When our two older boys started Kindergarten and 2nd grade this past August, I decided to take a step back from the things that pulled me away from them.  While I continued to capture the moments that framed in the day-to-day of our life, and jotted down the things I just couldn't bear to let slip out of my memory, I struggled to think much further than home.  With hectic schedules and new routines, my three little boys needed me more than ever, and I had more processing to do than I had words to explain. 

This past July we said goodbye to another precious baby. 

After months of waiting and hoping to see that pink plus sign, we were thrilled to finally watch it appear, and wasted no time sharing our news.  Elation and joy took a sharp turn 7 weeks in when we found ourselves once again questioning, unraveling and asking why God would say "yes" only to say "no" just weeks later.  Hopes raised sky high and sent crashing to the pit once again.


Six pregnancies.

Six new beginnings.

Six of the best moments of my life spent staring down at a flicker of hope and anticipation contained in a faint pink line, and we have said goodbye to every other babe.

3 precious lives here.

3 waiting for us There.

And 1 . . .

growing inside.

While we count ourselves extremely blessed to wrap our arms around the three wiggly boys we have been fortunate enough to take home and do life with every single day, it grieves us immensely to have 3 children that we have never had the privilege of knowing.  Whether at Week 6, Week 7 or Week 31, a lost life aches deeply, and the holes in our family where they would be are each profound. 

I could not wrap my mind, heart and body around the loss of our sweet baby this past summer.

 I feared my still-tender heart was not strong enough to survive another blow.

I had words with God. 

Harsh words.

Desperate words.

Familiar, hopeless words.

New wounds erupting, old wounds stinging fresh once again.

I am so thankful for these four sweeties.

I cannot imagine walking the emptiness without these little boys who bring such fullness to my life, my beloved Adam who bears the load when I cannot and grieves alongside me, and a Father in Heaven that holds my precious babies just as tenderly as He holds me. 

In the midst of the darkness and unraveling, we learned we were expecting again. 



While no other life could ever take the place of our Maggie girl, we serve a God of REDEMPTION, and I have been deeply soaking in the warmth and beauty of this new life we've been given. A piece of our Maggie's legacy carried on in the life of her baby sister.  The months have not passed without anxiousness, hesitation and fear.  Satan would love nothing more than to taint this precious joy with crippling worry and doubt.  Some days the battle is harder than others, and his lies speak louder than the Truth that I know is sovereign and good.  It has done my heart inexpressible good to be trusted with the privilege of a second sweet daughter.  It has been such a joy to watch my husband rejoice and soak up the sweetness, and look on as our sons overflow at the chance to be big brothers to another precious sister.

Such a gift.

Such an honor.

Such a delight.

We are preparing our hearts and our family to begin this new chapter, and let words of sweet praise fall often from our lips.

Thank you, Lord, for this life!


Feeling sick tonight.  




Oh, Maggie, mommy misses you, sweet girl. 

I miss that overflowing joy that came with preparing for and dreaming of our life with her.  I drive myself mad wondering what she might have looked like at 1 month old, 6 months old, 1 year, 10 years . . . . . 16 . . . . . 20.  Her wedding day.

Lord, I don't get it . . . and it hurts. SO. BADLY.

It feels a little bit hopeless sometimes.  A little bit frantic.  A little bit lonely.   A whole lot broken and incomplete.


I don't know if that part will ever get any easier to take.  Two years and I am still appalled that she won't ever be here with us.  Sleep eludes me.  I miss snuggling next to Emmitt each night as I turn in for bed.  He sleeps a few feet away in a room and bed of his own now.  When Noah was born, we were new, unsure and learned as we went.  By the time Mason arrived, we settled quickly into the comfort and familiarity of having been there and done that once.

Then our Maggie died.

On my watch.

Inside of me.

And everything changed.  

Emmitt was born and things that once seemed so important no longer held any weight.  The thought of losing another child sent me into a tailspin of panic and fear.  I could not bear to lay him down as he slept, the image of Maggie etched in the forefront of my mind.

