Thursday, March 26, 2009

Helping me Fight

***You'll understand the pictures when you finish reading........

This is just another glimpse into why I need you to help me "stand on the Word."

March 26, 2009
Today I see a van that looks like our old one...the one we had in Chicago. I never told you about us selling that van a few months after we moved to Cullman. When I saw the guy that bought it driving away I cried. It's like a piece of us was driving away...another piece that reminded me of Alaina...looking back at her falling asleep on the way home from Children's Day Out or listening to her laugh with Holden when they heard the mice chattering on the Cinderella song. The van symbolized those things. For a moment today when I saw the van, I hated our Suburban. I just wanted that old green van back. I know it's not about the van, it's about the little girl that rode everywhere with us. As I got into the Suburban I thought again how hard it is to surrender. There is absolutely nothing I can do to get her back here. I know the right answer so please don't tell me that I wouldn't want her to come back if I could see how perfect she is. Just claim the Word for me. Pray that I will continue to stand on His promises.

Also today: Mary Helen is sick...fever is up to 103.7 (again) . I have the thought over and over again that she could die today. What am I going to see when I look in her crib? Fear creeps in, no it doesn't creep, it just knocks me down. I can't do this again, Lord.

Yesterday, out of the blue, Holden says "Mama when you found Alaina dead, was she on the floor?" It's hard to go on with a normal conversation after a question like that. It's very sad to me and not fair that a seven year old little boy has to ask that....and it lets me know he is thinking about it so much more than he verbalizes. I'm not telling you these things for you to feel sorry for me. I'm telling you because I need you to continue to fight with me, just as hard as you did on July 2. I'm telling you so that you will know how to pray specifically. "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life." John 10:10

I also don't want to make you think that I'm walking around depressed all day. I/We have lots of great moments, lots of laughter.....but some other moments are really a the examples above. I'm just trying to "let you in."

***********Ok switch gears with me to some news that doesn't involve tears....

We're moving to the country. This is exciting news for the Atchisons, especially Billy Atchison since this has been a life long dream of his. Don't you see all the pictures of him in overalls on this blog? We're hoping to live in a "mobile home" aka "double wide" until we can build a house. I know you Chicago friends are chuckling inside! Hopefully we can move this summer. We would love to build our "forever" house here. I think it's about 38 acres complete with a barn, cows and a few ponds.

Lamentations 3:21-23!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Claim His promises for me

Psalm 94:17-19 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, "My foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Today friends, today I need you to claim some promises for me... for the gripping moments when I am not able. This picture you see is one that's on my bed side table and I see it every night before I go to bed. Sometimes it's so painful to look at her pictures and other times it makes me smile. Last night was rough and parts of today as I saw her pictures....last night I cried a long time before I finally fell asleep....cried so long my pillow was wet. I layed there wrestling with my thoughts and asking God again why he chose us for this path. I wanted to fall asleep and forget about it for a little while, but I couldn't so I just "let it all out." I can't really describe what "it" is. Maybe it's a combination of tears that I don't want my children to see on a daily basis...the frustration and grief of missing her so terribly...the pain I feel way down deep, that maybe I only get to the core of every now and then, and last night was one to those times. Sometimes the pain feels the same way it did eight months ago and that's discouraging. So, for all of you who have asked what you can pray for me, today, here it is....

My theme verse of hope: "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are NEW EVERY MORNING; great is your faithfulness...The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:21-25

Hebrews 12:2-3 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. CONSIDER HIM who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 8, 2009

I realized on Sunday, Alaina's birthday, that the anticipation of the day was much harder than the actual day. It's like when you're going to talk in front of a group of people and you feel nervous just before you're about to stand up...but when you actually start talking, the nervous feeling goes away and there's a calm. Sunday morning I kind of felt numb, like I couldn't be joyful or sad, I felt like I couldn't cry even it I wanted to. As the day went on, I kept thinking "I can tell many are praying for us today." There really was a sense of peace throughout our day. If I believe what the bible says about heaven, then there's no way any birthday party on this earth can compare. The problem is that I wanted to celebrate with her for many more years and then God could take me home first. But that's not how he chose our story to go and as hard as it is to accept, I can trust that He is God and I am not.

