Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

So many emotions overwhelm me as we pack up our house and say our last goodbyes here in St. George. I can't believe that just Phil and I and a giant U-haul (and a trailer and another smaller U-haul...) moved here 6 years ago. We celebrated our 3rd anniversary here and now we today we are celebrating our 9th. So much has changed.

As many of you know, I had mixed emotions about moving here, yet as time passed, as we made friends, settled into our house, had children... this became home. I was surprised by my reaction when Phil resigned and I didn't have this urge to pack up and move back to Salt Lake. I was perfectly fine with finding work here. This was our home.

But staying is not what we feel God would have for us. So here we are. I'm sitting surrounded by boxes and bare walls... (which is weird) contemplating our last 6 years.
Many great memories have been had here. 3 children born, (2 right here in this home), many great parties with friends and family near and far, plenty of fun in the sun and pool, and even a snowman out front. All this will be missed dearly.

Yet St. George has brought great, deep, loss. In some ways I'll be happy for a new start. Loosing our sweet Nate has rocked our world, changed us in so many ways. We are not the same.  The flip is that this is where almost every memory we had with our sweet boy is. Birthing him, rocking him, watching him learn to crawl, being surrounded by amazing support in his death. How can I leave that?

Since changing jobs almost 10 months ago we have be in a strange place. These times have not been easy. Trusting and waiting on direction, figuring out what our church and friend community would look like, and wondering if we would end up staying or going... So now, with my last few days here I look around and am doing my best to soak it all up.

Thank you to all who have blessed us these last 6 years.

So long St. George, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. They will never be forgotten.

Monday, May 5, 2014

So, how many kids do you have?

     I HATE said question. I don't hate much. (my dad always said, 'hate is a strong word.')
It's so awkward. Most of the time I base my answer on the audience, Am I with my kids? Will I ever see this person again? Do I want to share why I just said I have 3 kids, but only have two with me? Do I want to feel the pity looks right now or be known right of the bat as the 'mom who lost her baby to SIDS'? etc...

Today I was sitting in nursery feeding Evan when a lady asked if he was my first. I said, 'No, I have a 4 year old too.' Then she said, 'oh that's nice spacing between your kids' and I wanted to cry. 'Um, no it sucks. I hate it. I should have a two year old running around with my 4 year old and both of them playing with attacking my 8 month old!' But I didn't. I just sat there. It was an innocent comment on her part. But it made me start to think and process what I want my children to hear me say, not what strangers think, feel or say. While I'm sure there will be times when my answer may be different, I sat there thinking about Evan. I want him to know his big brother as best as we can show him. I want to do my best to keep Ella's memories and love for him alive, am I helping that by taking the quiet and seemingly easy road and not even mentioning him? I want Nate to be talked about with ease in our family. I want my children to hear me talk about him, for them to take ownership of the fact that they have a brother, Nathaniel Henry Wiebe. He may not be here on earth with us anymore, but he was here with us for 8 short months and changed us forever.
I also hate the awkward, 'oh, I'm so sorry', followed by, 'I had a miscarriage' or I lost a grandparent...' While I would be lying if I said that there wont be times when our loss has and will continue to connect us to a select few that have endured a very similar loss. Generally speaking it will just be awkward and not fun. Seriously, who wants to be the kill joy every time they meet someone new and get asked the age old question?
But I guess, I have come to that point in dealing with this loss where I am processing how I answer this question a bit more.
I can only rely on the strength of God and His sovereign grace to make it through this simple question. I can also trust that He will guide my answer in a way that is life giving and positive for all my children and the legacy that Nate has left in our lives.

Now for most of you who thankfully have not had to live through a loss like this I'll offer some practical advice. Just about 100% of the time you will have had no idea that you just stepped into that minefield... but once you have instead of offering your own tragic but not the same story...  replies that have meant the most to me are ones where less pity is shared, but... ok... I sat and thought about this for quite a while and I don't have a very good answer for you. Each person is different. I do generally love to talk about Nate and what he was like and his personality and the things he did... But honestly I don't currently have a good answer.

It also is blares in my face the fact that many of us have stories of hurt so much deeper than we care to admit and many simple questions don't have simple answers.

So from here on out (which also means, I think most of the time... ) I will be strong and confident in my answer of how many children I have. 3, I have 3! I will also be graceful in remembering to love on those asking, because I know I have been the innocent 'questioner' before.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Ephesians 4:32

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Way back when life was 'normal'

Sometimes I'll put on some music or be doing something that reminds me of life before the loss of Nate. The innocent blissful world I lived in. Not that I wasn't aware of pain or loss or challenges, they just hadn't hit so close to home or been this big. The pain wasn't this raw. Sometimes it's so overwhelming. It's crazy to be able to feel so full and satisfied and fulfilled, yet so much pain with that hole in your heart that my sweet baby Nate left. I know it will not be filled until we meet again together worshiping at the feet of Jesus. So until then we learn to cope in the healthiest ways possible. Celebrate, cry, meet new people that didn't know Nate and have no idea what my past holds. Sharing our story. Watching our children reach new milestones. Like Evan crawling like a mad man and just the other day I taught Ella to read a book.

We are also in this holding place of uncertainty of what our near future will hold. With Phil changing jobs and starting school. We are in a place of making decisions as to what will be best for our family. This reminds me of a song by Sara Groves, Painting Pictures of Egypt:

I don't want to leave here, I don't want to stay, it feels like pinching to me either way.
The places I long for the most are the places where I've been. They are calling after me like a long lost friend. It's not about losing faith, it's not about trust, it's all about comfortable when you move so much. 

The place wasn't perfect but I had found a way to live. It wasn't milk or honey, but neither is this.
I've been painting pictures of Egypt leaving out what it lacked. The future feels so hard and I want to go back. But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things i've learned, and those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned

The past is so tangible, I know it by heart, familiar things are never easy to discard. I was longing for some freedom, but now I hesitate  to go, I am caught between the promise and the things i know

If if comes to quick, i may not recognize it. Is that the reason behind all this time and sand. If it comes to quick, I may not appreciate it. Is that the reason behind all this time and sand.

This song has been on my heart recently, funny thing, it was my theme song when we moved to St George 5 years ago. I'm sure the Israelites felt like they were stuck between two worlds also. They knew that God had great plans for them, but leaving what they knew wasn't easy. Well, maybe at first is was exciting, a new freedom... but when the seas were closed back up and the dust had settled, weeks later and they were hot and tired, Egypt may have been looking pretty good.
Learning to trust God, and really 'live' in each moment. What does that look like? How can I honor God in the 'waiting room' if you will?

So what am I trying to say? The triggers that remind me of my old normal catch me off guard sometimes. This new normal is okay, as long as I'm resting in the peace that only God can give me and I'm trying my best to not "paint pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacks..."

Friday, April 11, 2014


I remember when I was maybe 12 and my friend and I were swimming at a public pool. At some point we noticed that another girl our age was wearing a white swimsuit that was a little 'see through'. We decided that she needed to be aware of the situation. Now there are so many things that go into this. While you would want to know of 'said problem', hearing it at a public pool, from two girls your age when you are already wet, surrounded by your friends (who haven't said anything) ... Let's just say she wasn't thrilled or thankful to hear what we had to tell her.
Looking back on that event I see that while our intentions may have been good, our timing and delivery were not so good.

There are often situations in life that I need to decide if, how, and when to address the said 'issue' with others. That's when discretion comes into play.

1. the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information
2. the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.

The Bible also has insight in this:

When words are many sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it's fruits.'Proverbs 18:21

This is not always easy. Add emotions. Enough said. But we are not called to just react with our emotions,

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  -Ephesians 4:1-3

So as life comes at me I pray that I will use discretion and wisdom to handle each situation in a way that honors God.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.  -Titus 2:7-8

This doesn't mean that I shouldn't ever address conflict or challenge others to do or not do something. But it says to be smart about it. Think it through. Don't react with pure emotion. Take a 'time out' to seek God's wisdom. Stand back and get the whole picture. Do it with love and grace.

Let your conversation be filled with grace, seasoned with salt, so you may know how to answer everyone.   -Colossians 4:6

Whether it's a swimsuit 'malfunction' with a stranger, a disagreement in social media, or a conversation with a friend, I can only pray that I'll continue to seek God's face and treat others in a way that honors His name. It's not always easy or the most favored road, but this discretion road is one I'm learning to walk better every day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

i don't know....

I should have a two year old. I don't.
I wish I could be throwing a little party for him, sing Happy Birthday.
One of the most frustrating things for me is I don't know how to handle it. I want to celebrate his life in some special way, but I don't know how. I didn't have enough time with him to know what he would like, I'm left to guess, imagine. Some moments I just want to be alone. Others moments I want to have a huge party. I have a lifetime more to figure this out. I don't want it. But that doesn't change it. I want what I can't have.
Keep the prayers coming guys, cause I'm a mess.
Happy 2nd birthday my sweet Nate. 8 months wasn't enough.