Celebrating Seven!

June 12, 2014

claire's bday2

“Happy Birthday Claire,” I whisper to her as she wakes to greet her seventh year of living the miracle that is her life. She smiles immediately and says “Am I seven?” And so begins her happy day of  birth.

But the truth is, I don’t celebrate this day. Birth day  is a bitter sweet memory.On that day I was happy,but the medical professionals were not. I was positive,but the  medical professionals were not. I cried tears of joy when I saw her sweet little face, and medical professionals reminded me that my joy would be fleeting…her life would be short lived.
Seven years later I sit in full view of the miracle before me. I fight the haunting of those days and choose to see all the happy of this day. She is the gift of this day, she is the joy that prevailed. She is the reason our lives have been made whole. We can’t listen to horror stories,or dismal words of a medical world that sometimes does not believe that God is bigger than any of all this.

claire's bday3

Truth be told I don’t celebrate Claire’s “birth day.”

I celebrate the very first breath that she was never supposed to breathe, I celebrate each and every moment of the life that God has placed in my presence.  I celebrate a life that was never supposed to be of quality.  I celebrate her full beautiful life today,because there are no guarantees of what tomorrow holds…that is what makes today and everyday a very precious celebration.

The truth about today is that I celebrate Claire’s life just as any other day and I see her proving that God is bigger than any of all this.

And as she fell to sleep this evening, she was smiling still, asking “Am I seven?” I said, “yes,you are seven.”  Closing her eyes with a sleepy smile she whispers “seven.”

Hello God in the celebration of today and the sleepy whispers of a growing miracle…Hello Butter

 

 

Claire's bday1

Goodbye Friday Lights

October 28, 2013

I see it in your eyes as you are standing there after the last home football game. You have a knowing and I can see it there as we hug on you after the last of the crowd goes by. It’s friday night, it’s the ending of a season in your life and you are soaking in the last moments of it. With clear eyes and full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.
I wonder if you hear my past words somewhere in your mind. “It’s your gift,”  I’ve repeated those words for years now.
When you were just months into the very first season of football. I said them. A mother that tries to preach with encouraging words since she really doesn’t know what playing on that field is like. “It’s your God-given gift. We all have been given talent from above. God makes us each unique, gifted with a talent to use in this world and I think your’s is football.”

A mother can encourage with words like these and I’ve said them often over the years as you’ve grown from that small little football player with the white cleats when everyone else wore black ones.You had style from the start. You were called “White Shoes” by a beloved coach in those early years. Those shoes stood out so that my worried eyes could easily pick you out of a pile of boys all sprawled out on that field.  I’d see the white shoes pop right back upright and my heart breathed relief each time you’d keep on running. And always after my  proud words used  to encourage you’ve  been humble. No matter the points scored, no matter the game played, always and still humble even as a senior shining under the Friday night light.

photo[2]

Still wearing those white shoes to honor that sadly missed coach who was called home to heaven too soon. I see it in your clear eyes and full heart, you are saying goodbye to high school football  as you think of all those little eagle moments. Your eyes show the knowing that lessons learned on the gridiron have gone way beyond what the score board shows. You know God works in ways you will never understand. Like the calling to heaven not only that little eagle coach but also a too young, much loved team-mate. Life is full of loss and saying goodbye is hard.

a

And while your team shows amazing character by the never quit attitude and the amount of heart played with each play,still you know that it’s not really about winning or losing. You say “YOLO.”  I say it’s about using the one life God’s given you to live as full as you can because that’s how God would have it, living full in the gift. He gave you talents to live life full, to run fast, to play hard, to never give up and to just keep living. To keep popping right back up no matter how knocked down you feel. No matter the hurt of all the loss,games, coach, friend, loss is hard and it hurts. But God is always there.  In all seasons.   

photo[1]         

And in this Senior season God would have it that those white shoes may not have carried you to the goal of a state championship season. But  instead, those white shoes have taken you from a small sometimes scared little boy, to a young man filled with courage, character, heart, grit and pride of team. You play for The United Eagles. Because united is how your team plays. Always together, a brotherhood of boys learning life is to be lived with a heart full, and the huge amount of courage it takes to keep getting up after you’ve been on the losing end of a hard-fought game. With clear eyes full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.

photo[1]
So, as this season comes to a close and our Friday nights will never be under the lights again, I will look back on these days and remember a humble clear-eyed full heart boy filled with a love for his team, a heart filled with a love for His God and I will remember how quickly that young man grew up right before my eyes while running hard in those white shoes.

