Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I am not sure I am going to know what to do with myself when I go back to work on January 4th! Between the 20 inches of snow dumped on us a week and a half ago, and now Christmas break, having a 2 week vacation has been wonderful. I could really get used to this!! It has allowed us to slow down, spend time with each other and with family, and get some things accomplished here at home.

We've spent a lot of time preparing for Eliana's arrival during our time off. It has been an absolute joy to anticipate meeting her in March and bringing her home. Yet as I have shared before, all of the preparations are incredibly bittersweet. It is a strange thing to be doing for your second child what you were never able to do for your first. In some ways, it has deepened my sense of loss as I am walking through all that was missed as we prepared for Isaac's arrival. Instead of decorating his nursery, we were choosing a cemetery plot. Instead of a closet full of cute clothes, we were looking for that perfect outfit in which he would be laid to rest.

And while these preparations have been bittersweet, they truly have been sweet. God has been gracious in really allowing us to experience that as I made wall letters for Eliana's room... as we hung shelves... as I washed her little clothes and hung them back up in her closet. We even found a way to include a little bit of Isaac in her room (look closely at the pictures below).

So without further adieu, here are a few pictures of the preparations we've been making in Eliana's room. Enjoy!

A view of her (tiny) room from the doorway. The fabric hanging from the blinds are swatches we're considering for the valence we're having made.

Eliana's crib with her bedding, and the wall letters I made.

The shelves we hung over her dresser (that will have a changing pad on it). Shelves are a little high to allow my wonderfully tall husband room to change her :)

Crib and wall letters again

Thursday, December 24, 2009

... And the Soul Felt Its Worth

My favorite Christmas carol of all time is "O, Holy Night"... specifically when sung by Josh Groban. There's something about the melody that I find incredibly beautiful; and over the last few years, I have become more captivated by the lyrics.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

When was the last time your soul felt its worth? It's true worth?

This Christmas season, if there is one thing I would want you to know it is this: your soul is of great value and immeasurable worth.

So much so, that over 2000 years ago, God began his redemptive plan for humanity... for your soul and for mine. On this night, Love came down... leaving His heavenly throne, and made his way humbly into our world as tiny baby in a manger whose name is walk among us sharing a story of hope and redemption, and to ultimately give up his own life for the sake of ours.

For the souls of those who feel insignificant... Love came down.

For the souls of those who feel too broken to be fixed... Love came down.

For the souls of those bound by addiction... Love came down.

For the souls of those who feel burdened by shame... Love came down.

For the souls of those whose lives feel shattered by heartache and pain... Love came down.

For the souls of those whose life outside the womb was far too short... Love came down.

For the souls of those who have been conceived, but have not yet been born... Love came down.

Because of the person of Jesus Christ, your soul is of immeasurable worth. It is the presence of Jesus that illuminates our soul's true value.

If you want to know what your soul is truly worth, cast your gaze upon Him... know Him... and allow Him to bring His heavenly peace.

There is no soul that is insignificant... and that includes the souls of little children who have yet to be born. A person's soul doesn't just gain significance once they are born; a person's soul has eternal significance and worth from the moment of conception as he or she is being uniquely created in the womb in the very image of God.

It is my sincere hope and prayer this Christmas season that you would know your soul's true worth. That you would know that your soul is of immeasurable value to God... so much so that it was purchased at a great cost. And I pray that this year, the good news of Christmas would bring you hope.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees!
Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine!
Oh night when Christ was born!
Oh night divine!
Oh night, oh night divine!

Monday, December 21, 2009


These past few days, or maybe it's weeks, have been really difficult, and I've found myself burdened by a couple of things. And no, it's not the 20-22 inches of snow that fell this past weekend.

First, I am just missing Isaac so incredibly deeply as Christmas draws increasingly near. I know he would be so captivated by our neighbor's lights that "dance" to the music on a local radio station... by the ornaments hung on the tree... or by the gingerbread men that we've made. He'd be old enough that we'd be able to start talking to him about the real meaning of Christmas, and perhaps he'd at least start to associate "baby" (Jesus) with Christmastime. Anyone who has experienced significant loss will tell you that the holidays agitate their grief. I was talking with a woman last week about how her mother died fourteen years ago... and the holidays are still really hard. I guess it's the times when families gather together that the fact that there's someone missing from ours feels even more pronounced. And I can feel that ache in my heart... that ache for my son who isn't here... just grow.

Secondly, I have been incredibly burdened with all that is going on in Congress (specifically the Senate right now) with health care reform, and the impact that proposed legislation will have on federal funding for abortion. In no way do I desire this post to become a debate; but I do feel a burden about this. If you haven't seen it already, John Piper has created a wonderful video that stemmed from one of his sermons back in January of this year in response our current administration's stance on abortion. I love this video because it boldly proclaims truth... but also extends grace.