We went to church Sunday morning and I really didn't want to go because other than our close friends nobody knew it was her birthday. I've realized how much it means to me for others to remember her. After worship, all our close friends literally surrounded us and said they were praying and they loved us ....and at that moment we really "felt" loved. One friend said "I looked at your blog last night and I wish I could have known her. She seemed like so much fun!" Billy says he thinks this is one of the best things someone could say and I agree! I knew someone said something encouraging because I looked over at him (in another conversation) and he was sobbing. An "extra layer "of our grief that we have to work through is that no one here knew her. They don't "see" our loss as much as the families we've lived with the past three years....and now we don't live with those families anymore. Every time we're together with our friends here my natural tendency is to picture Alaina among them. I know they wanted to know her and I wish they had. She would LOVE our friends and their children.

Hurricane Creek Park was great....beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and the kids loved it. I'm very glad we went.

Thank you so much to all of you who sent cards, emails, etc. as an extra reminder that you were praying for us on the days surrounding her birthday. Many of you have said to me that you wish you could take, or carry some of our pain. When you remember Alaina, when you send me an email or card or call me, or whatever you do to reach out to us, you ARE carrying some of our pain. You are helping to shoulder this burden. I know you don't feel like you are but I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. I'm beyond blessed and thankful that you have chosen to walk this road with us.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Her birthday

I really didn't want to do this post. The minute I started I could feel that tightness in my throat and heaviness in my chest. Obviously, I would give anything to be planning her a fun and girly five year old birthday party but instead I'm trying to figure out how to spend it without her. Honestly, this is harder than Christmas or Thanksgiving. Your birthday is all about celebrating YOU. This was her day and instead of celebrating, we're sad and lonely. I know I will see her again but that day just seems so so so far away and it's hard not to think about it from an earthly perspective. It has been a tough week for Billy...he has cried many times and he asks me "why do you think I'm like this, I can just think about her for one second and if I keep thinking about it, I cry." This is just how grief is. You're "ok" for a while and then it hits you again harder than the time before. Grief is complicated that way.

Please just say an "extra" prayer for us the next few days. We've decided to just keep it simple on Sunday. We're staying in town and going to Hurricane Creek Park for a picnic and hike. It's a beautiful place with waterfalls, caves, streams, etc. The kids love going there and I know Alaina would've loved it too. I believe fully that Jesus will meet us where we are in our hurt as he has always done. I will continue to trust but I need his extra grace to do it.

The pictures above are from her 3 and 4 year birthday........
I hope you can hear this song from my playlist, it has been one of my favorites along this road.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good Days..Fearful Days...Tearful Days...Snow Days

Good Days: The kids and Billy made me breakfast in bed. They make me smile.
Fearful Days: There's a crazy man in Cullman who has been attacking women and his sketch is all over the place and it says "Women Beware!" I've been paranoid Polly. Billy was out of town all last week and we spent the night with friends three nights in a row. I think he's hiding in my garage.
Tearful Days: Because they say this crazy/scary man is just walking into peoples homes(Because this never happens here and people in Cullman just leave their doors unlocked) and because WE have never locked our doors since we've moved here...all of a sudden, OF COURSE, I'm locking my doors. Because this isn't a normal habit, I locked myself out TWO times in one day last week and AGAIN the next day. Then I cried(when you're so frustrated and it's all you can do) in front of the man trying to pick my lock. (Thanks Andy) Finally, my car battery died and we were stuck in the driveway with psycho guy on the loose....probably watching us from the garage......
Snow Days: It snowed, surprisingly enough to cover the grass completely! Made me miss Chicago. The kids didn't know what to think about it melting in just one day.
***Because of the weather, First Baptist cancelled their services so we didn't share on Sunday. But thanks for praying anyway! I'll let you know if we reschedule.
*********I looked back at these pictures. Don't enlarge the one of me with my breakfast. Well, I know now that you will just because I told you not to! I have food all in my teeth. Sorry ;) Just wanted you to know that I noticed so you wouldn't feel sorry for me :)