We will miss the season you shined under the lights, but look forward to  the plans God has for you in the next season. With tears in my eyes and my full heart hurting just a little, I say goodbye with you to this football season and…hello God in the next season of life without White Shoes on the football field…

 

 

Photography courtesy of Snapshot Reiter

Copyright © 2011-2013 Hello Butter images & content

Best of Living

June 12, 2013

girls relay

The lump in my throat swelled as we rushed into the front gates of that stadium. Fans all yelling for teams running around the track, excitement thick in the air.
I see the blue & gold colors flash by as our girls team place in this race of whole state. Believing is to Be Living.

And more tears well in my eyes as we are witness to the first wheelchair race in history at a high school level. Claire cheers as they go by, my heart soars with hope knowing there is a chance she can compete one day.Believing is to Be Living.

A weekend in Columbus full of the accomplishment of many young athletes and coaches too as our own coach is honored for years of dedication to this sport of track & field.Believing is to Be Living.

 
Then to see medals placed around the necks of a poised team of four boys also dressed in blue and gold. United they are. Proud parents we are. Hard work and determination to achieve their own piece of history. A race to a set goal, just shy of reaching the record they stand on the podium to shine smiles that melt hearts. Moments to cherish, smiles to remember, races to show that Believing is to Be Living.

track

And today marks six years of racing with determination,faith and goals that were said to be impossible. But a special little soul has never quit running,never quit believing…She is six years old today.

bday6

Claire6

Happy Birthday Claire! Thank you for inspiring me to believe because the best comes when you decide to not just believe but to be living.  Be Living full in the moments God has blessed us with. Believing is to Be Living.

beliving

Quote from Ann Voskamp @ www.aholyexperience.com

Claire’s Birthday Pictures by Kaptured by Kelly

Field of Laughter

May 28, 2013

These four of mine, they trudge out to the middle of that hay field to satisfy a mother’s need for remembering moments. My sister looking through the viewfinder seeing us all laugh at posing just so, and smiling on cue.

4

She is Kaptured by Kelly and capture she does. Capturing moments this mother’s heart needs. Not just for the picture to be framed, but for the laughter of the day to sink deep into my soul, so that on days we are apart I can remember those special smiles we had out there in that field.

Small moments made big in my search for simple joy. Simple pure joy that fills a heart that overflows love. A kind of love that spills out when there are tough days. On days that we are separated by space or days when there is an empty house quiet and still.

On those days I will remember laughter in the field and remember God.

kaptured

kids1

How much He has blessed our lives with these four. He placed them together in this world for a reason. He knows their hearts and knew they were a perfect fit to be siblings. I knew this long ago. Only did not realize how much they would rise to the occasion of being special.

On that day the youngest quit breathing they were there. There to see her lying on the ground with life fading. They were there to wait at the end of the lane to show the ambulance the way back to her. And they knew how much I needed them to be strongly calm, so that when I flew in the helicopter with her I knew they would be ok.

michael&claire

Hard days like that help us grow even more into the family God wants us to be. He carefully chose each of us to be together through hard, sad, happy, laughing days.

So, when the girls jumped onto the brother’s back, I smiled knowing that is exactly how God would have it. Siblings sharing the load of a world together with love, with God…four siblings growing in a field of laughter.

kapturedbykelly

 

Copyright © 2011-2013 Hello Butter images & content

 

Days Like This

March 18, 2013

Nearly 7 months later we show up to a large exercise room with therapists that have become like family.

That’s how it is in a world of special.

You can find a familiar love in unlikely places. Like doctors offices, hospitals and physical therapy exercise rooms. Where braces, walkers and total gyms are excitedly anticipated after a long break off, needed time away from physical work outs since seizures stole progress away. But, we brave the risk of over exertion, tired seizure attacks and happily meet up with familiar friends that also happen to be an important part of making her world a more mobile place.

It’s hard work for her when she returns. She moves muscles that are not willing to. She says “I can’t do it” to her therapy friends and they say “We won’t hear the cant word”. She says, “it’s hard” and again the response is encouraging,

“I will ask you to do hard things, but you have to work hard to grow”.

She smiles big and puts her head down to focus on those weak muscles and with determination there is ever so slight movement in tired places. She smiles even bigger knowing she can even through the hard.

We all need days like this, hard but necessary. Working through hard to grow more.Grow more into less of who we think we are and grow more into who God knows we are. It takes hard days like these to see weakness in muscle slowly progress to the places of strength that only God knows exist. We need to journey through hard days to discover a strength that results in living full,simple peace.

