Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's The Little Things

I think this is the longest I have gone between blog posts. Ugh! This week being back at work has just run me ragged, and time has gotten away from me.

Not much that's new to share with you this morning, but today I did receive a slide show of pictures from the professional photographer, Crissie Traugott, who graciously volunteered to come out and shoot Isaac's Golf Tournament. As I started watching, I was not only captivated by her talent, the beauty of the pictures, and God's abundant provision for the day, but was also so stuck by the song that she selected to play in the background.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may know that the song Wonderful, Merciful Savior holds a really special place in my heart... particularly the version sung by Selah. It's a song I played for Isaac on countless mornings when I wrote my letters to him, and it's a song that we had included as part of his memorial service.

I am sure that many of you reading are also familiar with Angie Smith, whose husband Todd Smith, sings in Selah. Like Spencer and I, they two were given a fatal prognosis for their child, decided to carry her to term, and then had to say goodbye to her far too soon. Angie and I have connected through e-mail, and she has been such a support to me on this journey.

I am just so struck sometimes by the little things... the little details that God so carefully orchestrates. To some they may seem unimportant; but over the last year, I have come to discover God's attention to detail in a fresh way.

So without having you wait any longer, here's the link to the slide show of tournament day pictures set to a beautiful song... enjoy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Golf Tournament Recap

I had every intention of getting this post up yesterday... but truthfully, I was just exhausted.

The 1st Annual Isaac Timothy Delisle Memorial Golf Tournament was awesome! 104 golfers came out to play, despite crazy thunderstorms causing an hour delay in getting started, and coming back at the end of the round. Golfers were wonderful about hanging out in the clubhouse during the time we were delayed, and truthfully, once they got back out on the course, it was beautiful. Until the storms came back, that is! Everyone was in great spirits when they returned after their round to join us for dinner, and that part of the evening went great as well. We had an amazing group of volunteers doing everything from helping get people signed in, greeting golfers at holes, driving snack carts, setting up centerpieces, and taking pictures. God provided so abundantly for this day.

And while the golf shirts and towels we had ordered looked awesome, everything was organized from a logistical standpoint, and over $6,000 was raised for the perinatal loss unit at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, I don't believe those are the things that made the day great.

The day was great because Isaac was remembered, God was glorified, and hearts were touched.

Below are several pictures from the day... I hope you enjoy them!


Golfers getting ready...

And they're off!!

Out on the course...

Program highlights...

Check presentation to Shady Grove (my awesome nurse, Kathy!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prayers for Tomorrow

Twenty-four hours from now, golfers will be finishing up their round and heading inside for a good meal and to hear the story of a sweet 4lb 12 oz strawberry blonde-haired little boy who has changed thousands of lives. As I was thinking today about Isaac and his life and legacy, I just find it so fascinating that God would use such a sweet little person to touch the hearts of many... a little person who never spoke a word, or even ushered a breath... but whose life is a testimony to the goodness of the heart of God. Because while redemption didn't come on this side of heaven like we so hoped and prayed that it would, redemption has come... and Isaac is fully redeemed. That is the message of hope that we desire to share with the 104 golfers and 30 dinner guests who will be joining us tomorrow.

A few specific things we could use prayer for...

1- the WEATHER! I'll be honest... the forecast is just lousy. Please pray that the rain would hold off.

2- For my and Spencer's hearts as the event unfolds... I know it will be a bittersweet thing.

3- For Spencer as he prepares to speak before this crowd of people who will be there.

4- For God to soften and move in the hearts of the men and women who are gathered... that He would cause them to think seriously about the question of eternity, the sanctity of life, and who God desires to be in each of their lives.

5- For God to be honored, and Isaac to be lovingly remembered.

Thank you for praying... I will be sure to post photos afterwards!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

When I wrote on August 7 about how difficult it was for me not to be able to go to the cemetery, it made it a bit easier knowing that several of our friends visited Isaac that day. One particular couple, along with their two children, have visited Isaac on other occasions as well. Their oldest, who will be four in December, was very aware of my pregnancy, mentions my necklace with Isaac's footprints each time I see her, and recognizes Isaac as our son.