Eyes closed. Tiny lips parted. So, so still.  As if she were just sleeping.

For eight months, Emmitt spent his nights sleeping soundly in the crook of my arm, breathing in and out alongside of me as I soaked up his warmth and sweet heart beating.  My arms ache for him in a sad, unsettling kind of way.  He is thriving and learning so much as he conquers small but important victories of independence.  Each day, he is growing a little more . . . needing me a little less.  It kind of fills and breaks my heart all at the same time.

Feeling sick in the pit of my stomach tonight.  A lost, frantic she-is-There-and-I-am-here, time marching on and taking my boys with it, world spinning faster than I can catch my breath sort of sick.

God is still working on this heart of mine.  There is still much mending to be done.  Life-long mending.  Stitching and re-stitching of places that continue to unravel in me.  Waiting for the careful Tailor to repair what has come undone and fashion this life for the purpose He has created it for.

"Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails;
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant."

-Psalm 143:7-12



stranded below with this cluttered up head
abandoned and lonely, confused and misled
and within a war is raging

this shell of a vessel
thin-skinned and disheveled
draped over the dress rack that teeters a bit

like a thief in the night snatched up without warning
with pleading in vain, interceding for pain
stripped bare of the privilege and mercies with morning

frantic to find in this place that is fallen
the peace that surpasses the knowing
why the hands that are mighty to save were unwilling

filled to the brim with this empty nest emptiness
a void that spills over and drenches the rest
in a place that's so dark and so deep and so hollow
where loneliness settles and help cannot follow

the giving
the taking
the hoping
the breaking

and the promise
of life to the Full

what kind of life is this?

with this missing heart piece
a pain that won't cease
and a heart that can't stand the beating


It's late and my mind is racing, so please forgive me if the following isn't the most coherent. Nevertheless, this is where I am at tonight . . .

It is hard to praise God right now. It's hard to do anything right now.  Breathing even seems like too much when there are so many things just knocking the wind right out of me.  Little reminders pack quite a punch these days, sending me back down to the ground just as I try to get my feet back under me to take a few clumsy steps. Some days it doesn't feel like it is worth the fight.

I'm struggling to find good right now.  At the risk of sounding like a horrible, selfish person, I have wondered and worried that a time will come when "my boys need me" is no longer enough.  It takes a lot to keep going.  I know that if I did not have Adam, Noah and Mason counting on me I would be in a much darker place.  Dealing with such a loss takes a toll on a family and a marriage. Relationships are affected.  So many days I wish I could just stay in bed, curl up in a ball and just be. I know I am coming up short as a mother and a wife right now, which is so frustrating because they are not a roles I take lightly.  Doing all I can is mediocre at best.  In survival mode I can only see as far as the next thing needed--breakfast, lunch, naps, dinner, baths, bedtime.  I'm running on autopilot and coffee.  Going through the motions.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  That is hard.  Tough ages compounded with the exhaustion of each day of the last seven weeks makes for quite a few battles with my boys.  They deserve better than what I am capable of right now.  Contrary to the observations of strength and grace, I am weak and floundering.

My body and my head are messed up.  Neither one are functioning well and that makes dealing with the everyday things that much more difficult.  My bones feel heavy--like dead weight slumping me over.  I am dragging.  Looking back, I realized I have either been pregnant or nursing for all but a few months of the past five years as a mother and wife.  I was either growing a little life from within or working to nourish my precious boys.  The me I know best is the screwed up version from before my life began as Mrs. Miller and Mommy.  And the things I battled for so many years did not just disappear upon the changing of roles and titles.  Being healthy for my babies took priority, though the battle raged on in my head.  But during the times in between my "life sustaining" responsibilities and privileges, I have struggled and fallen hard into the strongholds I know best.  I feel more careless with myself lately.

I have spent the past seven weeks standing still as world keeps on spinning, stuck here in this place unable to move back or move forward.  Life makes me dizzy the way it whorls around and around.  I am struggling to figure out how to step back into it all.  Though we only knew our little girl for those 31 weeks, each day was sacred to me and the loss is still so profound for us.  I cannot imagine things being worse than they are now, though I'm not sure much else would surprise me at this point.  Some have related our situation to a miscarriage, which is so hurtful. Having experienced a miscarriage with our second pregnancy, I can say that as hard as it was to lose a child so early, what we went through with Maggie feels so completely different.  It's hard to be the only one to have ever known her alive for the many months she grew and moved inside of me.  Adam and our families were the only ones that held Maggie for the short time she was here with us.  I think people have trouble grasping the concept when they never saw us with her--I just went from being very pregnant to not being pregnant.  And after 7 weeks, it is old news to many. For us, it is still so fresh and raw.

I'm nervous to be out running errands, taking care of things that have to be done.  I get anxious about running into people.  I don't know if I can endure the type of comments Adam has had to receive from some people over the last month.  "Sucks about the baby" or "It's easier to lose them early on--when you don't really get to know them."  So hard.  Hearing things people have actually said makes me that much more anxious.  I realize I am not the easiest person to approach right now.  I wouldn't know what to say to someone either--there really are no words.  Some end up talking out of the need to say something and it doesn't always come out right.  Others have said nothing at all about it, and I end up feeling hurt that they didn't even acknowledge what has happened.

It doesn't help that I take everything personally and am probably overly sensitive to everyday interactions.  If the lady at the checkout looks at me the wrong way I want to burst into to tears.  Small talk is difficult.  Strangers don't know any better and frankly, some wouldn't think much about it even if they did know.  I can't exactly walk around with a sign around my neck that says,



I feel very alone right now, but it is certainly not because of a lack of support from countless friends and family members.  As hard as it is, I know it's probably where I need to be.  Although I have not been great at keeping up with everyone, your thoughts, prayers and words are appreciated, and are desperately needed still.  At the end of the day, though, I know that this is not something anyone else can take on for me.  There is no substituting, skipping ahead or going back--I am just in it.  I will never be the same woman I was before Maggie.  Things like this change a person and try as I may, my words don't begin to express the impact it has had on us so far.  With things as broken as they are, I worry about the shape I will take as I am pieced back together.  I do not want to become hardened, unable to recognize myself through the scars.

More than a few of our friends are expecting new little ones right now, and the number seems to keep on growing.  I prayed before we lost our Maggie and I continue to pray for the protection of our friends and their precious babies.  I would never want any less for those families, I just so wanted our little girl here with us, too.  I'm embarrassed to say that sometimes I feel like screaming at God, "What about my turn!?!"  As a mom, there have been times when Noah and Mason are so beside themselves once they have their mind set on something they want but cannot have, that I literally have to get down on my knees, pull them in close, take their face in my hands and look into their tear-filled eyes with my own as I speak--only then am I able to break through the hysteria and get their attention.

No matter how much I stomp my feet, scream or beg, God has made His decision--and that is not going to change.  He certainly has my attention now more than ever.  And although I don't think it was His sole purpose behind taking Maggie back to Him, I do believe he had a soul purpose in mind.

As parents, we hurt when our kids hurt.  But we say to our children, "I don't always need to give you a reason--you need to obey simply because you trust and respect us as your parents. We know you can't understand it at this moment, but we love you and would never do anything to harm you."

I am angry, confused, devastated, lost and exhausted.  I am struggling to feel Him.  When I can feel Him, I can feel Maggie because she is with Him.  I want to curl up on His lap right next to my daughter and just be ok.  Even though it is hard to praise Him right now, I know that He is my only hope of peace.  Not today or tomorrow.  Not next week, next month or even next year.  Someday.  In the mean time, I am desperately trying to keep from unraveling.