God grows hearts through hard days…

clairesharddaysharddays

Hello God…Hello Butter

Whisper a Prayer

December 25, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
every one was stirring when suddenly she became quiet as a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
when she started to have a seizure and it’s just not fair.

As we fought the urge to arise with a clatter,
we did not rush to the ER because we knew what was the matter.

After awhile she started to awake and her wondering eyes did appear,
She twinkled that bright smile, that is ever so dear.

We took a deep breath and remembered to say,
Thank you God for Jesus and his birthday.

We retire to bed with no signs of seizure in sight,
we are happy to say Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

And if you dont mind please whisper a prayer to keep Claire seizure free,
So she can experience all that Christmas is meant to be.

Always reminded of how blessed that we are,
Our family of love the very best gift by far.

christmaskiss

Scars Bared

November 26, 2012

Her shirt off and scars bared, no care in the world, only reading. Or imagining or just plain living in a world of five years old. She has learned far more than doctors diagnosed. She would be blind, deaf and unable to speak are words that echoed in my mind for awhile. Until she started to live, breathe and overcome or hurdle over all that stood and stands in her way.

A much needed breath of thanksgiving , after a holiday seizure tried to steal it away.

There in this morning sun, she reminds me of hope, hope for days of joy, peace and a love that transcends all understanding.

It is God here in this morning. God that shines through her naked, scarred body to read words that only she can see. Oh how grateful I am for these everyday miracles, smiling small moments of brilliant light. God’s light through her. Small moments big …Moments of Hello God Given Miracles…Hello Butter

1000 gifts…adding this and still counting…







 

© 2012 hellobutter

Claire for President

November 6, 2012

Maybe she can run for the President of the United States one day?

epilepsy is an enemy

June 24, 2012

Epilepsy has no cure.

A heart crushing reminder as I helplessly watched Claire suffer another seizure last night. While I do all I can do to aid her during these cruel attacks, I still feel helpless. I gave her the emergency med under her tongue, I made sure her airway stayed clear, I monitored heart rate and breathing…all I can do, all while I prayed.  An hour and a half later she was her smiling self again, but my ache for her to be cured was tangible.
Normal days of happy come to a screeching halt because of this disease.Every fairy tale has an enemy. Seizures are Claire’s ugly monster she will battle her whole life. Our Rainbow Princess is courageous and strong enough to fight this battle. Along with being surrounded by love, faith and soldiers of God. We will be her aid, as God can work through us. He has a plan for her life. However, it is not to be free from seizures. So we will battle on, living with so much joy and love in hearts that there will be no room for an enemy. And though it seems my heart is heavy today, I am really standing strong against an enemy that I refuse to let rob us of our happy ending.In our Kingdom a rainbow follows every drop of rain,no matter the size of the storm we see His light shine through her life.

I will fear no evil, for my God is with me and if my God is with me whom shall I fear?”  (Matt Redman~You Never Let Go)

 I would have loved for the plan to have been to say good-bye forever to seizures, instead we will say hello to strength, faith, courage, love…most of all

Hello God

 

 

Her eyes lit and smile shined as she wrapped open arms around him. Excitedly she whispers, “I misted you” and he glows with deep love for his sweet baby sister. My eyes “misted” as I lived this moment in full joy. It was one of those times in life that captures not only heart but soul. Knowing that these siblings may have never met this side of heaven.

This was not our first visit to Cape May. Five years earlier as we tried to process the grim facts of Claire’s diagnosis we landed close to that same stretch of ocean. My five month pregnant self needed to feel the calm of the sea, hoping Claire would also feel the peace. Looking back to all the swirling emotions,I never dreamed we would re-visit the ocean with Claire by our side.

 So, having her play in the sand and seeing her hair kissed by the breeze was a full circle moment. This time was not only a celebration of our son’s accomplishment it was also a revelation and testimony to the power of love and trusting a God who has planned our tomorrows. Being able to see the past of uncertainty come into the presence of a “misted” embrace can only be described as God. No words can do justice to a God moment, not only this one, but all of life as He orchestrates, past, present and future.

Tuesday will be Claire’s fifth year of living miracles. I remember her first days in the NICU as we gazed at her beauty,asking Bryan “do you think she will ever be able to smile, do you think she will ever know who we are?”  and God answered…

© 2012 hellobutter

Linking here today www.gettingdownwithjesus.com

%d bloggers like this: