On the day I thought I would hold you

Our sweet Maizie girl was not due till April 18th, but I had convinced myself she would come today so that our family could make it to an out of town wedding we are ALL in on April 8th.  Yes, I am crazy.



Today is the day when I thought I would hold you for the first time; but, it’s not going to be.  That reality still hasn’t fully hit yet.  There have been so many times where I’ve looked down at my stomach over the past three months and been surprised by what I see.  You haven’t been with me for some time now.

I wanted to meet you today.  I wanted to take in all your little features.  I wanted to hear your little gurgles and cries.  I wanted to introduce you to your daddy and your sister and your grandparents and maybe even an aunt and uncle or two.

I wanted to snuggle you and nurse you.  I wanted to delight in you and love you.

On December 6 when I found out you had died, it wasn’t just my little daughter in my tummy who had died.  It was my newborn who had died.  My toddler who had died.  My teenager who had died.  My grown-up daughter who had died.  It was not simply the end of a pregnancy.  It was the end of a life I had dreamed about, planned for and clearly envisioned in some ways.

I wish today was the beginning of a new type of journey for us.  The journey where you are out of my tummy and in the world.  The time where I get to love you, parent you, shepherd you, read to you, feed you, play with you, laugh with you, cry with you and sleep with you.  These are all the things I am missing today.

You will forever be dear to us.  We gave you your name because you are our treasure.  Your worth was not determined by the fact that you were wanted by your parents.  Your value is intrinsic because you are a created person with a body and a soul.

I’m sad today that I won’t know you here.  I won’t know what you like and what you love.  I won’t know what bothers you or what excites you.  I won’t know your passions and heart.  I won’t know your dreams.  I won’t know your quirks or your attitude.  I won’t know your giggle or your different types of cries.

Your big sister Emerson loves babies right now.  I think at least half of the words she says in a day are “baby.”  Pointing out babies we see.  Asking to find a baby.  Playing with her baby doll.  She would have loved to have you here.  She probably would have loved you a little too hard.  We all would have loved you hard.  We all still do love you hard.  And it’s been really hard.

I was sad when I heard the words “there is no heartbeat.”  I was sad after your body left my body.  Sad when my breast milk came in and sad when it left.  Sad when my body returned to giving me a physical reminder that I wasn’t pregnant.  Sad when I saw tummies that were the size mine “should have been.”  Sad when my friends had their babies.  Today, I’m sad my arms are empty.  I’m sad that you aren’t here.

empty handsWe would have loved to teach you all the important things.  Bow-wearing.  Playing.  Having joy.  Praying.  Loving God.  Loving others.  Welcoming people into your home.  Rodeo-ing.  Dancing.  Serving.  Forgiving.  Bible reading.  Leading.  Singing.  Exercising.  Cooking.  Sharing around the table.  All the things we love.

You’ve forever changed me sweet girl.  You’ve made me acknowledge life in the womb in a deeper way than I knew before.  You’ve made me experience deep sorrow, but stretched me to empathize with others in their suffering in a new way.  You’ve made me not take life for granted and to appreciate each day I have with any of my children.  You’ve opened my eyes to the delicateness of life in the womb and have forever changed the way I will carry a pregnancy.  You’ve driven me to Jesus in a way I’ve never known before.  You’ve made me look to your daddy for strength and comfort in new ways.  You’ve made me acknowledge my own weaknesses and limitations.  Loving deeply opens the heart to great hurt, but I wouldn’t have wanted to love you any less.

My hope is that you’re in heaven now and that your reality is far greater than mine.  My hope is that you’re near to Jesus and delighting in Him.  In just a little while, we hope to be there with you.

I’ll love you forever and miss you always.


Your mom


For all those who have longed for babies they wished to hold and all who will in the future, my aching heart is with yours today.


wishing for

What I wish my reality was today

Pregnancy Announcement

I’m a bad secret keeper and probably an even worse liar. (Edit: I’m a bad secret keeper of my secrets.  Not those of others.  Don’t worry all former YL students who have trusted me with things in the past.)

I’ve been this way since I was a little kid.  I did something to get in trouble and tried to cover it up, but when mom came in and asked if I was responsible my face would expose the truth regardless of what words came out of my mouth.

I’m a chronic over sharer.  I like the people in my world to know what’s going on in my life and heart.  I like to start off the vulnerable talk and create space for other people to join in.

For the past month and a half I’ve been trying to keep a secret and it’s been horrible.  I’ve been avoiding my people, not returning calls and not sharing what I’m really thinking about.   It’s part of the reason I’ve felt like a stale saltine cracker the past month.   Well that and the all day morning sickness that has me eating a lot of saltines.

That’s right.  We have an announcement.

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I’m finding that the more I’m allowed to say it out loud, the more real it is becoming.  We’re pregnant.  We’re excited.  My head can’t begin to wrap around the responsibility and change coming our way.  But for now, we’re just delighting in the news and enjoying sharing it with the people we love.

So get ready because come May 2015 we’re going to need your help welcoming our little one to the world.


Stale Saltines – what I feel when I’m busy and tired

This transition back to the schedule of fall has been more bumpy than I thought.  The busy weeknight evenings have left me tired.  We’ve done a poor job of proactively pursuing some of our important relationships here in Dallas.  Besides crowds of high school kids, I haven’t hosted many people in our home.  I think I was able to cook a meal slowly once this month.  Neither my toe nails nor my finger nails are currently painted.  My work out schedule has been highly irregular (although Andi and I picked back up the mile a day challenge this week so that’s about to change).  The house is a mess.  Praise God for the maid coming today because I’ve accepted that cleaning is a losing battle for me.  All signs point to busy and tired.

October isn’t looking better for us either.  JR thinks it will be the “worst month of his life” based on his loads in both work and school.  I don’t see anything we can quit.  We’re already worn out and we don’t know how to make it stop right now.  I don’t want to live just trying to make it to November when we get time away for a five day marriage retreat.  But right now that’s our mindset.  Just make it to vacation.

I feel like a stale saltine cracker.  My relationship with God feels stale.  My relationships with others feel stale.  I’m getting by but lacking passion, energy and spark.

We’re busy, do it all and be all in people.  We host, cook and welcome others.  We work hard to love other people and share God with the world.  Most of the time we have a lot going on and we thrive in it.  But right now it feels like I’m in a rut.

I’m tired and busy and stale.  There’s nothing I can quit so I’m looking for secret moments that are refreshing.  I’m looking to God in those moments to restore my soul and my spirit piece by piece even when none of my circumstances can change.

Holding sweet baby Charlotte Hogan on the first day of her life and celebrating the miracle that God knit together in her mother’s womb.  Listening to the same worship song on repeat every day on my morning commute because the words spoke to my soul on Sunday and made me teary.  I want to channel that heart for God.  Being amazed by the beauty of the sunrise as I run in the mornings.  Ending my days with JR and laughing before we fall asleep.  This helps me to be thankful for deep love and companionship.Newborn Baby

When the world spins fast and feels hard, I think it’s in these little moments that we hear God’s whispers of encouragement.  I think He’s meeting me here in this season even though I don’t feel much of anything.  So I’m going to keep putting my ear to the ground and listening.  Keeping my eyes wide open for His work around me.  And I’m going to wake up dependent every single morning.

Are you busy and tired? Are you stuck in a rut?  What do you do to get out of it?