Sunday, November 30, 2008

Special Gift

I wanted to include this in my last blog, but decided that it deserved a blog of it's own. My friend Jen had told me she was making me something special for my birthday. And she did as you can see from the picture. In her card she sent, she reminded us of the gift the Lord gave Brent and I the day we took it each other as man and wife. Although we no longer have our son Carter here on earth with us, what a gift it is to remember that we are a family, The Spears!! I pray daily the Lord will bless us again with more children. ( The funny thing about this gift is that Jen and I both have the same exact dishes, which are blue and I have a blue and white kitchen. So this gift was made especially for my kitchen.) Thanks Jen! I love you friend.
By the way... make sure to scroll down and check out my older post. I FINALLY posted pictures!!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving, a day when we should feel overwhelmed with a thankful heart, seemed somewhat harder this year. This Thanksgiving was so much fun and such a special day regardless of what life we have lived the last three months. Brent and I spent the day at our friends grandmothers house with all of their family. There are some families that you spend time with at holidays and you feel like a stranger. But that is not how we feel about this family. They made us feel like we were supposed to be there. Brent and I both walked away saying how we felt so welcomed, warm and loved! Thanks Bullard/Ford/Cook clan. We love you guys. But like I started, it took a little more for me to be thankful this year. It is so easy to be thankful when times are going well and life is easy. I realized how tough it was this year to be truly thankful when I feel so hurt, sad and angry still. I know how much I have to be thankful for and how God is daily working on my heart to conform me to be more like him. Brent and I talked about how many changes we feel like we have been making in the last few weeks. I got a new haircut (just a little shorter and darker color), we have spent every weekend trying to clean out a new room in our house and get rid of whatever things we have not used lately. Brent and I both have been trying to work out several times a week in order to feel healthier. We are doing whatever we can to prepare ourselves and our lives for another gift the Lord would allow to have in the future. No matter what the rest of this year brings, we are thankful for the fact that the Lord is not done with us yet!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ask me, don't ask me...

This is my struggle. I can't tell you how many times in a single week the question, "Do you have any children?" comes up. I was reading another friends blog who lost her son as well, and the struggle she has with this same question. This past Thursday was a pretty tough day for me, and being asked this question hurts sometimes. Before we had Carter, this question was easy for us. No we don't have children, or while we were pregnant, I would just proudly say that we were expecting our first in December. Now... this question is so bittersweet. I love it when people ask me because I am able to talk about my Carter and share his and our testimony of what the Lord is doing in our life. At the same time, answering this questions makes people give me the look of pity or they get very uncomfortable and stop talking with me. I just hate that all of this is so awkward and hard to talk about. I did have one lady who confused me with another friend of mine and thought that I was pregnant again. It killed me to tell her that it wasn't me it was someone else. Of course people are just trying to be helpful, but several ladies will tell me that I need to just keep waiting and not get pregnant too soon. "Give your body time to heal." My body is healed and I can have another baby in Feb, unless the Lord allows us to get pregnant before then. But, I just don't need to be reminded of the fact that I am not pregnant today. Bittersweet.

So don't be afraid to ask me about my son, and don't be afraid if I cry. I will cry some days, but don't be afraid of my tears. Let me cry. This is how God is healing my heart! Thanks to all of you who go out of your way to love on me and to help me through this time. SO... ASK ME!!

Cardboard Testimony

Front Side of Cardboard
Backside of my cardboard

Thursday was our last Ladies Bible Study at our church, for this year. To celebrate our time together we had a brunch (we had great food), a speaker who shared her testimony of how the Lord loved her through a very difficult time in her life, and Cardboard Testimonies. I was asked to take part in this testimony time. I was doing great with it. I even was able to read what was on my card without any tears. Well, until I had to get in line and walk on the stage. Here I was again, some place I didn't want to be, sharing a story I didn't want to have as part of my testimony. Bittersweet.

For those of you who do not know what Cardboard Testimonies are, let me explain. (You can also find some examples on Several people write on one side of a piece of cardboard an aspect of your testimony (ususally is some bad or a tough situation that the Lord brought you through). Then on the other side of the card, you write what the Lord has done in redeeming that situation. ) For example, one of my friends wrote that "She was a teen mom faced with a choice." She brought her daughter with her who held up the other side of the cardboard that read, "glad for the choice my mother made." Another friend wrote "Mischarriage July 2008", on the back it said something like "waited on the Lords timing and pregnant due April 2009". I took a picture of mine and posted it below. When I got on the stage, I wasn't able to look at a single lady because they were all crying by then. It was really a sweet time of sharing. Back on August 10th, the day after we lost Carter, Brent was supposed to share his cardboard testimony in Sunday School. Never did we imagine that we would get another chance to share and that this would be our story. But... we are on a journey and the Lord does have a plan and it is good.

