Sunday, May 31, 2009

Expectations of God

Expectation: the prospect of something good to happen. What is my view of God? Do I put myself on a pedestal expecting God to bless me because of what He allowed in my life? I feel sometimes like I hold Him out at arm's length. "God, if you do this, I will..." Is that actually how my heart feels or is that Satan distorting the fundamental belief that God is good? What makes me expect that I should receive blessings from God? Who am I, but a little person in the eyes of a big God. The Bible says that God sees a sparrow fall. If God cares about the sparrow, won't he see and bless me? But, why do I deserve His blessing? Am I a waiting - like a dog waiting for a biscuit? What if something "bad" would happen? Would I forsake God because my disappointment would be so great? Am I going to live life waiting for something? Or am I going to love God with no reserve - unconditionally. To love unconditionally means to love with all your heart no matter what happens. In all my wanderings and expectations I choose to love. Love is much more fulfilling, more calming, and a lot less worrisome. After all, if God loved me enough to die for my sins, why shouldn't I love? The human part of me will continue to question, and Satan will continue to try to distort. I might continue to wait for my biscuit but my God - my heavenly Father - understands. He created me with choice, understands my wanderings, and knows that I will come back to love because He knows my heart.

When Kira was about two and a half people would tell her "You're cute." With fiery eyes and an insulted look she would say: "No! Ki-ki!" Meaning "cute" is not her name, she is Ki-ki. She did the same thing when people told her she looks like her daddy. "No! Ki-ki!" She was her own person, whoever heard of looking like someone else, she was only Kira. We teased her: "Kira, are you cute?" Fire! "No, Kiki!" Her daddy loved that line!

Merlin was at the doctor this week. We are hoping that the recommendations will work for him. We have been on the medical route before and it didn't work. This will take a long time, but the end result looks promising. We also made some diet adjustments which seem to be working well. Spring allergy season is coming to an end, which should also be helpful.

Pray for Merlin's healing, and that our marriage especially could remain strong, and that we can continue to meet Marlea's needs in the way that brings her closer to Jesus.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, May 25, 2009

How it used to be

Happy shrieks of laughter, horrific arguments, and Anna yelling from being tormented. A sweet little girl finding her momma in the inn kitchen in the morning, calling her daddy on his phone for breakfast, wanting to be rocked all by herself while the others were still sleeping. Two little girls clamoring for Daddy's attention, two little girls running out the door to go with Daddy on a delivery, two little girls riding a dirtbike with their Daddy. The sounds of four little feet running through the house, two little girls eating supper, two little girls getting a bath, two little girls planning to wear look alike pj's, two little girls listening to stories. One little girl falling asleep during prayer, relaxed in her daddy's arms(at least some nights). Her older sister takes a long time to fall asleep - but she is out like the lamp. Two little girls laying in bed fast asleep, the shrieks of laughter are turned into dreamy thoughts and the horrific arguments are forgotten. A momma and daddy tiptoe in when weary eyes are closed-smile thankfully and turn out the light. Now, if we can just convince the baby to sleep yet, peace will be ours for a few hours. Later they come back again and smile, seeing three little girls sleeping blissfully.

These are scenes of the past for us. Scenes we enjoyed and loved. Times we treasure-moments we lived that will never be back to the same. Instead, one five year old who feels lost and lonely. One little girl playing by herself, occasional shrieks of laughter from a five year old and a baby trying to play together, but few arguments to solve. One little girl to read stories to, pray with, and try to persuade to go to sleep in her big empty bed. Momma and Daddy tiptoe in to turn off the light and there is one little girl in bed and a baby in the crib. Later, they tiptoe in again and smile thanking God for two precious little girls but dreadfully missing the third. We again cry out to God in our pain desperately needing His grace to sleep another night, live another day. Inside we feel like knocking on Heaven's gate, asking for answers that we can't find here. In our frailty we remember that when we do get to heaven's gate-the questions of this pain filled earth won't matter anymore. What will matter is that we lived the way God called us to live with our whole hearts.