She has asked questions about Isaac on a few occasions, like where he is and why he isn't here... and through tear-filled eyes, I have made every effort to explain it as gently as I know how. This past Friday as my friend (this little girl's mom) and I were talking, she looks up at me and asked,

"Do you miss Isaac?"

"Oh yes, I miss him very much," I said.

With a smile on her face, she then replied, "But you'll get to see him again in heaven."

I smiled back and agreed, "You're right. I will. That's a very good thing."

We then proceeded to discuss the numerous ways one could get to heaven... on a plane, a hot air balloon, or maybe even a pony! Of course we know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him...but boy do I love the creative mind of a three year-old!

I was just so struck by the innocence of her understanding and faith, particularly with a topic that is anything but innocent. There is nothing that seems to break one's innocence more than to realize that we live in a world where babies die. But rather than being afraid, this precious little girl was certain of where Isaac is, and certain that we'll see him again. What hope.

This past week I learned of two people I know in real life who lost a baby. The first is my friend, Sarah, from high school. Her precious Andrew was born earlier this week after his heartbeat couldn't be found a few days prior. Sarah is walking this journey of grief with such beauty and grace, and her sweet Andrew is absolutely beautiful.

The second is my friend Matt, who's six month old nephew, Sean, passed away suddenly earlier this week. We attended his funeral yesterday, and he was buried just a foot away from Isaac. As I sat in the service yesterday, I watched this mother (my friend Matt's sister) sit in front of her son's little casket during the service... touching his face, stroking his hand. As this service, which was beautiful, ended, guests were dismissed so that the family could have a final few minutes with Sean. When the funeral director said that, my heart just sank and I felt the biggest lump in my throat. I remember what that's like. A final few minutes...when what you're truly longing for is countless more.

Please pray for these families, as the freshness of their grief is certain to be so raw, excruciating, and even almost suffocating at times. And please pray that God would lay the hope of heaven on their hearts in a fresh way each day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Walking With You~ The Things People Say

Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.

This week we are sharing some of the things that people said to us while we were in the throes of grief...for better or for worse.

During our grief journey with Isaac, there have been many times that we have been extremely vulnerable to the words of others... words that could bring healing and hope, as well as words that could hurt.
From listening to people who have cared for Spencer and I over the last sixteen months since Isaac was first given a poor prenatal diagnosis, I have learned that it can be hard for others to know what words to even say...wanting to offer words that heal and bring hope, yet fearing sharing words that hurt. I've received e-mails from readers who have asked for advice on how to help a friend or loved one who has suffered the loss of a child because you so much want to do what will be helpful.
Unfortunately, we have also encountered people who have simply presumed to know... presumed to know how we are feeling having never gone through it themselves or even asked us how we're doing; presumed to know the "correct" way to grieve and if our grieving wasn't "correct," have in one way or another let us know; and even presumed to know how to have "taken care of" the situation. Words have the power to heal and bring hope, or the power to hurt.
I finished up reading A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sitser. Towards the end of his book, he contrasts platitudes with true compassion. I was really struck by his distinction.

Offering platitudes and cliches without having taken the time to really listen to the grieving person isn't truly compassionate. True compassion is walking along side someone in their grief, to the extent that you are able, seeking to understand that person and their loss. It's in that understanding that words that heal and bring hope can be spoken.
While Spencer and I have had words spoken, and sometimes a lack of words spoken, to us that have been hurtful, what is more is that God has provided us with numerous people who have spoken words of healing and hope to the deepest places of pain in our hearts. We are so grateful for that.
I was out on a run this morning (my first in a week!) under a crystal clear and cloudless blue sky listening to Sara Groves on my iPod. A song came on that I have never paid much attention to that captured my attention in a new way this morning...
It's Going to Be All Right
It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright
I can tell by your eyes that you're not getting any sleep
And you try to rise above it, but feel you're sinking in too deep
Oh, oh I believe,
I believe that
It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright
I believe you'll outlive this pain in you heart
And you'll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart
Oh, oh I believe I believe that
It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright
When some time has past us, and the story if retold
It will mirror the strength and the courage in your soul
Oh, oh, I believe I believe,
I believe
I believe
I did not come here to offer you cliches
I will not pretend to know of all your pain
Just when you cannot, then I will hold out faith, for you
It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