Vera Bradley

November 6th I turned 35. I knew it would be tough to be 35 but without Carter, it was terrible. I cried most of the day. I was depressed and frustrated and it didn't seem like my birthday. I was so looking forward to my bday this year knowing I was going to be pregnant and would be getting ready for his/her arrival at any time! I wanted to have children before I was 35, but I had at least had the plan that I would be 35 and having my first baby. Anything less than that, just wasn't make me feel fulfilled.

I am a gifts person. When I take Dr. Chapman's love language test, I test high on getting gifts as my love language. After the day I had, it was such a treat to receive the special gift I had specifically asked my husband for, for my bday! (I emailed him a picture of this purse and talked about it all of the time so he wouldn't forget!!) Brent not only gave me the purse, he even bought me a bday cake and wrapped it up. It was pretty funny. He took me to dinner the next night to a restaurant called California Dreaming. We had a special time. The big thing was that he tried so hard to give me such a special weekend regardless of how sad we both felt. It was so sweet. I love you honey.

On that Friday several of my special girlfriends from church took me and my friend Lisa to breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, Mimi's. (Lisa's bday is the day before mine. She is just a little bit older than I am, but to keep our friendship, I will not share her age!! She is a youngster though!! Love ya Lisa) One of my favorite gifts I got that day was from another friend Lisa. Lisa had helped me dry the flowers from Carter's funeral and has been helping me turn them into a wreath. We had so many flowers left over, Lisa took the roses and babies breathe and put them on a small wreath with a little mirror underneath the wreath and a candle resting on top of the mirror. (check out the photo below) On the candle, she engraved Carter's name and birthday. It was so thoughtful and special to me. So although that was not the bday I had wanted, I walked away feeling the Lord's love through my friends and family. I also felt that I will one day celebrate a birthday again with the joy and excitement I have felt so many other times.


Up close deer (we saw 100's of them)
Our group

This is where we ate our meals and fellowshipped

Brent feeding the ducks

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I have blogged. There has been so many times that I have thought that I needed to blog something we had been doing, and just didn't have it in me to actually write. Many of you read about our little vacation that Brent and I took for Labor Day weekend. It was such a treat to be offered the opportunity to go out of town, but the vacation itself was not what we needed. A few days after my last blog (middle of October) we received a phone call from some very very precious friends of ours who live in Texas. This couple will never know how much they minister to us in so many little ways even though we don't get to see them very often at all. (We love you guys!) Anyway, they called and told us about a special ministry to ministers that allow you to go and be loved on for a week in the mountains of GA or the mountains of Colorado. We quickly prayed about this opportunity and then began working out the details. The retreat is called Sonscape and is located on the campus of Berry College in Rome GA. They only have this retreat a few times a year in GA. The retreat is designed to give couples a week or lots of free time in order to reconnect with the Lord. There is a couple who works for Sonscape that leads the actually retreat and does 4 days of teaching and then about 6 hours of counseling with each couple. The retreat begins on a Friday and last until the following Friday. They didn't even have church for us to go to. (We both love church, but the time to just spend with the Lord and not be obligated to a church service was so sweet!) The couple that lead our retreat just so happened to be (stay with me here) my best friend Jen Jordans neighbor when she lived in Indiana. This just added to our excitement. We left our sweet Wrigley with a friend and off to Rome we went. Jeannie and Bob. Additionally their is a host family that cooks all of our meals and takes care of any other needs we may have had. Joe and Mickie were our sweet host! We will never forget them for sure.

I really thought that I had been doing so well since Carter's death. I was back at work, I was able to tell his story many times without crying and was actually beginning to smile again. It was like the minute we stepped foot on the campus, the flood gates were open for me and I didn't stop crying the entire week. I had stuffed the pain and anger I was feeling away so that I was able to go on with life. Being out in the woods where you are alone with your thoughts and surrounded by the Lord's creation, true feelings begin to come out. My just kept coming and coming. I felt bad for the other couples who were with us. I am sure they think I never stop crying. I needed that though. I realized that I am so MAD and so ANGRY that I lost my little boy. I am still not at my due date yet, that makes me mad. I still have friends who are fearful of talking to me, that makes me mad. I have lots of people I know that are pregnant and have recently gotten pregnant and that makes me hurt. I am not mad or angry with the Lord just at how much this hurts. I hate feeling angry too. I had hoped to skip that emotion. I know I had fooled several friends who felt like I was doing well (because I told them that). But I wasn't and there are still a lot of days that I am not. I wish some days I could just stay in bed. I wish come days I didn't have to walk past an empty crib. I love holding friends babies, but hate that it isn't my baby. I hate the looks that I get from people afraid of what I may say or do, but hate that people don't ask me how I am. I am so glad we had the chance to go to this retreat so that I can begin to stop and figure out how to move forward.

I have so many other things to blog on, but to keep attention... I will break the blogs up into pieces. I will post pictures of SonScape later.