November 26, 2012

These little ones

Thanksgiving/birthday was really a great celebration. We were flooded by love from friends and family and for a few days, getting to stay in a nice hotel and talk about other things, I got to momentarily forget our current circumstances. I felt like a normal pregnant waiting to have a baby in the coming months...

In those moments of forgetfulness I hope I gained some perspective that there is life outside of these circumstances, and there will be life again...I will ( hopefully!) one day be the sleep-deprived, frazzled mother of two and I will be able to decorate my house for Christmas and plan Holiday menus. These things are not over forever, just for a little while. And in return for the "break" from a normal life I am getting to learn from others who are in a bubble like our own. A bubble of hospitals, doctors, statistics, fears, hopes and unknowns. These are lessons I hope are written on my heart forever.

Today I struggled to write about some of the people I have met here, I have prayed for more little ones who are suffering and fighting harder than most adults that I know than I ever have before. One day I hope to share some of their stories here, but until then can I just say that I am grateful for the opportunity to know them.

November 20, 2012

A thousand years

This week has seemed longer than normal. Probably because I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving. The Abt side of the family is making a major effort and all descending on Houston so that we can all have some time together. I'm way excited about it. Cousins and nieces and sisters and parents and aunts and uncles!! Plus time with Brett and Ransom, plus getting to stay in a hotel for a night ( not that I don't appreciate the McDs House...but sometimes a girl needs some "comforts") and celebrating my 29th birthday. Yes, I'm sure my excitement is making the days go by slower. But then there's also the reaching of the 32 week mark in this pregnancy which we did on Sunday. Wowzers.
I can't believe we made it this far! And I can't believe we're talking the long hail now....another whole month? The thought is both exciting and mindblowingly long.

But, I was reading on Sunday and I came to this passage in John 9:

As ( Jesus) passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3 ESV)

At first the passage struck me because of a conversation Brett and I had right after we found out we lost Priscilla and we were hit with awful thoughts like, "Did this happen because we didn't pray hard enough? Or because we did something wrong?"
Maybe that's just us, but such "what if" thoughts are bound to hit you in times like that and I think this passage spoke to that in me. Realizing that bad things happen to "good" people....

But then, I read the passage again and realized there was so much more there. Here's a guy who had been BLIND for his whole life! He's childhood. His adolescence. His adulthood. Blind, blind, blind. How awful! And here is Jesus saying that it was all so that God might be displayed in him.
Of course, we know that this statement was followed by the remarkable healing of the man's eyes. And as a Bible reader I've always focused on that, I've taken it at face value...yup, here's a dude who was born blind so that one day, many many years later Jesus could give him sight. Yay!

But, whoa! How totally crazy is that?! Years and years of suffering for a miracle? Is it all worth it? And the answer is,a resounding "yes."

But even though the answer is yes, I know that I need help in my own heart to believe that for my own life. It's easy to say someone else's suffering is "worth it" for some remarkable story of God's working...but what about for myself? Can I have the faithfulness and patience to believe that all that has happened and what we continue to face is all working together for something that, one day, will be altogether worth it?

In 2 Peter 3:8 it says :

‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’

So, the bottom line is that I can wait one more month for my daughter to be born. I can wait one more day. I can also wait an even longer time to see how her life, and even her sister's life and death will impact the world. How our family will be forever changed by this season and how, hopefully, prayerfully,I will believe the promise that "the work of God might be displayed in us." Will indeed come about.

November 16, 2012

An Example

At the end of August 2011, Ransom was barely 1 year old ( and not even walking, bless him), I was just starting to feel like a "human being" again and not a crazed new mom ( yes, it took a year...), and Brett had just taken on the job of Company Commander.

Probably to most of my readers that job title means very little. It really didn't mean much to me either, I mean, I knew it was a big deal and something that Brett really felt like he needed to do. I knew that he'd be responsible for the jobs and lives of 150 or so soldiers. I knew that when Brett and I got married and I was a green little lieutenant's wife, I was totally intimidated by Brett's Company Commander so there was that....haha! But really, I didn't know what the job entailed. But boy I learned quickly! That very first weekend, in fact, when Brett was called into work at 3am and then was gone most of the weekend dealing with some Company Issue, I began to learn what it meant..and thus it began....

Today, I sat and looked at a picture of Brett and I at that Command Ceremony when he took that job and I couldn't help but smile at how rested we looked! How much younger! If only we had a comparison picture! But that brings me to today....

Here in the middle of November 2012, Ransom is a few months past his 2nd birthday, he's a running, paragraph-talking, ball of energy. I am a huge pregnant Momma stuck in a Ronald McDonald House in Houston Tx, and Brett just gave up his Company Commander duties today....several months earlier than planned.
So much has changed. We have changed. And today, Brett put into action what he believes. He believes in putting his family first, before his career success, before the United States Army, before any of the things that the World would look at him and judge him "successful".

It's hard to explain what the last year has taught me about my husband, because I'd have to tell you about the long hours, the pressure of his higher up and the pressure he put on himself. I'd have to tell you about the crazy things I've seen ( I could tell you some stories...) that go on in the Army. I'd have to explain what all those late night phone calls were about or how many weekend dates were spoiled by something urgent that needed to be dealt with right then, there is so much I'd have to explain. So, instead you'll just have to believe me when I say: My husband is strong. My husband is infinitely caring. My husband is full of integrity. My husband is incredibly humble.

