two songs for your Sunday.

I hope this music blesses your heart as much as it does mine.

“In winter I believe you
In springtime I see you
It’s so good to be with you
my hope has come
Lord you make all things new
Your love is my breakthrough
Now I sing Hallelujah
my hope has come”

How beautiful! I stumbled upon this Wednesday and pretty much haven’t stopped listening to it and their ‘Why oh Why’ song posted below. Simply beautiful, amazing and oh so {true}. Cherry blossoms have always reminded me of my Eisley-girl and of hope. That is what caused me to click the video in the first place, not gonna lie. :) I’m so glad I did.

“Faith can only grow in a real tight spot, love will only bloom when it’s all you’ve got
Nothing is sweet as a broken heart, giving God praise in the hardest part
What has been done we cannot undo, but love is never lost in the face of truth
And nothing is sweet as a broken heart, giving God praise in the hardest part”

Oh my heart….

So thankful to have found this music! Let’s carry this into next week, taking it one day at time.

“Praising Him in the hardest part.”

Celebration of her life.

September 17th the one year anniversary since Eisley’s birth.

We decided to get away as a family and it was truly what we needed. We spent 4 nights in Denver, some days around our friends and others just as a family. It was a time of remembering her, grieving our loss of her here and celebrating her life.

I really struggled as the anniversary of her passing and her birth came, for many reasons but mostly because it was the first year and I was wondering how on earth could I possibly do anything to commemorate her life in such a special way. I had many ideas on my “list” and was terrified that I wouldn’t honour her in the best way possible. As the time came, I let go of what I had planned and went with what we were feeling. Everything just fell into place naturally and traditions that we will do each year just came about. I feel we did the best in honouring her and no matter how much or how little we could have done, she’ll always hold a place in our family and in our hearts. There are a few things we really wanted to do this year and some things every year and I won’t share everything we did but here are some photos from out weekend.

We decided to do a family photo and a balloon release each year on the week of her birthday.

Another thing we would love to do each year is to make cupcakes with the kids and celebrate her life as one in our family. We want our boys and future kiddos to know their sister and who she was and is to our family.

Left: Chase’s god momma                                         Right: Eisley’s god momma

Melts my heart. <3

Pink Gerber Daisies remind us of her. Chase is blowing the flower to “make a wish” like he does with dandelions.

It was a bittersweet yet {healing} weekend for our us.

Eisley-girl, you are forever in our hearts and apart of our family.

music; held.

music.

The words, the movement, the beauty expressed, the harmonies, the emotion is can draw out of one.

I close my eyes, take it in and find myself healing.

I’ve seen God meet people where they’re at time and time again and I’ve found He meets me in music, speaks to me through music, heals my heart through music.

He meets my heart through many different types of music, both “christian” and “secular”. Since we’ve lost Eisley, I’ve gained an entire “soundtrack” or two of music that speaks to my heart. Some music people have shared with me. Some of the songs I’ve stumbled across.

Music that meets me in the deepest, darkest, most painful places. The unexplored regions of my aching heart that need healing.

I decided to start sharing some of these songs and what they mean to me.

I’ll begin with Held by Natalie Grant and the meaning below.

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We’re asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows

The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

I don’t really even know if I need to share what this song means to me. I remember hearing it before we ever walked through losing our Eisley-girl and if I’m being honest, I brushed it off. I didn’t understand it.

A few people shared it with me after we lost her. I brushed it off again because I remember thinking it was cheesy and I didn’t want cheesy, I wanted something that met my heart. One day I finally decided to look up the lyrics (I’m always look up the lyrics of a “new” song while it’s playing to see if I really like what it’s saying or if there is something I have missed)

Whoa, this song brought me to tears.

it resontated.

it spoke what my heart and mind were having a hard time understanding. i knew people who had said if we’d prayed more or had more faith and i found myself doubting myself and how much faith i had.

i battled feeling that feeling although deep down i knew there was nothing more i could have done. nothing more. i had faith she would survive. God knew my heart’s cry but sometimes a miracle just doesn’t happen. sometimes, yes even with faith, we have no sudden healing.

“who told us we’d be rescued? why should we be saved from tragedy?”

the other part of the song that met me was when it speaks of being held, throughout everything.

and oh, are we held.

 i know that without a doubt in my mind and in my heart. we are held.

tightly held, between His shoulders.

amidst the darkest, most treacherous valleys, we are held.

in our grieving and aching, we are held.

in our questions and struggles, we are held.

i’m held. i feel this now.

and when i struggle in feeling this, i still know this to be the truth.

we. are. held.

September 14th, we were held, even though we couldn’t feel it at the time, we were held. i know that without a doubt.

September 17th, as Eisley was placed in our arms… as we held her, i felt him holding us.

as we said our earthly goodbyes and parted from our daughters body until eternity, we were held.

we were, we are and we will be held. 

and you…

YOU are held. whether mountain top or the darkest valley; You are held.

{Forever Imprinted}- the full meaning behind my tattoo

While on bed rest I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo representing Eisley’s life and this season in our lives. I truly thought I would be getting a tattoo that meant or represented healing, because I truly believed our little girl would survive.

