With Humble Gratitude

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I received a call from my husband yesterday which started out with “the door”, “I heard Beasley”, “went outside”.  The thoughts in my head were “please don’t finish with he got hit by a car.” 

Then he said “there was an envelope”. And he proceeded to read the contents as I could hear him holding back tears (this is a rare occasion). As I on the other end held them back myself. Inside the envelope was a kind message and a gracious gesture. And no signature. 

I was truly awestruck and completely befuddled for several obvious minutes and at random points throughout the rest of the day. Never discovering who left the mysterious envelope that completely changed our vibe for the day and filled us with appreciation. 

How easily we forget the light that God has given us in today’s dark world. A few weeks ago Pastor Scharf gave a sermon on Lazarus death and the expectations that we have from prayer. “We pray, He pays, right?” And this hit me. 

Charles struggles often lead me to prayer. I use to pray that he could just be healthy. Now I pray that he could just have two weeks of good health. My current prayer is for 28 days. The problem is too often we pray, and then we doubt and after we pray we stop! We must address him in worship, in thanksgiving, in praises, in kindness to others and prayers. Not expecting to receive every time we decide to do so. Pastor Scharf spoke, “Trust Him. Live for Him.” 

To the kind person or persons that showed us God is listening all of those times we pray and worship him, may He bless you. May you continue to truly live for him. We have no way to thank you personally but I hope in some way, from somewhere, you see this and you know how grateful we are. 

May God Bless You. 

Dear Heart Mama

Dear Heart Mama,

We’re currently traveling on a road that’s anything but straight and smooth. It comes with bumps, loose gravel, potholes, hills, sometimes mountains. Our biggest achievements involve not crashing when we go shooting down the other side at full speed. Often times we go to take a right turn and we take a left. We frequently end up stuck in a round about wondering which exit will get us out the quickest, or maybe we are looking for the safe exit, terrified what happens if we take the wrong one. Many of us drive round and round trying different exits and still end up back in that vicious round about cycle. 

Our emotions no longer have boundaries. We can go from happy to furious to blubbering in a five second span. Our love is insurmountable, it also has no boundaries, and that’s what keeps us going. We feel things deeply, often much deeper then we would like. This helps and hurts us all in one fell swoop. 

We can handle punches thrown at us, often getting our guard up just in time. Sometimes we just take it, because sometimes we are just too exhausted to fight, and that’s ok. We pack quite a hefty punch of our own, I wouldn’t want to be in the path of that swing, even on a good day. 

We are strong, determined, and fierce. We cheer for our children and we fight along side them, we are their biggest cheerleaders and their strongest advocates. We need to be and we want to be. 

We have learned the power of prayer, we hold it high, and we value those that include us in their prayers. We pray for each other and with each other. Acknowledging the new family and support God has blessed us with. 

Our responses often hold sarcasm. We cope by faking a smile, a laugh, or joking it off. This is how we have accepted it. While we hate CHD and the pain it causes us and most around us, this is what we have been given. We have been chosen by God. We have been given the most precious of gifts for whatever amount of time he will let us keep them. In time we adapt to this way of life, we have to, it’s how we survive it. 

The heart mamas I’ve met, they’re like no other. They’re loving, kind, encouraging, gentle, gracious, giving. They understand pain, often because they have lived through it. 

There’s a special heart mama I know, her baby has wings, he’s playing with Jesus. While she still grieves, she has turned it into hope for others. She honors him, she sets an example, and she helps others through the legacy he left. She’s admirable. She’s a heart mama. 

Wether you’ve been a heart mama for years or you’re new to this, you’re not alone. We’re here. We’re all here. We’ve been where you are, where you’re going, and if we haven’t, we’ll most likely get there eventually.

 I learned quickly that the anger and sorrow can consume you if you let it. Don’t stay angry at CHD, you can’t control it. But you can embrace it. Embrace CHD head on. Embrace this beautiful family of heart mamas that are here to cry with you, cheer with you, and pray with you. 

Don’t give up. You are not alone. 
Love always,

Charlie’s Heart Mama 

A Glance at Charlie 

2 months? How has it possibly been 2 months since I had 5 minutes to sit down and type? I apologize for my absence but here’s a play by play of why, enjoy. 