Would you please join me in praying for our nation's Senators as they are currently voting on the bill, as well as for all members of Congress and our current administration as they continue to iron this out. Would you also please continue to pray for us as we're just missing Isaac so much these days.


Click here to watch.

Please pray as our nation's leaders continue to work out this new health care plan, and for conviction in the hearts and minds of these leaders.

Friday, December 18, 2009

For Better, of For Worse

Today is a special day in the Delisle house... our 5th anniversary!

I think back to December 18th, 2004... how it almost felt like a dream seeing all of the planning and preparation come together so beautifully. Not just plans for the photographer, the music, the food and all... but God's plan in designing Spencer and I specifically and uniquely for one another.

I remember having this glowing, almost goofy, looking grin plastered on my face the entire day. Then again, how could you not? Especially when you're the bride :)

I remember each part of our ceremony and reception so clearly. I had been told that it would all feel like a blur, but truthfully it doesn't. I remember everything that went off without a hitch, and the few glitches that occurred, too... all of which made it a memorable and the most joyous of days.

In particular, I remember our vows. Spencer and I are fairly traditional, and not particularly creative, so we chose to stick with traditional wedding vows. And while I think that I understood the concept of "for better for for worse" to the greatest extent that I could at the time, I would never have imagined the magnitude of that statement.

I would have never imagined that God would lead us down a path of some unimaginable "for worse" times. That's not to say that God hasn't been faithful in using Isaac's short life and ultimately his death for good and for His glory... because he absolutely has.

But of course, it's not what either of us would have chosen. And with it being so close to Christmas and Isaac's absence feeling more and more pronounced, we would have rather that situation been one that had turned out "for better"... at least, for better in a way that would have allowed Isaac to be here with us for much, much longer than her was.

Over the course of the past five years, God has blessed us with some incredible "for better" times, and has carried us through some the most painful "for worse" times. As I sit here and reflect on that, I am so incredibly grateful for the way that God has used each of those times, for better or for worse, to strengthen our marriage. He has been so faithful in protecting us.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I love you, Spence! You are my perfect partner. Happy anniversary!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What We've Been Up To...

Like many of you, the past couple of weeks have been quite busy...Spencer's graduate work, Christmas shopping, working on Eliana's room, doctor's appointments, finishing up paperwork for the Isaac Delisle Foundation. So, to catch you up with life in the Delisle house over the past few weeks, here are some pictures of our more exciting moments...

I wrote a little while back about starting to work on Eliana's room and how Spencer did a fabulous job painting and setting up her furniture. Clearly, we have a long way to go before it is finished, but it's at least at the point where we can start adding shelves, decorations, curtains, and all. I wish you could see this shade of pink in person... it's really beautiful.

Maryland also got it's first snow of the 2009-2010 season! And, a fairly substantial one at that. Around here, "substantial" would mean that you don't see the blades of grass poking through the snow :) Apparently, we're supposed to have a pretty snowy winter, which is GREAT in my book, since I will not be returning to work for the rest of the school year after Eliana is born in March!

So I took one commenter's suggestion and wrote Isaac's name in the snow. We now have his name on a gerbera daisy in the spring, in the sand during the summer, on a leaf in the fall, and finally in the snow for the winter. My hope is to get each of the photos printed out and rotate them in a frame based on what season it is. Thanks for the great idea!!

In the midst of all that was going on, I realized we didn't have any good pictures taken from this past year. Maybe it was because I wasn't much for photos... I don't know. So, in front of our FRIEND'S Christmas tree (because ours is STILL not decorated!) we snapped this shot for our annual Christmas card.

And finally, at the request of several people, here's an updated tummy shot with Eliana. 25 weeks and counting!! I went back and looked at my belly pictures with Isaac. I feel so much bigger this time around, but apparently, I look about the same as I did with him.

My scanner is acting up this morning, so I don't have any updated ultrasound pictures for you. We got some great 4-D shots last time! I'll get those up soon... once my Christmas cards have finished being addressed and are in the mail :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Grief Looks Like at 14 Months

I had intended to get this post published on Monday, December 7... 14 months since Isaac was born. It's a few days late, but I still wanted to share these thoughts.

To some, the title of this post may even seem like an oxymoron. How could "grief" and "14 months" even fit together at all? What many people don't realize is that grief is a process. Often times, when a person has finished intensely grieving, others may figure that the grieving is finished. Truthfully, though, it doesn't quite work that way. I am not sure that I will ever be through grieving our loss of Isaac... at least not until that day when I get to see him again in heaven.

