Friday, May 29, 2015

Aaron Uriah

It’s time to share our story. 

On May 3rd, we had a miscarriage. We only knew we were pregnant for two weeks, it was very early, but we were both hit hard by how difficult this loss actually was. Early doesn’t mean easy. It has taken us a few weeks to come to a place where we can get our hearts around what happened.

1 Chronicles 16:36 “Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His steadfast love endures forever!”

These things are absolute truth. Our circumstances do not change this. It would have been easy to be angry at God, and I definitely have had my moments. It would have been easy to change my theology for the sake of comfort. (“This must have been God’s will”) This would only have resulted in damaging my trust in Him. Holding God at a distance seemed less painful than thinking He is close and not intervening. 

But we were given a choice. We could turn away, or turn toward. We chose toward. We chose to worship. We chose to stand on the Truths that we know supersede our circumstances. We chose an eternal perspective. We chose to press in and wrestle for a new grasp on his promises.

While the miscarriage was happening, I was given a name and a scripture for our baby. As believers, it is impossible to write off this early miscarriage as not a person. It is impossible to not grieve the loss of our child. I wrestled with this because I was afraid that a name would mean causing more grief than I wanted to feel. But the truth of the matter, in my heart, I know I lost a child. Not a potential child, but a legitimate, full human life on this earth. 

A day before, a friend told me she had a dream about us sharing the name of our son and why we chose that name and that it started with an “A”. She said the dream was so real that she actually went to my Facebook page and looked for the post. 

I was reading my bible the morning after we went to the ER and this passage stood up from the page like it was alive:  

1 Chronicles 23:13… “Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s presence, to serve the Lord, and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.”

Now, I did not take this to mean that the whole  purpose of conceiving and losing our child was so that they would be in heaven. I do not believe that losing our child was God’s will. This verse was instead a comfort, a promise of our child’s realness and purpose beyond our own understanding. That our child’s loss is redeemed in some way in eternity because they are now ministering directly to Jesus and blessing from heaven. Something we all will do someday. 

Austin was given a name as well, Uriah. The story of Uriah is tragic. He was a righteous, loyal man of integrity and in spite of this, his life ended in murder. This may seem like a strange thing, but it again was a reminder of an ETERNAL perspective. When something bad happens to a good person, it is not THEIR fault, punishment, or some sort of twisted game of God. Bad things do happen to good people because this is life outside the garden. This world is broken. It is not God’s will. There is mystery beyond my understanding in this but I do know that the truth of God’s character is not changed by this. When all else is beyond my ability to understand, I must choose to stand on what I do know, which is my relational knowledge of God. 

1 Chronicles 16:36 “Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His steadfast love endures forever!”

God also has given us hope beyond circumstance and promises that we cling to. I am thankful for the way he has used other people to bless us abundantly during this time and also an opportunity to learn how to receive ministry from his heart and church. Grief may not be a time to pour out into others, but a time to receive. And of course, although I wish very much the circumstances were different, I am grateful to see God’s redemption at work, walking us deeper into his steadfast love and mystery. 

In a strange way, eternity has become more tangible. And that is a powerful hope. 

1 Chronicles 16:36 “Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His steadfast love endures forever!”

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Just a little bit of what's on my heart lately. 

I watched a sunrise yesterday morning and felt really connected to God as I watched the blood red sky brighten like it did when I was out praying on the beach. My heart prayed "God, I want more" and I felt very clearly him say "Me too". I knew
​that the ache I felt for him was also the ache he feels for me. I want more but I have to give him more. How do I offer my life to him? Since he already offered his for me?
Deep calls to deep. I want more. I want to see God the way he says he is, I want to see myself the way he says I am. But my daily offering comes first. Or rather, they happen together. My life deepens with knowing God. The small things don't diminish but grow deeper. There are a lot of big things about God I'm desiring to see, a reality I'm hoping for, and stepping into that doesn't mean leaving what I know behind. I'm not completing levels of some sort of game where you move on, wash your hands and start a new thing. This all sounds so obvious as I'm writing it, but I forget these things sometimes. 

 I may not know the next "big" step, but I do know I'm called to serve and love my family, my neighbor, you. I want to dream big dreams while not missing the significance of the moment I'm in. 

What do I know? 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. 

All the promises of God find their YES in him (Jesus). 

There's more. 

I want congruence in my life. I'm seeing this really big vision of who God is, and I want my life to match that belief. I want the love I have for others to be as deep as the bigness of the God I love. I want the smallest task in my day to be the biggest act of worship. Nothing is insignificant. No one, no thing, no act. 

"Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known he mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that he should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (-Romans 11:33-36)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

6 months

I can't believe my baby girl is six months old. Her little (big!) personality is delightful and I am so lucky to get to witness her every day.
Sure, some days I get restless, lonely, but for the majority of the time I am so thankful that I am doing what I am doing.

