Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Car

I live in a manner comparative to driving a car. I have become aware of some passengers that I don't like that are riding along with me. Sometimes I find one or the other to be in control. Stubbornness and determination are two of my passengers. Stubbornness rides in the front. Occasionally I forget to strap in stubbornness and he bounces around the inside the car, nearly colliding with determination. At other times I strap him in and he stays staunchly in place with his face set, looking straight ahead, living out just what I expect of him. His definition is - bull-headed. And to think he is my passenger. Determination - riding in the back seat - feels softer. Most of the time I don't buckle him. He bounces around however he wishes. Sometimes he gives me an encouraging comment. Just simple things like "That was good". Other times I just feel his encouraging presence. The wrinkle between his eyebrows is not furrowed, his jaw is not set, and he is not bullheaded like his counterpart. He patiently awaits his turn in the front seat, knowing that someday I will strap him in up there when he is esteemed highly enough in my eyes. Being determined actually means a struggle against an enemy. Oh... is an enemy present in this picture? The definition for determination adds to my resolve to make him my front seat companion - being determined. I continue on my drive down life, squeal around a corner and stubbornness nearly lands on me; I must have forgotten to strap him. I collide with a car and determination comes flying forward, lands on top of stubbornness and I sigh in relief, glad that stubbornness got squashed. I could go on describing this drive. Several things you may note; firstly, it is no secret that I have been a mechanic's wife for nearly ten years, and some things are starting to wear off on me. Secondly, this is a battle. Thirdly, I am determined to make stubbornness take the backseat; maybe eventually determination will just nudge stubbornness out the door. My car might even drive over him. For now - this is a journey on which I would like to include determination and not stubbornness.

When Kira was about two months old, I noticed she was watching something. It was Marlea, and mostly Marlea's dollhouse. The watching intensified as she grew older. As soon as she could move, she would writhe in the direction of the dollhouse. Marlea was very particular about her dollhouse; since she is the oldest and the only child before Kira, she was used to playing as she wanted. By the time Kira was able to roll, she would roll toward the dollhouse. Soon after that, at five months old she started wiggling. And of course, to Marlea's sheer terror - started wiggling toward her dollhouse. Of course shrieks followed along with Kira's first discovery about how to irritate her sister. The wiggling continued and she was soon wiggling all over our apartment. She cleaned my floors - her clothes were dirty from the chin to the toe. After she would tire of wiggling she would pick up her toes and roll. Unfortunately a hard drive failure caused the loss of all the pictures of those several months. She was just lots of fun!

My mind wants to relive last year and wish this were then and not now. I sometimes feel myself trying to argue and bargain with God again. Pray for peace for us as the year mark and Kira's birthday come next month.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, January 18, 2010


The last few days I have been mulling over these verses "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Being anxious is not fun. I somehow have really missed this verse and practicing it in my life. In fact when I focus on this verse and it sinks in I despair. I feel like saying "Ahhhhh!" How in the world can I manage to really do this? Anxiety has gotten the best of me, starting with last summer. In short words I will attempt to describe the effects of being anxious on my body. I write these because I desire freedom and peace in my life. For one, my stomach is constantly in a knot, and my feet and toes are tense and often curled. The shoulders that are normally even are now in raised, making me feel as if I'm wearing them on my ears. My leg muscles are taut waiting for the next catastrophe to strike. My lungs take shallow gulps of air instead of long deep breaths. Sometimes I feel like asking them "How about working properly?" I also have this strange feeling that comes into my nostrils once in a while, making my whole face tense up. You know - that furrow that appears with age? Well, mine is like a cultivated field. And lastly - my heart races with adrenaline rushes. Even my head can be tricked into thinking everyday life is a race to win against myself. This in short is all a result of anxiety. Some of it is beyond my control simply because my adrenal gland is exhausted. The other majority of the problem is because my trust is God is shaken and I am learning to trust Him all over again in another way. The simplicity of God and His plan for humanity strikes me all over again. So simple - just tell Him about it, believe and thank Him, and then His peace will fill you. No room is left for me to hide in myself. No exemption clause is given for losing a child, having a sick husband, a grieving child, adrenal fatigue, or anything else. Just "be anxious for nothing." He even tells us how to fill our minds when we are finished with this whole process "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things." I really don't understand God or get the whole picture of this earthly life. When I get to heaven I wish to laugh at my anxious self. Probably in big, side-splitting laughs. Maybe I will even roll around on the ground. Until then, I want the peace of God; I want His guard on my mind and then maybe I can work on uncurling these toes.

Kira's daddy is a mechanic by nature. He has a strong passion for big engines that roar and race down the highway at significant speeds. He of course delights in trying to teach his girls about motors and cars. Kira must have understood it to some degree because when she drove her playhouse car around the family room this is what is sounded like. It would start up and then go "vroommm, errrrrrrn, errrrrrrrrn, errrrrrrrrrrrrrn." With each shift, there would be a higher pitch and more errn's on the end. Wonder what she would have done with a fast car?

