 19. Absolutely positively not. If I didn’t truly feel like Michael was the man I was suppose to marry I wouldn’t have done it at 19 or 29. However if our lives were in different places then would we have made that commitment?

3 years ago I met one of the most amazing friends I ever could have asked for. What if neither of  us had applied for a job with Stokes? We’ve already been through a lot together and I couldn’t ask for a better best friend! (and I guess her boyfriend is pretty cool too!)

1.5 years ago I gave birth to a precious little boy whom changed my world. What if I changed the events that led up to his conception? Would he be here? I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without him.

1 year ago we made the decision to pack up and move provinces and it’s been a roller coaster  ride ever since. If we hadn’t made that decision where would we be today?

I fully believe that there is a plan for my life but often stop and wonder if at any point over the past 23 years of my life if there had been different decisions made who would I be today?

The decisions that Michael & I make over the remainder of our lives will impact who our children turn out to be. That is a lot of pressure as we begin to discuss our options after Michael is done of school, but then I remember that I have been blessed beyond measure so no matter what decisions we make I can just pray that my children will experience the same outpouring of love and support I have received.

Sit Back & Enjoy The Ride

Life is hectic.

From sun up to sun down we are on the go. Michael’s alarm goes off at 4:30 and he is showered and out the door by 5 o’clock in the morning. He doesn’t arrive home until after 2:30 in the afternoon and I head out the door by 4:30 in the afternoon to work until 1 o’clock in the morning.

Seriously who has time to shower in the run of a day never mind blog around here! I strongly dislike working nights for the simple fact that I don’t have any time to sit down and enjoy doing the things I love. The only reason I am blogging tonight is because I managed to get off work early.

Michael is done work in 2.5 weeks then has 2 weeks vacation before he starts school. It is a slight relief that we have made it to this point but also a wake up that this is really happening. Michael is going to school, I am going to work full time, and we’re going to make time as a family, and try not to let the apartment end up in a disaster. Are we crazy?

A little over a year ago this didn’t seem nearly as insane as it does now that we are 4 weeks away, but we are doing it and going to make the best of it. Our main concern is for our sweet boy and that he continues to get the attention he needs from both his Momma & Dadda!

A year ago we made a crazy decision to pack up our belongings in 3 weeks and move provinces with a 5 month old. All the signs were there that this was the plan for our lives and we would survive so here we are. We’ve been here over a year and have been through ups and downs and haven’t fallen apart yet. So we’ll continue to follow through and make this work.

Hopefully when we settle into a routine and life gets back to normal I can get back to regularly blogging but until then stay tuned for updates on our crazy ride.

Sweet Smell Of Summer Time

I love the community I grew up in. We lived on a dirt road in the middle of a subdvision, we ran around carefree, and our parents called our names when it was supper because no matter how far we were someone would hear them. There was a pond at the top of our road with lots of tadpoles, there were always kids outside playing, and fresh air is what we lived for.

I don’t have a lot of memories of growing up but the one thing I do remember is the smell of fresh lilac. We had a tree in our yard while I was growing up and today I noticed the tree we have now started to bloom. As I walked over the smell overwhelmed me! It is quite possibly one of my favourite smells in the whole world.

Lilacs are also super pretty. So after I had a good smell I grabbed my camera, cut some to bring inside, and took some pictures.

My living room smells like my childhood and I couldn’t be happier. I look forward to many more fresh blooms and the smell of lilac.

IMG_1862 IMG_1861 IMG_1854 IMG_1865 Lilac

Life Can Pass You By

Five minutes ago I was laying in bed ready to sleep, then I read something on Facebook that made me want to blog. It has been awhile since I have been here and I am so ready to get back.

Our lives have been through ups & downs over the last few months, with health issues, questioning life decisions, and just enjoying our little man. I can honestly say that right now I am content with where we are. We moved here for Michael to attend college and although our hearts aren’t 100% in it we know we have a purpose here and an opportunity we can’t pass up. Michael is going to attend school and get a job he wants to do everyday, and hopefully someday I can stay home with our kids. So for now we are here and need to make peace with it.

I think sometimes we look at our lives and spend way too much time wondering why we are doing something, how we got to where we are, or where our life went when we weren’t looking. I could sit down everyday and point out what I don’t like about our lives right now or I could embrace what I love. I don’t have a perfect life but I have been given a life to live and no matter how many wrong turns I take I know I have the same end result. I have stopped paying attention to the things that don’t matter and tried to make decisions that benefit our lives.

I think it is important to realize that you do only have one life and it can be taken from you much too soon. Make decisions that have a positive influence on you and leave an impact on those around you. Learn to be happy with what you have because even if one part of your day/life sucks there are plenty of reasons to be thankful for simple things. Don’t focus on the big picture because you might not have time to finish the painting.