Right now, I'm sitting in my driveway stealing a few quiet moments to write while A is asleep in her seat.


We are so blessed.

Lord, help me see, help me walk in gratitude and not miss the miracle of each moment.

A is stirring...she's awake.

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Year since our lives changed

I wrote the following a while ago and decided to put it here for safe keeping:

Dear Avery,
It's midnight on Christmas Day, and you are asleep next to me after a very full holiday!
My heart is full and tender at the new eyes I see everything with through you. Christmas was so much deeper and joyful because of you this year.
But this is actually the second Christmas that you have made special to me.
Last year, on the day after Christmas, we found out about you. We cried and laughed and hugged and dreamed. And waited. We waited and waited! And in perfect time , you came. None of our dreams even compare to the wonderful reality of having you in our lives and hearts.

You are only four months old (today in fact!) and Christmas probably just seemed like too much noise and activity, I know we wore you out, but there were priceless moments in the bustle of the day. First of all on the 23rd you laughed...I mean laughed! You laughed at your daddy eating chips. And to us, you might as well have won the Olympics, I've never been so thrilled in my life at that sweet sound. That glorious joy bubbled up in you and spilled out in music to my ears.

You didn't understand the presents, your favorite gift was the pink polka dotted tissue paper, but to see the love that others have for you represented by those gifts was sweet.

Avery, my child, you have deepened my soul and  widened my heart. May you always know you are loved beyond measure. May you always see newness and hope in the world. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am humbled to be watching you grow. It is sacred. I watched and felt you grow from the imperceptible. I will always watch in awe as you grow your whole life.

This Christmas was beyond wonderful for me, my heart couldn't be fuller. I love you Avery, my daughter. You changed me forever one year ago, and today.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

100 Days!

Avery is one hundred days old today! I can hardly believe it, She has changed our lives for the better and I am so happy to be so fortunate to stay home with her and take care of her.

It's amazing watching her grow and learn! She  can hod her head up now, and say "mmmm" and has started babbling. She sat up in her bumbo seat today for the very first time. She smiles when she recognizes someone. And one of the best feelings in the world is that she knows me. She has a special look just for me and it thrills my heart. I am beyond in love with her.

It has beem the best 100 days of my life, being your mother.
100 snuggly nights
100 days I cherish
And countless moments I have stored in my heart to the point of bursting already! I love you so much. I loved you before you got here, and am thankful for the precious days of getting to know you! I took you to your first parade last night and you really liked the horses and the sparkly floats.  A moment I never want to forget was walking you over to the Pramount Theatre where the community band was playing Christmas carols and we dance while you watched them and listened to the songs. I kissed your sweet little head and almost started crying because it was a perfect sweet moment.

Another precious moment was a couple of days ago when your daddy was talking to you and saying "can you say 'daddy?"" and you accidentally but very disticntly said "mommmmmy!" We laughed and laughed!

SweetAvery, you arethe lighttinour lives!
Happy 100 days of precious life, my little one!
Love, Mom and Dad

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two months

It is hard to believe that two months ago, Avery came into our lives. The past nine weeks have been some of the hardest, best weeks of my life. We were so very blessed to get to have eight weeks of all three of us being home together! I don't know what I would have done without the support and steadiness of Austin during those first six weeks especially.

So much has happened in this short amount of time, and its incredible how much she's grown and changed already. We have conversations now, little coo's squeals and smiles so big she can hardly stand it. It's just incredible.

Some of my favorite things are how she looks at me and smiles while she's nursing, our talks on the changing table (she loves having her diaper off!), how she perches on my shoulder and lifts her head and looks around and I can hear her sweet fast little breaths while she takes in the world around her. Holding her while she sleeps. Knowing that I am her whole world.

Every night we get in bed, all three of us and read a story from her Jesus Storybook Bible and then pray together. It is such a sweet time. Oh, how we love our baby girl!

So much has happened. At ten days old, we took our baby girl to Dripping Springs which made me so happy for her to meet her Drippin' family. We learned about trusting God with everything, and learned that "fear is a liar".

The first six weeks, I cried every single day, which was quite overwhelming for me. I cried when I looked at her because I couldn't believe how much I loved her. I cried when she cried. I cried when I thought it was too hard. I cried when I felt like I didn't know how to do things. I cried when I was tired. I cried because I was overjoyed. I cried because I remembered my little brother. I cried realizing how much my parents loved me. I cried because Austin was such a rock for me. I cried because I felt blessed beyond measure. I cried because life seemed miraculous and precious and hard.

I've watched our baby girl heal my family. It's beautiful.

As the weeks ticked by, I kept praying about what was supposed to happen after my leave from work was over. Austin did not have a job, had not been able to land a job in a year and a half, and when I prayed the only thing that felt sure was that I was supposed to be with Avery. No other answer, plan or solution.