You see, that's just it. We've been so fortunate to have people in our lives who don't pretend to know our pain, who don't offer cliches, but who have been our support and our biggest cheerleaders. Not rushing us through our grief or pain, but meeting us in the midst of it and upholding us when we don't have the strength to do it ourselves... believing in the beauty that God will continue to make from all this when we're too blinded my the pain to be able to see it.
Those are words... and actions... that heal and bring hope. Because of the Lord's great love for us, He has surrounded us with people like this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Golf Tournament Update

Many of you have asked how the golf tournament is coming along, and truthfully I am absolutely blown away by God's provision for this event, and the anticipation of how He will use that day and Isaac's story to reach the hearts of many.

I have never planned a golf tournament, and some days I sit here and wonder, "What in the world am I doing?" But it has been a blessing to me to have a place to focus my "mom" energy.

So, with 11 days to go, we currently have 68 golfers registered, with several more registrations due to come in. We have 14 of 18 holes sponsored, and another hole that will be our "Hole-in-One" hole sponsored by Frederick Nissan!! They're going to have a new 2009 Nissan Altima out on the tee box, and if a golfer manages a hole in one, the Altima is theirs!

Several local golf courses have donated rounds of golf, we have received gift certificates from restaurants to use as prizes, and even other folks who don't play golf have graciously sent us contributions to help underwrite the costs associated with the tournament.

Little things, like trying to figure out what store might have and be willing to donate plastic drawstring bags, have been taken care of, and our final order for logoed golf towels and golf shirts have been placed. Hole sponsor signs are being printed as we speak, and before we know it, the 21st will be here!

I know the event itself will be bittersweet; I am sure it is no secret that I would rather have Isaac here and have no need for a memorial golf tournament in his honor. But I am also excited about what God has planned to do with this tournament, am thrilled that He has involved several local obstetricians who will be playing in the tournament (see my post entitled "The Fourth" to get a better understanding of why this is a big deal to me), and that a generous amount of funds are being raised for the perinatal loss unit of the hospital where I delivered Isaac.

God's provision for this event through the generosity of so many people's time, talent, and treasure is nothing short of Him making beauty from ashes. Only He can do such a remarkable thing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

10 Months

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, we were right where we are now... family vacation at the beach.

Last year I got up each morning and spent time on the beach...writing my letter to Isaac, telling him all about the seagulls and the waves. This year I sit here reminded that the One who holds the waves in the palm of His hand is the same One who holds my sweet Isaac in heaven.

Last year I would sit on the beach feeling Isaac kick, thinking that maybe...just maybe...we'd have that miracle we had been praying for and Isaac would be here with us next summer, and I would get to show him the seagulls and the waves in person. This year I sit and watch all the nearby families playing with their little ones, several of whom look to be about 10 months old.

10 months.

I am missing Isaac in a whole new way this morning...not sure how to explain it, other than to say that seeing all these families day after day gives me such a vivid picture of what I am missing...and who I am missing.

While I have come to a place where I know to expect it, in some ways that doesn't make all this easier. The missing still hurts...a lot. While the distance from October 7, 2008 has become greater, the missing hasn't really lessened at all...and I have know idea if and when it will.

What I do know is that I am thankful for the fact that Isaac's life and story didn't end that day...because for all eternity he is safe and secure with the God who created the seagulls and the waves, and who so beautifully created him.