I’m currently being fed a combination of golden orange playdoh and hair in a toy kitchen pot, by a toddler who has now begun to dump said playdoh into a cup spilling 80% of the contents onto the living room carpet. As his sister comes running in yelling “are you watching him?” (I resist the urge to respond “no, I thought you were?” And yes I am watching him.) She forcefully takes it away from him. He begins to cry and chases her into the kitchen “mine, mine, mine.”  As she rebuttals, “I was playing with it first.” And I think, “If you were playing with it how did he get it?”

And then they disappear into a closed room and it grows earily quiet. Suspicious to say the least. I never know what I’ll uncover when I open those doors. As I hear a yell “Charlie’s eating playdoh!”  Be right back…

Alright play doh crisis averted. Distraction in the form of a pretty, sparkly, star necklace to which he put on and said, “ta-da!” And then to show he was still a man drove his Tonka truck full speed through three rooms, driving over left over playdoh on the carpet. (And that’s why we don’t have nice things.) Proceeding to climb into the dump of the truck and stand up and reach for the handles of the bat mobile inches in front of him. Surprisingly not falling ass over tea kettle. Then sitting back in the dump and repeatedly dumping himself out and  getting frustrated because he fell out. I don’t recall his sister having this form of “devil may care” attitude as a toddler. 

Sometimes I wonder if he wakes up and thinks, “how can I get into mischief today?Maybe I’ll use a small chair to climb onto the dog kennel and open the pizza oven. Or maybe I’ll climb on the back of the couch and yell at the squirrels and make squirrel noises at them. Or perhaps (my favorite), I’ll learn how to open the bathroom door, open the toilet, and splash in the water.” 

And as I imagine what shenanigans he can get into he steals his sisters playdoh, throws pieces at her, shoves a toy spoon in his mouth (with playdoh on), grabs pieces faster then she can put them away, and fills up his snack bowl with a heaping helping of orange playdoh-y goodness. (Did I mention I’ve instructed several times to return the playdoh to the kitchen where it belongs?) 

And he’s off again. Tackling his sister as she bends to pick up traces of playdoh. Nipping at her ankles like a yorkie. Shortly after putting a toy dog bone in his mouth, the irony. I suppose I should feed him now…

…and fail, pb & j, pears, maybefive  bites…”done”. And he’s back to eating playdoh…

A few moments of quiet, non-playdoh eating play. And then, intentionally, very slowly slides his fingers closer, closer, closer until he snatches away his sisters playdoh and the loud “CHARLIE!” comes bellowing out. He digresses quickly. He’s sneaky, but he knows better then to pick a fight with her. 

And again they disappear to the next room, this time I follow to stand guard as it’s almost nap time and I know the whining that will ensue in a matter of minutes should something not go whoevers way it’s suppose to go. I’m instantly attacked with a playdoh toy being used as a sword “doh doh da do do do” (didn’t know that’s what a sword said did ya?). 

I’ve now been deemed keeper of the balls.  He waits in excited anticipation for me to throw them. I do and his arms remain at his sides as all three balls bounce off of him. Each time he claims “ow” while smiling and then waves his arms for the next one. 

I’m quickly pulled from my chair so he can sit there and rock himself for a matter of seconds. Then he runs quickly, trips over the toy tractor loader. Finds some necklaces and loads it up. Sits on the much to small tractor and tips his tiny little self backwards, seeing this as opportunity to load the tractor with more. And climbs back on being sure this time to balance his tiny legs on either side just so. 

Then he so sweetly gets off and shares the necklaces with me. “Mommy, mommy,” he says in his sweet little voice as he struggles to put them over my pony tail. 

Time for a hog tie diaper change. You know the kind with flailing legs? Here’s a tip… if you leave the pants around the ankles they can’t run away after they perform the roll out. Diaper change done, I’ll tend to my bruises later. 

Now he’s going to put on his sister’s crock (but only one), his hat, and grabs his tea pot, “Mommy, bye. See ya.” He blows me several kisses, apparently he’s not having this nap time business. Over and out.