Tom Russell and Suzy came to visit us a few weeks before I was to go back to work and helped us clear some of the fear out of the way so we could hear what we were supposed to do.

Austin interviewed for yet another job.

They said they would let him know late the next week or early the following...the week I went back to work.

Fear is a liar.

I was afraid that God wouldn't come through. This time.

During this time, our dear friends the Merritts lost their twin babies at 20 weeks pregnant. This was so unbelievably sad and terrible and heartbreaking. Why didn't God come through for sweet baby Lola and baby Jude?

Fear is a liar.

My mom's best friend is dying of cancer. Why didn't God come through?

Fear is a liar.

Monday comes and no word on the job, doubt creeps in and I feel that it will not happen. Why didn't God come through?

Fear is a liar.

I drive to work, teary, but thankful to leave Avery with her daddy. I know I'm supposed to be with her, but I can't see how. Why didn't God come through?

Fear is a liar.

Austin calls me a couple of hours after I go to work. "I got a call..." he says. "I got the job!"

Fear is a liar.

God's timing is always perfect. I am going to stay home with Avery! Austin is so excited about his job and I'm so excited about getting to be with my little girl. I'm nervous and excited about the ways this is going to challenge me and bless me. This is a really big change. Lord, help me to continue to trust your timing, your wisdom and your guidance. Even when I'm afraid it doesn't make sense! You are good.

I can't explain the mix of joy and sorrow. I can't explain why God would care about answering prayers about a job, but not about healing. It would be inappropriate to try I think. All I know is that here in this moment, God has blessed us and Avery. I know that even in the midst of tragedy, God has blessed the Merritts.

All I know is that Fear is a liar. Even when it looks really bad.

We love you so much. We don't have all the answers, but we are learning to trust our Father. He is good, baby girl, and he loves us so. He has used you already to bless us and grow us and challenge us. You are the best thing that has ever happened to us, sweet girl. We love you more than you can even imagine, and now I understand a little more how much that means God loves us. I would do absolutely anything for you. You are the most precious thing in my life. I pray that I can help you know that love, and not hinder it. I am honored to be your mother and I pray God will bless my efforts. I'm not perfect and I will mess up, but I promise I will try my best to lean on our wise counselor to show me how to love like He loves. Precious, sweet girl, you've changed us forever.
Love, Mom and Dad 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

She's here!

Avery Elizabeth Brown
Born on her due date, August 26, 2013 at 8:33am
7 lbs 8 oz, 19.5 inches long

Well, not even 24 hours after writing that last post, our adventure began!

I woke up at 130 am on Monday, August 26, our due date, felt a funny feeling and sure enough my water broke!

At three am we made our way to the hospital to find out for sure if my water had broken or what was going on. We got there and they told me it hadn't but they'd watch me for a while before sending me home. Not five minutes later, I had a contraction and a gush! The nurse said, yep, that's your fluid, we'll get a room ready.

By 4 am I was already nearing transition and then by 530 our Dr was scrambling to get there in time because things were moving so fast. The nurse told me not to push and I said I can't not push!

Our doctor ran into the room in her workout clothes, threw on a gown and got ready for me to push.

After an hour and a half of pushing, our baby girl, Avery Elizabeth, came into this world at 833 am! Austin was able to help catch her and be the first person to hold her and place her skin to skin with me. Everything went perfectly, minus some stitches that I could care less about in that magical moment. Our perfect daughter, in my arms, wet and hot and looking around with her little eyes at this big new world.

It was the most incredible experience I've ever had. I did not use any pain medication or management other than what we had planned for with our friend and midwife, Linda. I will say that it was also in my mind that there is absolutely no judgement for anyone who chooses to use pain management. It was a really hard, painful experience and I don't think I would have missed out or anything had I chosen to ease the pain. But, that being said, I'm really happy that I was able to do what I had set my mind to do.

There are no words to describe what this past week has been like for our little family. Sweet, precious, miraculous all seem to fall short. We're exhausted, we've never been happier in our lives. We are positive that this is the most important thing we've ever done. The level of love we have for this little girl, our daughter is completely overwhelming. I haven't cried this much in my life.

We're breastfeeding and that has been challenging and also one of the most exquisite experiences ever. We're learning together, and those middle of the night feedings are some of the sweetest moments, in the quiet and dark room, her little hand on me, her eyes looking up at me.

Oh, baby girl, you are here! We love you more than we ever thought we could! You are the absolute best thing in our lives. I praise God for your safe delivery, for finally being able to hold and touch and smell and see you and hear you and your sweet little cooing and heartbreaking cries. Welcome, Avery Elizabeth to our family! You are right at home in the very heart of us. We have prayed over you since we found out about you. We anointed you on our first day home with you. The Lord is your shepherd and will watch over you all of your days. You've changed us forever, sweet daughter. 
Mom and Dad