I know these things to be true because I have seen him go without food, without sleep, without any rest for the sake of his men. And then, on top of that, in the last few months I have seen him up that game by adding in the craziness that is our Life right now.... For a good month he would come home from his 24/7/365 job and take care of Ransom and our home when I was unable to do anything. And then I saw him drop everything, leaving in the middle of a training exercise, and fly to Houston with me where we had emergency surgery for the sake of our twins, mourned the loss of a daughter and then returned to his job in Georgia. And then over the last two months he has been traveling back and forth, usually taking red-eye flights, between Georgia and Texas, doing more than one person really ever should.

So, to say that I am glad this season of our life is over, is well, an understatement. I am glad that, hopefully some of the responsibilities Brett has taken on, will finally be lifted. But, while I am SO glad to put this season behind us, I am also aware of how it must feel for Brett to have to give, something that he's worked so incredibly hard for, up before we were expecting. Because there is one other thing I know: My husband is a perfectionist.
And I know it'll be hard for him to let go of all the things he's been working on for the last 14 months. And I know that being "just Captain Wilson" again will be an adjustment.

So I will say it again, I am blessed and beyond grateful for a husband that puts me and our children above the passing things of this life. We will one day look back on this Season of our lives and we will see so many things working for Good...but I think we will also be able to see the affects of our decisions because of our circumstances. Things like coming to Texas, doing the laser surgery in the hopes of saving our girls, coming back to Texas to give Tabitha the best chances, having our families take on the responsibility of taking care of Ransom for us so that he has some stability, and now Brett giving up his Command....I hope our children will see that each of these decisions were made for their good and because we were doing our best to follow Christ's example. Because that's the other thing I know: My husband is living for Christ and His sacrifice for us.
Not in our own strength, but in Christ's alone, were we able to get through these last 14 months, and particularly these last 2 months. Today I celebrate that fact.

November 12, 2012

Desert Days

There is a clear pattern to my Bad Days. They coincide directly with having to say goodbye to Ransom, or Brett...or both. It's pretty cut and dry and I know I don't have to explain why it's hard to pull it back together again and re-focus on why in the world we are doing this, but for some reason those bad days still shake me a bit.

Today, Tabitha had a really good doctors visit and so did I. We both passed every test with flying colors and my Doctors were so optimistic they were throwing around things like "37 weeks" and other such crazy full term words. And I promise that was great news to hear considering what we've been through, but at the same time my heart was still stinging from my most recent goodby with my son and my heart was also preparing for my goodbye with Brett and so there was a part of me, a major part of me that was thinking...really?! Six more weeks? I. Can't. Do. It.

Awful, I know. How can I not want that for my daughter? But for now I will allow myself a little awfulness and know that tomorrow will be a little better. The sting of my goodbyes will be a little further behind, and the happiness of their next visits will be a little bit closer.

Because really last week could have been the worst, I was "by myself" for the first time in months and I was wondering how all the downtime (aka time to think) would affect me...but honestly it was good, I actually met people, I heard people's stories, I listened to their troubles ( and let me tell you, here people have Real Troubles) and I told our Story. I told about the miracle of Tabitha and the testimony of Priscilla. I am thankful for that and I realize that these are not little things. The walk through the desert is not JUST about getting to the other side, but it's also about the desert itself. I'm hoping it won't be for 40 years or anything dramatic like that,  but I do hope I can remember that even in the desert days we have a chance to wake up and do something worth while with that day.

November 05, 2012


This week I cannot have a baby. Tabitha must stay well and truly inside. I mean, I'd probably go ahead and say that anyway because I really, really want to make it to 32 weeks...but I say it even more emphatically because this week I do not have anyone to "look after me".

I feel like such a big girl ;-) hahaha! But seriously, I feel like its now or never when it comes to not needing a babysitter. According to my doctors and my own personal opinion regarding my body, I think Tabitha and I are really hanging in there right now. But, of course, the odds of that continuing decrease with each passing week so this is my week.

 My week of it being just me ( and Tabitha). Chillin' at the Ronald McDonald House. Or, as Ransom calls it: The Ol' MacDonald House.
He loved it here. And it's honestly so hard waiting until next weekend for his next visit ( this weekends visit was cut short because he had a really bad cold and got a fever, meaning he had to leave....we wouldn't want to give any kids here a cold...especially when it could be super dangerous for them.) This place is made to make kids happy...the totally cool indoor playhouse...the large supply of tricycles outside....the large selection of baked goods ( oh wait, that is why I like it here.). Basically everything here reminds me of Ransom....

So, this week I do have a couple of things I need to do, some "army wife" business that I've been putting off, a lot more Thank you notes to send....I need to do some knitting, I should repaint my nails....and I say all this because what I want to do is blob out in front of my iPad watching something on TV....BUT THAT CAN'T HAPPEN. 

And now you will learn what a terribly ungrateful person I am:
Sure. This place is $25 a day and run my volunteers, and sure even MORE volunteers bring us meals sometimes twice a day....but I NEED INTERNET ACCESS. 
When I first got here it worked in my room, but would get spotty late in the evening. 
By my third night here it stopped working at ALL in my room. Or even on any floor other than the ground floor. 
THEN today it got worse, and now it only works very very slowly in the lobby, meaning I can no longer watch any TV shows via streaming. I also can no longer download any movies on iTunes and go watch them in my room later....
Do you see the pattern?! If you stop hearing from me it'll probably be because tomorrow there will be no Internet at all. THEN I WILL DIE. 

Clearly I should be learning a valuable lesson right now, but I can't. I've learned too many lessons lately and I am PLUM OUT of growing as a person. I mean, I need at least this one flaw (ok. There is more that one...)!!! Don't you all think I am more interesting because I like to read US Weekly on the sly, or I know what's going on with the Kardashians or I really really like the shows Revenge and Once Upon A Time and want to watch them on Mondays?! That's what I thought!