Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daniel Bradley

I have been thinking and in prayer for a long time about this post but sometimes I don’t know how to express what is my heart. The post I am about to write about is about the life of a 19 year old boy (I can’t use “man” even though that is what he is!!) named Daniel.

I have known Daniel for his entire life, his parents and my parents are best friends, and have been for over 20 years. I can remember feeling Daniel kick in Wendy’s (his mom) womb. Daniel has an older brother named David. David and Daniel grew up with us and we have always referred to them as our brothers, for truly in my heart that is what they are.

At a young age Daniel was diagnosed with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). That will be the last time I will ever write out the diagnoses, for we hate speaking the disease that I know the Lord does not see when He looks down over Daniel. The world needs a description and likes to place labels that do not belong on our lives (just like infertility in mine…). If you spend much time in Daniels life you will see that he and his family NEVER speak this word, they do not allow the description of the “world” to describe their lives. They always speak truth from Gods words, and they claim those of which Christ speaks, not what Doctors may say! I only write it out now so you understand how the world perceives Daniel.

However for 19 years I have walked along side of Daniel in a way I never imagined. I never imagined the Lord allowing me to be a part of such an amazing miracle and an amazing young man’s life. Although Daniel is the one in need of prayer, he is often times the one that prays for others. Daniels life is really about serving the Lord, speaking truth, and bringing people closer to his savior, that is his family’s mission in life.

Even now as I write I am frustrated, I do not feel as though there are the right words to describe all that is in my heart about this family, about this life, about this journey, and about all that God has done and is about to do. It is amazing that I can question Gods healing in my own life, but when I look at Daniel I do not question what God can do; I can see it, I can picture God raising Daniel out of the wheel chair, I can see Daniel walking and preaching the truth of the Gospel, I Can see it with EVERYTHING that is within me.

Sometimes we have to walk the rugged rocks and the hard path to see the mountain view, to see the face of God, to see his hand, his work, his amazing love…. If you had the easy path would you really ever see the love of God? That is how I see Daniel, he is walking the hardest of hard journeys, but when you look into the face of Daniel or the face of his family, you truly look into the face of God. I know that it is nothing of them; they give all the glory to the one who deserves it- God.

I am inviting you to come along side of Daniel, not only in prayer but in also spreading his story! I truly believe that impact and calling on Daniels life is just beginning, God has mighty things and a special call on this young man’s life… don’t you want to come along? The more people that hear about his story the more hope and faith we can spread, and the more prayer Daniel will have for his healing. Please be a part of his journey by checking into his blog- leave comments, he LOVES to hear from you!

I am not sure if my faith would be where it is now if it was not for the life and ministry of this family.

Click HERE for Daniels Blog

Just a Litte Aunt B Time

On Friday night I had the greatest opportunity to hang out with my sister and my nephew and niece. We had such a great time and I enjoyed being with the kids so much! We made homemade pizza and played games until we were all exhausted. My nieces and nephews sometimes bring the greatest healing, I hold and love them as I long for my own children!



Here are a few of the fun pics from that night!!!







This is my fave- Owen fell asleep just as I was about to leave!













Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009

I have been thinking and praying what I should write as today approached. Today is a day of many amazing birthdays, today is an emotional, exciting, and hard day. If you are reading this, today could even be your birthday (Stacey). For me today holds many difficult and exciting moments as each second on the hand of the clock tick by.

Four years ago today my sweet nephew Owen was welcomed into this world. How do I describe that moment when I heard that my sister gave birth to a sweet baby boy. I had only been married for a few months and I can remember the excitement I had when I got the phone call that He was born and he was a healthy 10lb baby boy! Happy Birthday Sweet Owen, I love you!!!!

Today, two years ago we said hello and goodbye to a sweet little girl, Selah. She is the daughter of my cousins Amy and Dan. I can remember the moment my mom called me to tell us Amy was in labor. Selah’s sweet life, although brief in time has impacted so many. Today I remember Selah, I remember her life, I remember my heart longing and asking God to allow her to live and grow with us here on earth, I remember praying for Amy and Dan as they allowed the Lord to call Selah home to his hands and loving arms. Today we say happy birthday our sweet Selah, you will forever hold a place in the hearts of those who love you baby girl!

Today a year ago I was given a due date of January 25th, Owen and Selah’s birthday would be shared by a little baby I thought I would get to bring into the world. God had other plans for our sweet little Eddie. Had our first child that we conceived had been healthy and God had allowed us to see that child to full term we would be celebrating a little boy’s 1st birthday. I can’t help but think about what theme I would go for, I can’t help but wonder if Owen and Eddie would have shared their birthday and celebrated together, I can’t help but wonder….

