Monday, October 27, 2008

More of the 99 Balloons story on Oprah October 31

Oprah and I don't agree on much these days, however...this is a story I can support. This is the information from Eliot's mommy's blog...

Well, as if you haven't gotten enough of us, looks like we may be doing an update on the Oprah Live show this Friday (October 31). So tune in if you are so inclined.

Oprah is doing a segment on Eliot Mooney on the show coming up on Tuesday, October 28. The show is on "Miracle children" and Eliot is the only one not still on this earth. Honestly, at first we were hesitant when approached with the whole idea. However, having already taped the show, we feel honored to tell Eliot's story through this platform. The Oprah crew did a great job throughout of simply telling Eliot's story and nothing else. And we are appreciative to them for the opportunity. So, spread the word if you want, and tune in as the Lord continues to take a little boy and make Himself known.

Eliot's story was shared in the 99 Balloons video - a balloon for every day he lived on Earth. I encourage you to check out the 99 Balloons video, the blog about Eliot and the "Miracle Children" episode of Oprah.

Friday, October 24, 2008

At the end of me

Life has been crazy this month in all areas. Yet, God is faithful and He is revealing how He is ever present, protecting, providing, and guiding us on this journey.

October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - a day to remember babies who have died from miscarriage, stillbirth or early/late pregnancy loss. Kristyn (Joseph's mommy) & Lyndsey (Lauren's mommy) co-founded the Orange County Walk to Remember and Jose' and I participated for the first time. It was incredible. They did an amazing job and it was such a blessing to "walk for the steps our babies will never take." They did so many things to make the day special - it was a huge blessing. There were 700 people at the event, including the Saddleback Empty Arms Support Group, St. Joseph's Perinatal Comfort Care, and Krista (Macy's mommy) - people who have become integral parts of our lives. People we didn't even know a year ago, whom have impacted our lives forever.

It was a strange feeling to be at the Walk to Remember and feel thankful. Doesn't that seem strange? To feel blessed in the midst of our grief? And yet it is true. It is a miracle. To feel such peace, hope, and comfort is new for me. I've never felt it to this degree before, and I'm incredibly thankful. It has been hard. Receiving support, love, comfort and help has been very hard for me. I'm the kind of person that prefers to look like I have it all together. Unfortunately, needing help was equated with weakness in my mind. I had a different set of rules for myself - it was important for everyone else to receive help, but it wasn't acceptable for me. I'm so glad that twisted thinking has been crushed. Thank you Chloe for leading me to the truth.

Our experience with Chloe brought me to the end of myself. I didn't have anything more to give, no energy to wear the mask, no strength to stand alone. I had to receive, rely on others and reach out. And I'm so grateful that I have been forever changed by the experience. Life is so much better when we don't try to do it on our own. We are designed for fellowship, unity, togetherness - not to walk this journey alone or in our own strength.

One of the important lessons I've learned this year is that I disagree with the cliche "God never gives us more than we can handle." In my experience, God absolutely allowed something in our lives that was more than we could handle - so that we would rely on Him and others. We could never have gotten through 2008 in our own strength - we have relied on so many people who have carried us through the dark days.

I'm so grateful for the people who have been God's hands and feet to us in our grief. Who have read the blog, posted comments, sent letters, called, given heart felt hugs, asked how we are doing, told us they love us...those who have cared for us. Because they have been there for us, we have been able to reach out to others that are hurting. I'm grateful for that. It has been a blessing to walk with others who are on a similar journey.

September was a difficult month. October has been amazing. If you know anything about what is going on in our lives right now, it is anything but easy. There are major life challenges in our careers, finances, church, relationships, etc. We are thankful for the blessings we have and the way that God is refining us and adding such richness to our lives

We are grieving the loss of Tony, a staff member at our church and an amazing man. Please keep his wife, Lisa & 20 month old daughter Isabel in your prayers. God is comforting the grieving, but the loss is enormous and painful. Please pray for the family and our church - that God would be glorified on Earth through Tony's life and death.

I wish that I could have gotten to this better place (in my marriage, my emotional health, my spiritual life, relationships, perspective...) without the pain and loss. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible without coming to the end of myself first. At the end of me, I allow God to take over, and that is when beautiful things happen and things begin to "fit" even when life is chaotic. God is so amazing - His ways are certainly not my ways. And even though I don't always like it, I'm so glad. He is good. He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Praise report - 4 of the mommies I met in Atlanta who experienced pregnancy loss are pregnant. What a blessing to see hope confirmed!! Please keep Kenzie, Emily, Chrissy, and Kim in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chloe & Jack

Thank you for the prayers and words of encouragement after my last post. I'm thankful to report that after "dumping" on the blog, reaching out to some friends, crying my eyes out, praying, and a good night of sleep; I felt much better the next morning.

Then I realized why I was so emotional. Let me restate that - I realized there was something in addition to my grief over Chloe that was making me extra emotional. Jose's birthday was September 25 and he wouldn't be celebrating with his little girl. That made me really sad. I hadn't realized that fact until that point. It just wasn't right that she wasn't here.

In addition, my mom's birthday was September 28 and the loss was there in the back of my mind. It was the first time that I realized that Chloe's milestone dates are close to other significant dates. Chloe, Jose', and my mom would have all had birthdays in September. Instead, Chloe and I both have birthdays in April.

We also found out Chloe's fatal diagnosis in March - the month my mom passed away. And Mother's Day is really close to our Anniversary.

I don't know why happy days are mixed with sad days. Maybe that is God's way of reminding us that life includes highs and lows. Or giving us something to be thankful for in the midst of the loss? On September 4 we were sad to not have
Chloe. On September 25 I was excited to be married to an awesome husband and celebrate the day he was born. Then September 28 - thankful for my mom, but missing her since she is gone. I just find it interesting how the dates are so close together.

Something else happened this month too. A friend delivered her precious baby, Jack on September 15. Even though they received a fatal diagnosis, she chose to carry Jack to term. He lived for almost 16 hours and slipped into Heaven from his mommy's arms. Several of my favorite mom's from the blogs reached out to her to comfort her in her loss. Thank you! She is heart broken, of course, but the comfort, prayers and support she is receiving makes a huge difference. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

I can't share about it now, but it looks like God is using Chloe and Jack to do some exciting things for families in our area who receive a fatal diagnosis. What a blessing and humbling experience to think that their little lives, so fragile and brief, could be the start of big things. God does work in mysterious ways. I'll keep you posted - your prayers would be appreciated.

God's blessings on you today. He is faithful through the highs and the lows. So, if you are at a low point, don't lose hope - things will get better right around the corner.