One week after we said our goodbye to her, I knew without a doubt, I wanted her footprints on me forevermore. I originally planned that I would wait until what would have been her first birthday to get this tattoo as well as one under my collar bone, above my heart (not literally) that represented her life and our time with her. It’s hard to tell you the reason behind why I did her footprints sooner that I had thought, but I will just say, I needed the daily reminder to be inspired by her life and the reminder to not let what we’ve walked through to ruin me.

I was afraid to share that I was getting this tattoo and even after I got it, I had to be encouraged by Ted to share it. I guess I was afraid that some people might call this an emotional whim tattoo. It truly isn’t there is so much meaning behind this tattoo. Here is the full meaning in the best way I can explain.

Her footprints:

The words to describe how healing it is for me to have her footprints on me are so hard to find.

Her tiny little footprint mold.

I got her footprints in the exact size, shape and imprint at are in the mold they created for us the day she was born. I saw my (amazing) tattoo artist 4 times beforehand to get it perfected. When she tattooed the footprints on me, she had the mold next to her to make it as similar as possible. {I love that she did that}

I got it on my right foot which was actually is important to me. I lead with my right foot. I hope to let her life inspire me and to be a piece of what helps me keep going. To keep moving forward and to live life fully.

The words;

“You are my sunshine” … I sung the words to this song over and over to her during my time with her. I could cry even now as I think about my time in the hospital with her and how, in those moments when all seemed hopeless, I’d lay with my hand on my belly singing her this song and also the simple song I wrote her, “Grow Eisley Grow”. 

I combined the two meanings into one for the tattoo. I used the words “you are my sunshine” and wrote them in the exact, broken handwriting I used to write her the “grow Eisley grow” song.

The handwriting is broken and isn’t perfect and that is what I {love} about it. It represents that time when I wrote to her, broken and afraid, yet believeing and holding onto hope. It represents where I was and am at now. Broken, yet moving forward holding onto hope and truth.

It also represents inspiration. The way I was inspired with her inside of my womb, I want to continue to be inspired, in an even greater way, by her life and the imact she had/has on me.

It represents my children. Eisley and Chase, they are my sunshines. That might sound dramatic or even cheesy, but Chase in his enthusiasm and joy, encourages me so very much on a daily basis. Eisley and Chase are my little sunshines. I’ve never yet called them my prince or my princess and maybe someday I will think of them like that but I’ve {always} thought of them as my sunshines from day one in the womb. I sung this same song to both of my children every night they were in my womb. I now still sing it to Chase but usually find myself in tears before the end of it. He still finds it comforting and I do too.

My tattoo as a whole:

I wrote before about her impact on my heart and my life, and now it’s even a physical reminder of the impact she had on me.

It’s a reminder; It’s a reminder to be inspired by her life and how deeply she touched and changed mine. It’s a reminder to keep pushing forward in that inspiration instead of letting this overcome me.

I want to look back years from now knowing that we grieved and mourned the loss of our daughter yet that we didn’t let it overcome us. I want to look back and see that we we were inspired by her little life and her impact on us. I want to look back and know we became better people because of her. I long to be her voice, and to be inspired and find pieces of her in how I create and look at life.

I want, in a very good way, to be changed and to never ever be the same again.

The date:

December 17th- the date I got the tattoo also has significance. I felt it would be healing to get it on the day she was supposed to be due. The pain of getting the tattoo was both healing and significant. There were moments it hurt terribly, but more than anything it was emotionally painful and healing all at once. There was a part of me that kept thinking that I should be feeling the pain of labor instead and then there was that part of me that sat in awe of Eisley’s little footprints on my foot. The size of her tiny little feet on mine… I am crying even now. It’s hard to put into words the moment when she first placed the outline of my little girl’s footprints on me. 

My tattoo artist told me that the tattoos she had that were linked emotionally were actually some of the more painful tattoos. She was right. It was a lot more than the physical pain that caused the tears streaming down my face. I also shared Eisley’s story, I spoke it aloud, which was hard and healing simultaneously. Two times Ryan, the tattoo artist, had to stop and put her face in her arm to cry and even that was healing. Eisley’s life and story and legacy was touching another person. …I can’t find the words to tell you how much that means to me…

One thing I didn’t think about when I got this tattoo was of how it could impact the life of another. Ryan was the first and already, less than a week of having this tattoo, I have shared her story with a bank teller (seriously) and Eisley’s life touched her as well… the first of many, many more times to come I have a feeling. I will always share her story and it will probably always be painful yet healing.

I keep looking down and seeing her little imprints on me forevermore. It blesses and heals my heart more than I can find words to share. The physical reminder that she is with me is very healing. I had a  hard time finding the words to express fully what this tattoo means to me and I hope I was able to clearly portray the meaning. Thanks for “listening” and caring and loving us like you do.

Baby girl, do you see? I’ve got you now physically on me forevermore. You’ve impacted and inspired my life so deeply. …………..

Even just the tiniest glimpse.

