Thursday, January 10, 2013

Honoring Joshua

On May 18, Shane and I (and the kids too!) will be participating in a Congenital Heart Defect walk in Indianapolis.

We will be helping to raise funds to support the Children's Heart Foundation as well as the Adult Congential Heart Association- both of which support, advocate for, and help fund research for Congenital Heart Defects.

Did you know that 1 in 100 babies are born with some form of a Congenital Heart Defect? Funding is essential to helping find cures and treatments for CHD.

Joshua was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Essentially he was born with the left side of his heart "missing." He had 1 open heart surgery at 3 days old and another when he was 5 weeks old.

3 days old

He passed away on Oct. 6, 2010 at 51 days old.

The last time I ever saw my baby.

Would you like to join our team and help raise funds to help children like Joshua? We are looking for both sponsors and walkers. Our team goal is to raise $1000.

If you would like to donate or sign up for a team, please follow THIS link. You can search for me by name: Jill Haskins or by our team name: Team Joshie.

Even if you can donate just a few dollars, your help will go to saving lives!

Please join us in remembering our sweet boy who changed our lives forever.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reconciling the Difference

As I continue to muddle my way through grief and make sense of the life and death of Joshua (no one tells you that grief lasts this long! jeesh!!!), I come back to reconciling the differences between what life would have been like with Joshua and what life is like without Joshua.

It's a difficult concept to think about- the differences of life that "should have been" and life that "is."

I often find myself wishing that Joshua was still here. I wouldn't care if he was still sick, just as long as he was here. But then I find my mind wandering to what life would be like with him here.

Before he was born, we were on the verge of bankruptcy. We were drowning in debt. We depended on me working full time, and with the lack of teaching jobs as well as a critically ill child who couldn't be in childcare, we weren't sure how we were going to make it. If I think realistically about it, we were on the verge of losing everything- our house, our cars, any chance at a decent credit score and financial stability. All of that was going to be gone. We would be living in my parents basement trying to make ends meet.

Joshua would have needed life long care. In his immediate future, he would require a minimum of 2 more open heart surgeries. He could end up in the ER for catching a common cold. He would need frequent cardiology visits. Our lives would revolve around keeping him healthy and trying to figure out a way to pay for it all.

When I think about if he had lived, I often find myself feeling really sad for the life that we would have lived.

However, he didn't live. And here we are, 2 years later. Our family is thriving financially (don't get me wrong- there are some weeks that we have $5 to last us until Friday). My children are able to participate in sports and dance. We have 2 dependable cars. I can stay home with my children. We have a new and healthy baby. We are now living in a new, custom built home. We are living debt free.

Life is going well. We are comfortable. We are moving forward.

But this is where the problem lies. When I think about if Joshua had lived- or more appropriately, when I wish that Joshua had lived, I have a hard time thinking that Lukey would not be here (I needed that baby more than I could ever know!) If Joshua had lived, we wouldn't be in our new home. We wouldn't be in a new city with great school systems, relatively low crime, and nice neighborhoods. We would still be drowning in debt, living in my parents basement. My older children would be living in poverty.

If I'm going to be honest here (please don't judge me), I'm not sure I would go back to it. Don't get me wrong. I wanted my son to live more than anything, and our family was willing to make the sacrifices it needed to make to give Joshua the care that he needed, Lukey, no home, no living life debt free, no deep spiritual growth through the trials.

So this  is where I struggle. God is and was fully capable of giving us all of those wonderful things. Why did it have to be through my son's death? Why did it have to come with such heartache? Why did it have to come at such a cost?

I struggle to reconcile the differences between what should have been and what is. I struggle to understand why it had to happen the way that it did.

 But then, I'm reminded:

I'm reminded that God saved us. God sacrificed HIS SON for our sins. He could have done it differently, but He didn't. Jesus himself knew that God could take the cross from Him, but he trusted in his father's plans for him and for the world.

God's ways don't make sense to me. I don't think they are supposed to. Often times I wonder if they did make sense to me, if I would truly be ok with the reasons- I don't think I would. But God's way is perfect. Even when it causes heartache and pain, God's plan for our life is good.

So, when doubt comes, I just need to continue to remind myself that it doesn't need to be reconciled. Jesus's blood already did that for me. I just need to have faith and trust in a God that is good and fair and just. I need to remember the love of a God who sent his son to die for me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Finding My Motivation

After a few weeks of a blogging break, I'm back.

I've been in a funk. Spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Our holidays were good. It was the first Christmas in over 2 years that wasn't surrounded in crisis. We were able to buy some great gifts for our children (even though that is not what Christmas is all about) and we were able to just rest and be together as a family as we remembered Jesus' birth. Thinking about a baby being born to save us from our sins is always so incredibly humbling.

Along with the holidays came some changes in our family. I have begun babysitting in our home. Somedays, I have as many as 8 little ones here, some days I have as few as 4. It's been busy, therefore, I haven't had much time to sit and think and write. I'm constantly on my feet, cleaning up messes, changing diapers, putting little ones down for naps, helping resolve fights, and kissing boo boos. Coffee has become my best friend, for sure.

My book is coming along slowly. I would love to spend more time writing than I do. It's hard to find the time and the energy to write.

So here I am, in a season of busyness- trying to find the motivation to continue losing weight, eating healthy, finding time for God and my husband, managing my house hold, scheduling appointments, and keeping my sanity.

It's hard. Hard to make time for myself, when so many people demand so many things from me. It's especially hard when grief is thrown in on top of it all.

So here I am, taking another first step towards finding myself again.

So tell me, during your seasons of busyness, what do you do to take care of you? What gives you rest and helps keep you sane?

© 2012 Designed by The Vintage Pear
© No content of this blog may be used or re-printed without written permission