Today has many emotions, as I remember and think over what God has done in each of our lives. Last year I took flowers to my grandmother’s grave for Selah and Eddie. This year I did not… I decided come June on Judah’s birthday I will take flowers for all the babies that God has called home. My arms ache for my babies, but my heart is healing and today, although I grieve, I feel as though I am grieving in a healthy way- it is not self focused or sadness, it truly is grief wrapped in the joy that only God can give.

January 25, 2009- what a day this will forever be in my heart, it is a special day, and it will always be a special day- it is amazing how God can take an ordinary day and make it such a memorable day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Dogs Bring Many Smiles

Here is a video of my dogs playing in the snow, you can't really see Zion because he is black, but Moab you can really see and he was having the most fun. Anytime it snows this it what he does, but because the snow was so moist he literally became a snow ball! The dogs constantly bring laughter and smiles into our home! God is such a creative God to give us joy like dogs!

REMEMBER TO PAUSE THE MUSIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.... I know it is a little hard to see but you get the picture!



video

Monday, January 19, 2009

YAY Snow!

If you know me at all then you know I LOVE snow, always have and always will...so can imagine how excited I was when it started snowing and has just kept coming down! God is so good!



















Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Then" Where it all Began

It all began when I was working for Woodmen Valley Chapel.

I worked with the middle school students and it was so large that we could not keep up with all the kids, so I started the blog – The Stories of Beth. It was pink and flamboyant, it was fun and exciting. I wrote to the kids, my students, and tried my hardest to share parts of my life with them.

Then I quit my job, I lost a baby and we moved….so the blog in many ways came to an end.

It was found by some of my cousins and wanting to keep up with me they encouraged me to write and post pictures. I changed the title to The Stories of the Tanners, removed the pink background and incorporated my husband into the mix. It was fun, it was light hearted, and in most ways it was a place to post pictures.

Then month after month would past, each one revealing yet another negative pregnancy test.

We watched more friends and family members have their dreams come true of having a family and we kept posting pictures of our dogs or recent projects on the house. Blogs that we enjoyed viewing became a place for photos of children, the latest toy bought or the nursery just finished, and once again Kevin and I continued our posts on the house, the dogs, or Kevin’s softball team. I felt that I was being left behind in every way.

Then we lost our second child.

It became a place for me to be real, to share exactly how I was feeling, in the midst of the most heartbroken moment. It became my journal of the journey God asked me to walk and so I titled it - Walking the Journey. On some of my darkest days it was my best friend. I was able to express myself without feeling the awkwardness that comes with face to face conversation.

Then I found friends.

A group of amazing girls, in the same lonely, heart wrenching boat that I was in, and yet our stories were a bit different our hearts were all longing for the same thing, a baby. Some of us have become close friends, we have never met but our hearts are tied together in unexplained ways. They understood my frustrations, grief, and met me where I was.

Then some of them got pregnant.

I am overjoyed for them! Never wanting to take a moment away from them, or wanting them to hold back on the moment I so long for. However I am once again finding myself watching them change their blog from trying to a blog about their growing family, I am faced with seeing positive pregnancy tests, ultra sound pictures and joy that I can only hope to have one day.

Then…

I continue to post, I continue to write, but not for anyone but for God, and as I write for God I am blessed! I can only hope and pray that someone stumbles upon my blog and is met face to face with the one and true God- the God who has carried me through all the “thens” and walked with me on the journey to motherhood!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beautiful Rare Flowers

God is so good! I have always known this, some days it is easier to believe then others, some day’s I have to say it like I believe it hoping that the belief will follow. Lately, God has been blessing us abundantly. The healing being released daily, but the biggest results are the good days outnumbering the bad, and that is true healing.

I am always amazed at who God brings into our lives at the right moments. Kevin and I both have always been blessed by friendships in our lives, and in our journey of moving so many times, we have really had the unique opportunity to meet some of the greatest people. You all have heard me mention my sweet and dear Jamie who I met in PA. As difficult as moves are, and transitions seem to be God always allows us to take away rare stones of friendships that will last a life time.

As I look back over my life I am truly amazed at the bouquet of friends God has chosen for my life. Each one filling the vase of life with a unique color, shape, and form- how creative our God is even with friendships!!!

As I have dealt with loss, and with the struggling of conceiving, I have felt many times that God has chosen to “pluck” a few weeds or dead flowers from the vase, and sometimes that is so hard. I feel as though if He is going to pluck a weed He should then replace it with a new “flower” seems simple enough. However, I am starting to realize that sometimes He has to change out the water, rearrange the flowers, and even sometimes change the vase to a newer vase, and this all takes time…HIS timing!

Kevin and I have had eight months of God doing such things in our lives….preparing us for the new flowers He is about to give us, and that is just what He has done, He in is infinite timing, wonder, and planning has placed beautiful FLOWERS in our lives.

We are starting to see that we ourselves as flowers, which were closed up for a time, are starting to open up not only for friendship but also to healing and love, allowing others in on the journey, and what a true blessing it has been.

God is so Good, today I am not just saying it, today I believe it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Something Different!

So, in the last couple of months I have been tagged by a couple of my girls in the blogging community! This is just a fun way to get to know each other; I have never done a tag before so I thought I would do one to sum up all the tags. I will not tag anyone at the end but only because the girls who have tagged me I would tag back and that would be redundant!
So here are seven random things about me that maybe you do or do not know about me. I think it will be good to do a post like this because it is something different! So I hope you enjoy!
1) My middle name is Allen (yes like a boy…) My Dad’s middle name is Allen, so they gave my older brother the middle name, then when my sister came along they decided to name her with same middle name, so when it was my turn to grace the world they decided to keep with the pattern, and so “Elizabeth Allen” is my name and name to keep. I used to hate it but now I like it!

2) I Broke my arm and had to have surgery to get back to normal when I was in 5th grade jumping off a wall, I broke my ankle in half climbing up a slide when I was in 7th grade, I have been known as “accident prone” because of this and not to mention…getting slammed in the face by a softball 8th grade, cutting my foot pushing off a boat propeller, cutting my knee on scissors, twisting my ankle…and a few others I am sure I am forgetting to mention.

3) I had braces when I was in 5th grade, then again in 8th grade, and now at 27 I am embracing the braces look again!

4) I hate seafood, any kind, any place, anywhere; I have never liked it and am not sure I ever will….
5) I don’t eat chocolate….I have given it up off and on, I have never been one to crave it

6) I have never enjoyed school or liked school, I have always struggled with learning disabilities, I use to always wonder why but now I embrace that this is just how God created me and am thankful He gave me such an amazing husband!

7) I am most like my dad, the only child in our family with brown eyes, and look at life a lot like him, although over the years in my home, my life and my relationship with the Lord I have grown to be much like my mom, the women who is the greatest mentor in my life!

I hope you all enjoyed, I really had a good time doing this, and sometimes it is nice to write about things other than my current journey. I will let you know I am doing really well; we are starting to see more and more good days outnumber the bad days. God is constantly challenging and encouraging me, and I can feel the warmth of his presence more and more in my life!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not Looking for Easy

I have been pondering for a while now what I should write, no words seem to hit the nail on the head, to give justice to what I am feeling regarding the new year or the fact that eight months have come and gone since Judah, or the emotions of getting past the due date, or the reality that before I know it I will be facing a year.

This journey of trying for a child has overwhelmed me at times, and left me fighting for my breath. The journey of loosing Eddie to an ectopic pregnancy left me confused and empty, and then to face a molar pregnancy with Judah, well this has knocked me out. I sometimes feel the healing, but even when I don’t feel it I do know that I am healing.

When I look ahead to 2009 I am thankful for a new year, there is a bit of loss as I move ahead and realize that leaving behind 2008 is leaving behind one of the most exciting moments of my life, finding out I was pregnant. In the midst of all the sorrow sometimes Kevin and I go back to that simple moment of pulling that pregnancy test form the trash can and seeing its two lines, and for 6 weeks we had joy, I hold onto that with everything that is within me. However 2008 was not an easy year, 2007 was not an easy year.

As I look ahead into 2009 I am not looking for the easy street, in fact my heart knows that this journey will not be easy, that the Christian walk is not easy, being in the fire refined by God is not easy. No I am not looking for easy, but I do know the last 7 months, and however many months God has decided to give me, I have been in recovery, but only to come out stronger and fighting with more vengeance.

I may have been knocked out, but I have not been killed, which means I will come out swinging harder and fighting more. I don’t know what the future holds for Kevin and I, I don’t know if children are what the Lord has planned for us, and I would be lying if I did not say how fearful I am to try again. It is not easy, but then again, we are not looking for easy!

So, as for now I enjoy this time of healing, of remembering, of crying, and I know that Lord has great things planned for Kevin and me, we hold onto to that. So I don’t move forward to 2009 but I move forward to the Lord and my deeper, stronger, relationship with Him. For that the fight is worth it!