The year mark is coming whether we like it or not. Please pray that we would be able to embrace it and rejoice with Kira that she now has a life of complete safety and security. The pain is great and unbearable, but God is good.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, January 11, 2010


A new year brings new goals, new ambitions, and new priorities. New things I wish to accomplish, new things I wish to learn, new habits I wish to acquire. I reminisce on the past year and I meet a stubborn spirit. The stubborn spirit is my own. I wanted different goals, ambitions, and priorities than what God had for me. I wanted to learn different things, and acquire different habits. I am still entrenched in myself. I find myself lacking desire to be who Jesus wants me to be. I want to erase and start 2009 over and do just a few things differently that could possibly have changed the loss of Kira. I battle and bargain with God...if only you wouldn't have done all these horrid things to me, to Merlin, to the girls. I cry out - why all this pain? My heart cries and screams inside me for relief from the grief. My head says "Okay God, last January I trusted you for the year and look what happened! How can I do that again?" My very muscles ache from the anxiety with which I am dealing. Some days the simple act of relaxing my toes is a job. My arms are left with teasing imaginations of someone they will never hold again here on this earth. My eyes are left with only mental pictures as simple as my child at the breakfast table...it has become a mirage...it floats in front of me every morning and disappears on the horizon - untouchable again. I scream again "God I can't do this, I don't want to learn anything more. I don't want to trust you for 2010. I don't, I don't, I don't-I don't know what! Something doesn't feel right-the longing for heaven intensifies in my screams. The core of my soul reminds me that I am not created for all this pain and grief, hence my tense toes. I was created for a perfect world where there is no pain, no grief, and no empty aching arms. Sin entered the world by choice. In turn, I also have a choice to make; the choice to learn what God wants me to learn. The choice to be open to what He thinks I can handle. Most of all, the choice to accept His free gift of grace beyond measure. I have discovered it erases my bitterness and invites me again to find rest at the foot of Jesus' cross.

Last year Merlin and I took the girls to the Farm Show. We had so much fun and of course the girls loved it. As we were going around to the different stands we came past a vendor that sold cowgirl hats, nice ones with strings and pink edging. I had always wanted a cowgirl hat and I thought they were very cute. Merlin didn't think they were cute enough to be worth the expense. The girls' longing words and the look on my face changed his mind and we bought two hats. Marlea and Kira played and played with those hats that last month and a half. Precious memories and precious hats! Ironically, we don't think of the money we spent on the hats (:

I know this sounds funny but please pray that we will be able to breathe. I almost have to remind myself sometimes. Marlea also is nervous and sometimes I think her body just hurts too. Pray that spirit, soul, and body could heal and function well together.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Retrospect on Christmas

My mind reflects back on the past two weeks; we had our little family Christmas two weeks ago. It was intensely painful for all of us. We tried to pretend that gifts could erase the pain...but they couldn't. It was still there and someone was still missing. We were in Ohio with Merlin's family Wednesday until Sunday. On Thursday night Marlea started with the flu bug. I was up most of the night taking care of her and Anna (who couldn't sleep). Christmas day I spent taking care of Marlea who was still suffering from the effects the flu brings. I have to admit - I was angry. Angry at God. Doesn't He realize that I have had enough? Doesn't He get it that I would like to enjoy Christmas to some extent? I had numerous apprehensions about Christmas and what it will be like. They were all dashed and I was alone with Marlea holding the bucket. I tried to sleep but alas, every time I shut my eyes my brain rewarded me with flashbacks and more haunted memories. Fear threatened to overwhelm me again as I tried to make myself believe that this is only the flu and she will be okay. Those thoughts were not helped by Marlea - she was sure she had never felt so bad and thought I should take her to the hospital. She too was having flashbacks and haunted memories in her own way. She was better in the evening and I spent some time with Merlin's extended family.

My mind wanders more - what was the purpose in these events? Why did it have to be on Christmas day Marlea was sick? Does my Father in heaven really know me so well that he thought I wouldn't be able to handle celebrating Christmas, so He made it impossible for me to even remotely feel like I am? I realized on hind sight that it was oddly nice. I spent the day feeling like a zombie walking around on a strange planet. If it was really Christmas...I was fooled. It was the strangest one I have ever experienced. In the end it was an easy way out of trying to act joyful on Christmas day. Instead I felt disconnected from any sort of celebration and even gift giving. So in retrospect maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was at the time. I am reminded again that God is mysterious and I will never understand Him well at all until heaven. I am also reminded that my trust in God can be very shallow; life is not predictable; and the flu is mostly not particular about whom it chooses to infect.

Last year for New Year's Day, Merlin's family was together at a cabin. It was a wonderful cabin with lots of space for little people to get rid of energy. The little girls were greatly entertained by running across the pine floors and sliding. Kira thought it was really fun, especially because she had put lots of miles on her footed pajamas and the feet were fairly smooth. She was so good that weekend. She was in the process of coming out of the twos and becoming more of a little girl.

Thanks for all the cards etcetera we received over Christmas, and most of all the many prayers for us. We appreciate it so much! Soon it will be a year ago that we had Kira for our own.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna