Friendships seem to have seasons. They come and go, ebb and flow.

We grow up, but this truth still remains from kindergarten. Sometimes the people you think were your best friends have to walk away- and then you find your new best friend right around the corner!

Gabe's surgery is coming fast.

48 hours.

His 7 month birthday is the same day.

Judah and I haven't had much time to write, there is so much playing to do! We have to get off to go get breakfast together (Love my Mommy-Judah dates)

Love to everyone. <3



When I was 16, something happened that dramatically changed my life for several years. It was painful, confusing, strange, and it was not okay.

It was assault.

For months on end, I wished I were dead. I couldn't look at myself in a mirror. I couldn't bear the idea of what had happened, even so much that I literally shut down emotionally. I did risky things afterwards with the mentality of "What worse could happen now. I am worthless as it is."

I felt alone, and the emotions that followed were confusing.

The first, was I told someone who was a former teacher of mine what had happened. She was someone I trusted- and she did what she was supposed to do. Soon, I was in an office where I had to describe every detail of what had happened to a principal who was male. It was the worst, most embarrassing, most excruciatingly horrific thing I could have imagined. I wanted it to go away and to pretend that it hadn't happened.

Then, after talking to adults who asked me what I had done to cause it- I began to ask myself the same question. I blamed myself- hated myself- and harmed myself.

For a while, I stopped talking entirely. I said nothing to anyone- and shut down. Then the fear poured in.

The person who assaulted me went to class with me. He would follow me around school, just close enough to rise the hairs on my neck. I recall at one point, he leaned over my shoulder when I was in detention and looked at my work, closely. He whispered "Good job." to me.

The fear turned to hatred, which turned into a deeper thing entirely.

Wanting to see someone pay for what they had done to 'ruin' me.

I truly believed I was ruined for marriage, for a future. I thought that the choices I had were either to drop out of highschool and get away from him- or to kill myself.

And for a while, the blame shifted between myself and him. First, I hated him. Then, I hated myself. Then, I realized that the solution was there all along.

Bitterness DOES rot your bones. It makes you ill, mentally, physically. But it does more than that. It turns you violent. It turns you angry. It turns you from the person you are supposed to be- a light shining into the darkness, to a darkness shining into darkness.

To fight pain with revenge- only causes more pain. It will make you proud, for a time- that you stood up and did what you thought needed to be done. But then it will turn to a pain that is nonpunishable. You will have to do more and more to try to fill the wound- to bring justice for your pain that cannot be attained.

But luckily, I found forgiveness.

Forgiveness, my friends- does not mean forgetting. It doesn't mean trusting. It DOES NOT mean letting that person back into your circle. It means not harboring an ill will or hate towards them. Not wanting to see something bad happen to them for the wrong they've done. Not wanting to see them suffer. Not even wanting to see them apologize.

It means knowing that it is dust in the wind. That you can let it blow off of your shoulders- so that when you see them again... You don't want to hide from them. You don't want to yell, or hurt them. You just let them be people. Whether you choose to talk to them, or pass them by. It just means that if they decided to say hello to you- you wouldn't have to follow it up with "I hope you rot in hell- you giant piece of dirt." It means that you know that they are free to find the ability to apologize- without the fear of a reaction from you.

I haven't forgotten the past, clearly. But it is the past. It is where it is for a reason. And I know in my heart- that forgivness has happened on this end. That although, I would never purposefully run into this person, I would be able to hold my head high and know with all my heart that God has helped me to find a way to let the burden off of my shoulders.

If I can do it- so can you.


Compassionate Care

I was reading through a group on facebook about Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome when I came across a post. It was from a woman who had found out that she was pregnant with an infant who had HLHS and was trying to decide the best course of action (surgical route, compassionate care, ect).

Now- many of you might know that HLHS babies go through a lot. They are born with a pre-determined '3 open heart surgeries' surgical route option that (for chromosomally healthy babies) has been very successful- nearly 90 percent at major hospitals.

Not only do they have to go through those three surgeries, but they also are left with only half of a heart at the end. Which means, their heart could have anywhere from 15-30 years before it needs to be replaced. Half a heart can only do the job of a whole heart for so long.

So, although my first reaction when reading a post like this is to push the mother towards the surgical route and hope that she has the strength to endure all that.. I also have to remember that there is no cure for half a heart. At the end of their journey- they will still have a baby with half of a heart who faces infertility (if she is female) and faces developmental issues along with that.

As for my family, we searched our heart and decided together that we wanted to let Gabe fight. Gabe doesn't get to say what he wants to do- so we were given the choice to decide for him. A parenting choice. We chose to believe that the fight was and is worth it for us.

So naturally- anytime I see someone who is trying to decide what is best for their sweet blessing, I assume they would want to know how very worth it that fighting is to us. How irreplaceable my son is- how glad we are to have him.

But as we prepare for this next surgery- I realize even more than ever- that the journey we chose is difficult.

Heading to Boston alone with my husband in babies- that in itself is terrifying to me. It scares me to think we may not have the finances to support our trip home afterwards... Though I know God works these things out.

But it scares me more to know what we are about to see. My son, like he was at 17 days old- sedated and intubated and in pain. He isn't a newborn anymore, we aren't fighting for just another day with him. We are fighting now, for a lifetime with him. So- although it is most certainly worth it for us... There are many reasons I can say that compassionate care is not an easy choice. It is a difficult choice to choose to hold your little one and wait for them to stop breathing.

But, if I would have chosen it- there would have been joy in those moments too. When Judah was born, he sounded like his airway was obstructed- he was whisked away to the NICU and out of my arms where I fought to have him back for 3 days. I never got that bonding time, to hold him on my chest. Those precious moments you can't get back.

Then, Gabe was born. We knew his birth would mean the same thing.

And how I long for those moments. My greatest dream is to have my baby in my arms the moment they are born. To hold them close, to treasure them in those 'first moments'. It is my hearts desire to have that- although it may not be what God has in mind for me.

So knowing that if we chose compassionate care, I would have gotten to hold Gabe on my chest and treasure those sweet moments together- no pain, no drugs, for at least 2 days... I have thought about that (especially after he was intubated and doing so poorly from the medications)...

I suppose what I mean by this blog is that- although I could never choose to let my son fade away without a fight.. I can understand why others would.

Though hard to say, it is certainly true. Too many babies with HLHS are lost after 1 or two or three surgeries. Too many parents go through that excruciating pain of falling in love with their personality and their traits and then not having them in their arms ever again.

However, for me, there is one thing in life I hold true to. Beauty from ashes.

Look it up :)


Focusing on inner beauty this week

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

1 Timothy 4:8
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

These scriptures are on my heart this week. I don't know if anyone else has ever noticed this, but whenever I spend time taking care of myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and I get to a place where I "feel" beautiful, it begins to radiate through me and I will get comments from my husband/family "You look beautiful, you are just radiating."

I honestly believe that if you take care of yourself at an inner level, focusing on GOOD things and on the things that God has in mind for you to focus on- it radiates out of your whole body. It makes you more attractive (and not just physically) and it makes you FUN to be around.

Something to think about.

Depression and sadness and self pity breeds isolation, loneliness, bitterness and even hatred.

But focusing on joy, hope, beauty, others, Jesus, the bible, it breeds beauty on a level only God could give you beauty.

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