Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

It would have been out of character for me to have not gotten up "before the sun" as my mom always says... be it Christmas or any other day, this seems to be my pattern. In fact, at one point my mom had to implement a rule that we weren't allowed to get up before the sun on Christmas morning; of course as a child (and, admittedly, as a teenager) my anticipation kept me awake anyhow. This morning seems to be no different, though I don't believe it's my anticipation that awoke me this morning. Because truthfully, this Christmas has been hard... really hard.

I may have mentioned that we haven't really done anything "Christmas-y" this year. Sure, we've participated in some of our same traditions with family, but this morning, the traditions that we wanted to start as a family... with Isaac... aren't happening the way we had envisioned. Instead of playing Christmas music and opening a few gifts (whatever that would look like with a 2 1/2 month old), we'll be starting the tradition of spending some time on Christmas morning at the cemetery... a place where no one dreams of being with their child on Christmas. The only real "Christmas-y" thing we did this year was send Christmas cards... mostly because I know it's the only year that Isaac's sweet face will make it's way onto our annual Christmas photo card. I also enclosed a letter this year, which I wanted to pass along to my faithful blog readers as well...



Christmas, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a year of unspeakable grief for us; yet even in the thick of it, we know that we are incredibly blessed.

It was on February 26 of this year that we found out we were expecting Isaac. On April 21st, we learned that there were some major concerns, and on June 17th, we found out just how grim Isaac’s outlook was. With great resolve, we decided to do everything possible to enjoy my pregnancy and the time we had with him, and by God’s grace, we were able to. Not without tears and tremendous heartache, but God graciously allowed us to enjoy the time with Isaac that we did have… for nine months in the womb, and, on October 7th, for the sweetest sixteen minutes after. Isaac was buried on October 11th, and we honored his life with a memorial service on October 18th. We miss Isaac daily, and his absence is profoundly real to us, particularly during the holiday season. But in the midst of it, God is teaching us how to navigate this “new normal” way of life. It’s a slow and difficult process, but we are learning.

We know that many of you are familiar with Isaac’s story. So rather than reiterating the same details, this is our hope: that this Christmas, you’ll hug your loved ones a little more tightly, linger with family a little bit longer, and most importantly, see Jesus a little more clearly.

In other family news, Spencer is still plugging away with his graduate work in school administration through Hood College’s partnership program with Montgomery County Public Schools. His coursework will be completed this summer, and he will then begin his internship next fall. Stacy has returned to work and is slowly getting back into the swing of things. We recently learned that she achieved her National Board Certification for teaching, a rigorous process which she completed last school year.

In closing, we just wanted to reiterate our sincerest gratitude for all the ways in which so many people have come along side of us and supported us over this past year. We are truly grateful.

Merry Christmas,

Spencer & Stacy,
with Isaac forever in our hearts

I would pass along the photo we enclosed as well, but you already have seen it if you've been here before... the photo at the top of the page in the header (on the left).

Blessings and peace to each of you today and in the new year. God's grace is sufficient for each step...

23 comments:

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Merry Christmas, Stacy. We love you.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Stacy and Spencer. May the Peace and Joy of the season share space in your hearts with the overwhelming sadness that I know resides there.

Ami G.

Karin said...

Merry Christmas - I hope that you can truly enjoy this day. I know that it will be hard...we will be praying for joy and peace for you.

I would encourage you to go over to (steveandkarin.blogspot.com)and read the poem that I posted today. You may have already seen this poem, but if not I think it may provide some peace. It helped me as I imagined my son's first Christmas in Heaven.

Rob said...

What Child Is This....one of my favorite Christmas songs. This year, however it holds a bit of a different meaning. As I have read about the journey that you and Spencer have traveled I must say that you have blessed me more than you know. As your heart breaks and you are real before everyone you clearly demonstrate God's Grace and Mercy. I cannot imagine the emptiness or the sorrow but can see the hand of Jesus in your words as you walk with Him and He shares your pain. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and know that there are many out there praying for you. May you both find comfort, peace and rest. May you be richly blessed this Christmas.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Bless you, sweet friend. Merry Christmas to you and Spencer. Peace, comfort, hope, and most of all "sufficient grace for each step"...He is with you, every step of the way...

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Stacy, Spencer and sweet little Issac. We are praying for you!!!

Jocelyn said...

Stacy, make I take this moment to send God's Peace on this most precious day! I follow your Blog and my heart aches for you and Spencer! I will follow your advice today and hold each one of my family members a bit tighter, knowing the pain and sadness that this year had brought you! May the New Year bring you, PEACE, HOPE and LOVE! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily! Stay strong as you are and thank you for teaching all of us about life and praise to Issac! God's Peace be with you~!

JackiJaguar said...

Just wanted you to know that you, Spencer and Isaac are in my thoughts and prayers today and every day. Merry Christmas.

kjames106 said...

Merry Christmas, sweetheart.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

When the earth and all its people quake,it is I who hold its pillars firm. Selah
Psalm 75:3

Open your Eyes. said...

Happy Christmas Stacy, Spencer and Isaac! xxx.

Mrs. Spit said...

Merry Christmas.

As I was at midnight mass, and was singing Away in a Manger, the verse about bless all the dear children, I thought of our wee ones.

They are celebrating Christmas with the Saviour, which is pretty cool.

Julie said...

Merry Christmas. My thoughts were of your family last night at our Christmas Eve service. Ya'll continue to be my prayers.

steph042970 said...

Merry Christmas Stacy and Spencer. I have been following your blog for awhile now and am sorry for your loss. Just know that I think of you often and pray for Peace and Joy for you and Spencer today and always.

lisavengesta said...

my heart breaks continually for you guys. but i want you to know that your blog has also been a huge blessing to me, a reminder of just how much we really have to be greatful. you are in inspiration in your faith, and i pray for peace in your hearts. god bless and love, lisa

Lynnette Kraft said...

Merry Christmas...
I know it's a bittersweet one as you celebrate our Saviors birth...without your sweet little Isaac. I just wanted you to know that my heart, which has hurt in the same way yours is hurting now, is tender towards you this Christmas.

Love,
Lynnette

Susan said...

Bless you today, Stacy and Spencer and know that you are not alone. Thank you for reminding us all to cherish our time with the ones we love...and why it is that we celebrate this CHRISTmas Day.

Susan in Indiana

Sarah P said...

You were included in my prayers at Mass yesterday. Our priest talked of how Christmas, whilst a time of joy for many, can be an acutely painful reminder of what we have lost. He also talked of the joy when we are all reunited one day. I guess that's what we all hold on to, that belief, that hope. All love xxx

Charity said...

Blessed Christmas to you and Spencer. I thought of you often today and pray that God's grace was sufficient for you.

Nutty mom-- said...

Merry Christmas Stacy, Spencer and Isaac!

The Knight Family said...

JUst wanted to say Merry Christmas and to tell you that was a sweet Christmas letter.
We are still praying for you guys and will continue.
Glad you have the trip to look forward to.

~CIndy from Tennessee

Angela said...

Merry Christmas, Stacy and Spencer. My heart breaks for you everytime I think and pray for you.

mikeandmonica said...

I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, and that you are still in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing family, and I feel lucky to have been able to follow your story (and will continue to follow as long as you keep blogging). Hugs from MN.

Anonymous said...

continuing to pray for you and spencer!