I can barely find the words lately to express what’s going on my heart and mind. It’s part of why I haven’t shared my heart (on my blog) in the past 6 days. I’m in a really strange place right now. When I first came home from the hospital I didn’t mind being around people but writing was what I found to be the most therapeutic for me at the time. Now, I can barely write words expressing where I’m at.

I’ve been in such a need of the eye contact and/or the sound of the voice of a loved one asking me how we’re really doing and the comfort in the tears shared with a friend or family member as we talk about my sweet Eisley. I’ve found these things to be very healing right now.

::Let me just pause my confusing babbling to say a {huge} thank you to all my dear friends who’ve written or skyped or called or tweeted or even commented here lately. It has meant the world to me. Seriously, I can’t say thank you enough::

Ted and I both feel like we’re taking steps backwards in the “grieving process” as Eisley’s due date nears.

December 17, 2010.

 The date we waited for with great anticipation after we first heard Dr. H announce when our little “surprise baby” was due. The idea of having a newborn added to our family during the beloved holiday season was so exciting. And then when we found out she was our Eisley we we’re even more excited (not gonna lie, I really hoped she was a girl)! The very date we thought of with great anticipation just months before is now another kind of haunting reminder that she is gone.

We’re doing a few significant things on her due date but I keep thinking even though they might be “healing” for us, it won’t be the same as having her here with us. Obviously. Yet we are hoping for peace and healing on that day rather than a feeling of depression at our reality. December 17th will probably be intertwined with a lot of different emotions and as the years go by it might be less and less raw but the ache will still be there.

A few days ago I was driving and listening to music that’s been ministering to me right now. My heart was heavy and I was crying “hot tears” (as I call them), the kind of tears stemmed from a place of deep sorrow and grief and even anger.  As I was crying, something came to my heart and poured from my mouth immediately;

 “Father, please give me a glimpse of my daughter’s joy as she’s with you.”

I find myself whispering this prayer to my Father over and over, especially when I have those overwhelming moments of despair, sorrow, grief, etc. Sometimes, I even close my eyes and picture her with Him. I often remember this photo which you might recall me sharing a month or so ago;

I think of her in heaven experiencing things we cannot even fathom and it helps me as I ache. So this is my prayer, that since I do not have her here to with me and therefore I can’t tangibly experience her joy, that I will instead get a glimpse of my Eisley’s joy as she’s in the presence of our Father.

Jesus, please keep mending our hearts. Give us a glimpse of our daughter’s joy as she’s with You. Even just the tiniest glimpse, Father.

To my dear sweet Eisley.

 (the letter I read to aloud at Eisley’s memorial)
 
Dear Eisley,
My heart aches as I write you this letter because the fact that am writing this means you aren’t here with us. I can’t see your little face anymore yet it’s still so hard to imagine our life without you.

Right now we are broken because we hoped you would be in our arms. We hoped your first party would be one where you were passed from person to person as they admired your beauty and life. But even though we don‘t have you (physically) here with us, we are celebrating you today. Our friends and family are standing with us to admire and honour your beauty, your life and the legacy you’ve left behind. You are so loved!

We all prayed for your healing. We prayed for life to your bones and for nourishment …and He did what we’ve asked of Him. You are whole and perfect. You are healed and have more life in you than we could imagine here on earth. You are being nourished by His presence.

It may not be the way we thought or what we had hoped for and it is hard to understand why you couldn’t stay with us, but I know someday we will see you again.

Until then, I will remember the time I had with you and hold it very dear to my heart.

I will remember with joy, the day that I found out we were pregnant with you, our little surprise baby. I will always remember rejoicing on August 8th at our ‘Pink or Blue party’ where we found out you we were our little girl and we began calling you by name, our little Eisley Antalya.

I will remember feeling your little kicks and the rhythmic thump, thump, thump of your hiccups deep inside.

I will remember the very first time I felt you kick from the outside, at the very same time your daddy felt too. I will remember the ultrasounds where we watched you suck her thumb and stick your tongue out. I will remember the daily heart monitoring and hearing your swift heart beat, beat, beat to let me know you were okay.

I will remember the night before you went to be with Jesus, when you reacted to her daddy’s voice as he talked to you. I will remember your final kicks to me the morning you passed away, as if you were telling me goodbye.

I will remember the day we finally gave birth to you, September 17th- the first time we held you in our arms and the peace that washed over us we held you. I will remember how in awe we were of your perfect little Chase-like nose, your beautifully shaped lips and your tiny little hands and feet.…I will remember just how perfectly and wonderfully you were made.

We love you, our Eisley-girl and you will forever be apart of our lives and in our hearts. You will be apart of the steps we take as we walk throughout life. I know my life and the lives of many others will always be inspired by the legacy you’ve left behind.

I wrote you many letters when you were in my womb and this letter was by far the hardest because I feel like it’s another step to letting you go, but when I remember where you are and Who you are with it helps my heart ache a little less. I remember you are healed and that you aren’t suffering and that is what I want for you above all else.

I know you’re loving being with Jesus, as He’s showing you the universe.

Rest peacefully between His shoulders, my sweet Eisley-girl.