Marlea's cousin spent a night and day here last week. When she left Marlea and I cried and cried. It was just a touch of how it used to be and then she left. The pain was unbearable for both of us. Trying to understand pain is difficult and yet so simple for a five year old. At the table the other morning Marlea said: "Mommy, how did Kira sound when she talked to her doll?" We both sat in silence looking at our plates trying to remember. Neither of us could and the pain was so intense. Wanting to remember so badly and yet we couldn't. Pray that our minds would be filled with clear simple memories. We passed the three month mark this month.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea and Anna

Monday, May 18, 2009


Fear-we all fear something. Some of us fear having an accident, an earthquake, a house-fire, or another natural disaster. Some of us fear people-their opinions, what they might think of us, what they might do to us. A lot of us fear not being good enough for ourselves, or our child or husband not being good enough for someone. Most of us fear change. A lot of mothers fear for their child's safety. Whether the child is an infant, toddler, adolescent, teeneager, etc. For me, my worst fear was that something would happen to my child. I was always more afraid of something happening to Kira-she was so unpredictable. In plain reality-it happened to me in front of my eyes. I can feel the terror realizing she lost her breath, of picking her up and yelling at her, hoping it's just a seizure. I look back and see the events folding out in front of me and yet they were so subtle that many mothers would have missed them. What's worse is even if I would have known, we would have had the same outcome. The thought feels full of fear, scary-what if it would happen again, would I know the second time? I look back again as thoughts roll through my head like a roller coaster. I feel the terror of realizing I need to do something. I feel the terror of yelling at Marlea to get the phone, calling the operator and asking her to help me remember CPR. My heart feels the terror of knowing that it is my child I have to breathe into-something I always hoped I would never have to do. I feel the terror of realizing she is dying infront of my eyes and I am alone. I cry out in terror and fear to God to save my sweet little girl. My heart feels the relief of hearing my neighbors come in - who I was praying would come when they hear the scanner. The fear in my heart is overwhelming by now and I am nearly losing my sanity but I keep helping wanting to touch and help my child. My terror only multiplies as the ambulance comes and whisks her off to the hospital. I run out the door behind them throwing their bags in the back and Merlin hastily kisses me and jumps in the front. I go back into the house and scream in fear. More fear than I have ever known in my life. God, please do something. I can't do this...I cried out to him aloud, screaming, yelling, thrashing.

That was only the start of my fear. Slowly I began to realize that God is here with me. My fear culminated on Tuesday when we made the heart-wrending decision to let her go peacefully... decisions I feared. Fear seemed to consume me as the end came. God calmed my fear with his presence. He let me feel his presence in a real way. When there was nothing left in me - way down at the bottom, God was there. I will never again say there is something I can't do - nothing seems hard anymore. Even my fear of death is gone forever. Suddenly I find myself with nothing to fear. If God cared for me in my worst fear - he will care for me in all my other worries. I still encounter them, but they flee when I remind myself of God's care in my deepest agony. I picture it as a balloon filled with fear and only a little space left for God tied in the knot. What if we could learn to fill the balloon with God and leave the fear tied in the knot. 2 Timothy 1:17 "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Funny he puts the sound mind at the end after the words "power" and "love."

Merlin reminded me of Kira's favorite song when she rode in the truck with him-"Everything is going to be alright in Christ." She always joined in for the "in Christ" part. I think of that as I go thru the days. It's so true.

Life goes on for us. Merlin pretty much remains the same. Marlea keeps changing, definitely healing. I see more and more of the real, used to be Marlea coming back. It's wonderful and also helps me feel more normal. Anna is practicing walking and I so much wish Kira would be here to help her. I can just see her taking her hand and walking with her.

Thanks for caring, praying, loving, and understanding us in our pain.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, May 11, 2009

To Kira

Kira, today is the day after Mother's Day. I missed you terribly yesterday and yet in some ways I almost felt like you were here with us. What all goes on that we can't see? Who knows, will we never know and when we get to heaven will we care? I remember so well last Mother's Day how you were so excited about taking Anna to church for the first time. I was looking at the pictures we have of last year and you were happily holding your baby sister, so proud. I wish it was last year and everything would be okay. Marlea said today: "I wish we could be a happy family again." But, it's not last year, it's this year. We had a pretty good day. We went to the Make-a-Wish Parade and in the evening some family came over. It was different which was kinda nice. Even so, nothing could take away the hole that you have left. Nobody can fill the void, nothing can replace you. When I was outside planting flowers I felt like stuffing dirt in the hole in my heart. I tried, but it fell through the cracks. When I am folding towels, I think maybe I could stuff a towel in the hole, but alas, water seeps through. I am tempted to fill the hole with food, but I would never fill up. I am tempted to make my life so busy that I don't think about the hole-but it greets me at bedtime in the quiet. I laugh at Anna and Marlea, but they can't replace you. There will never be any other person just like you. I know yesterday you would have come and put your arms around me and so sweetly said: "Mommy, thanks for taking care of me". And that is all, you would have meant it with all your heart. My empty heart tries to feel it-but it's not real because you aren't here to touch, hear, and see. Some days I think I maybe if I wash your dress it would help, but I would hang it up again and you wouldn't wear it, just like before. Even my imagination can't fill the hole that you leave in my heart. So, I turn to Jesus. The Bible says in John 14: Let not your heart have holes, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also. The end of life with holes Kira! Between now and then I promise to only stuff my heart with Jesus. I know you want me to be happy and full of joy, just like you were.