Yes, grief at 14 months looks a lot different than it did 14 hours or 14 days after Isaac was born and went home to be with Jesus. It's no longer the piercing, sharp, debilitating pain that seemed like it would last forever. While there are rare moments of that sort of pain that still creep in on occasion, grief at 14 months is more like a dull ache that's always there. The silence of not hearing a newborn baby cry is no longer persistently deafening; but, there is a persistent feeling that someone is missing... because he is. And I still miss him very, very deeply.

I spent some time reading on the M.I.S.S. Foundation's website recently, and in one of the articles I read, a bereaved mother shared this: "Parental bereavement is a permanent condition. The hopes, dreams and aspirations you had for the child now gone is lost forever."

Because you see, while all of the "firsts" this past year... the first Christmas without Isaac, what would have been his first birthday... were incredibly difficult, those difficult moments don't end after the first year. There are many moments still to come... no first steps, no first day of Kindergarten, no first dance, no prom, no high school graduation... and the list goes on.

And while those aren't thoughts that we dwell on, they creep in once in a while. And when they do, bereaved parents grieve again. I also came across this article that explains parental grief quite well. While not written from a Christian perspective, it still does offer a lot of insight into the experience of a grieving parent. I would want to add to this article, though, that there is still hope through a journey of grief... hope in the fact that our God is one of restoration, a God who makes beauty from ashes.

So at 14 months, grief looks a lot different. There are many, many good days... not just as we anticipate Eliana's arrival (did I mention that at my ultrasound last week her estimated weight is already 1lb 7 oz!?!), but as we are just enjoying life a lot more again. But the ache is there, the balance of trying manage polarized emotions persists, and our desire to glorify God through this journey abounds.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
~ Hebrews 10:23

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Painting Over Yellow

Two weekends ago I ordered Eliana's nursery furniture. I had some coupons for Babies R Us that were only good that particular weekend, so after finding a set that I liked, I went ahead and ordered it. That alone was a difficult step... Spencer was away on a men's retreat, and he was trusting me to just go ahead and buy it.

I had always been told that nursery furniture takes weeks and weeks to come in; however ours arrived back at the store in four DAYS. It caught me a bit off guard, and I wasn't quite prepared to pick it up just yet. However, on our way home from visiting Spencer's mom for Thanksgiving, we picked it up, and thanks to my dad's help, got it safely home.

Thought it was here, I didn't feel any sort of rush to get things set up. The room that will be Eliana's nursery needed to be painted, and I just sort of figured we would put the boxes in there and wait a while. Until this point, that room had housed some boxes we didn't know what to do with when we moved in, as well as gifts and other items that belonged to Isaac that are now put safely away in his cedar chest. My sweet husband, however, had other ideas about the paint situation and what to do with the boxed furniture.

With Christmas fast approaching, and his grad school course work picking up, Spencer wanted to get his part of setting up Eliana's room finished now while he had the time to really focus on it. So, he while he prepped the room to be painted, he sent me out to get the paint color that the Pottery Barn Kids catalog recommended to coordinate with the bedding we had picked out.

The main behind the paint counter was really kind, and starting chatting with me about my pregnancy, the paint for the room, etc. I was trying to figure out whether or not we needed a primer, and the man asked what color the walls were now.

"Yellow," I answered.

Yellow. How badly I wanted to tell him blue...

About how the room had been used by our sweet son Isaac, but now we were moving his room over in order to prepare for Eliana's arrival. But that wasn't how it all happened, even though we wished so deeply that it was.

Instead, we painted over yellow... no primer needed. Yellow walls that were there when we moved in, and that remained there because we never had the chance to set the room up for our sweet son.

While there was so much joy in picking out her furniture, painting the walls candy stripe pink, and seeing her room starting to come together, it all still doesn't feel just right. It still feels like there's this missing piece, a piece that even Eliana's arrival won't, and can't, replace. I know that as we continue to prepare, decorate the nursery, and anticipate bringing her home, there will be a part of me that wishes that this wasn't the first time I was doing these things.

I suppose that these exciting preparations still serve as reminders of what was lost, and in such a tangible way. It's not a matter of feeling like it's hard OR feeling excited about preparing for Eliana; the fact remains that it's both. They co-exist... polarized emotions contained in one human being; I don't know that I could have ever imagined a capacity so large.

And in His goodness, God continues to give us just enough grace for each moment... for each trip to Babies R Us, for each doctor's appointment, for each conversation with a stranger who kindly asks if this is my first, for each of the preparations. Just enough grace for each step of the way.