I got Kira's Little Tykes car out of the shed this week for Anna to ride. It still had dirt in the back from Kira. I looked at it-fingered it remembering how she loved the dirt enough to eat it, throw it at Marlea, put it in her hair, make it into a pond. And as a stood there looking at it-Anna starts eating it. Was I surprised? No, I was thinking about trying it myself. It must be good!

Thanks so much for your prayers, cards, etc. especially over Mother's Day. I felt very lifted up by Jesus. Please pray that Merlin and I especially would have patience with our grieving and that we would have patience regarding his health issues. We are thankful that he is able to function fairly normally, although mostly because he forgets how it is to feel good. Pray too for the spiritual battle that has become part of our lives. We want Jesus!

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, May 4, 2009

Living with Pain

Life with pain - I can't get away from it. Pain has become my companion. I have pain-emotional and physical. I watch Merlin experience emotional and physical pain. I watch Marlea in emotional pain. Even little Anna seems to have emotional pain sometimes. Hers comes out by screaming, being attracted to three year olds, and still looking for someone who isn't here. My emotional pain comes in waves a lot of the time. Sometimes it comes from situations, things I find that were Kira's, the extra time that I have from her absence. It is always there, part of my new identity. It feels like my emotional and physical pain have become one. At Kira's graveside I thought I would be okay...I had cried so much and it felt like it was just her body going down. I didn't cry lots but I had physical pain that can only come from a mother losing part of herself. I literally felt like I was burying part of myself, which is what was happening. This child's body that I had birthed, nurtured, and loved greater than myself was going back to the earth. In a way I was awed by God's plan and realized to a greater extent how much we love our children-they are part of us. The body pain has become part of my life forever. It is not something that will go away, because God created me to want to love and nurture her, and I can't. In that I find release in my emotional being because the sting of death is gone through the power of the blood of Jesus. In that my emotional pain will heal. My heart that is sliced open will start to heal. In it's place will be a scar, but with God's help I want it to be a beautiful scar. But, even scars hurt. The tissue around them stays tender and soft. I want that...I give my pain to Jesus moment by moment...only He who has taken the sting of death away will take the sting of my pain away. The pain will never be gone, but it will not feel so bitter. I again embrace it because out of that I will stay real and alive.

In some ways the change of seasons brings so many memories and we live the pain of losing Kira all over again. I can hardly bear to watch Marlea play silently and alone outside. It is so boring! I miss the peals of laughter from mud fights, bike riding, and playing in the playhouse. I miss the little hands helping me plant flowers, bringing me dirt and stones. I miss the little hands that last year snipped off all my daffodils and tulips. Flowers were meant for mommies, not in the flower bed. As I look ahead to Mother's Day I remember last year. Anna was two weeks old and we took her to church for the first time. Now there are only two little girls and we miss the middle one so so much. Please pray that we will continue to reach out and claim God's grace for our lives. Pray also that we will have faith to continue believing God has our best in mind.

Marlea wanted to blow bubbles last week so I went outside to find some for her. I found a gigantic yellow bottle that the Eismeiers (: had given us last year. I was delighted, thinking she will have lots of bubbles to blow. I opened it and was ready to pour some out in another container. Suddenly I realized that it was filled with mud and water instead. I laughed, remembering my little sweetheart and her love for the dirt and water. And also her passion of dumping bubbles instead of blowing them. I guess blowing took too long, dumping is much more efficient. I also cried...missing her.

Words seem pale to thank all of you for still caring enough to read the blog, care for us, and lift us to the throne of the Father.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna