Monday, February 28, 2011

Thankful for a distraction...


February 28, 1998 was a big day in the life of the Shows/Weathers families. Jason and I married on this day 13 years ago. I have blogged before on how special that day was and I certainly could write again about it, but instead I have decided to blog about the distraction I had on THIS February 28, 2011.

Say hello to my distraction...Allyson Laine Weathers!
At 5:00 a.m., sweet Ally woke me burning hot with fever. 103 to be exact. I was so puzzled because she was feeling great over the weekend as we celebrated her birthday with yet another party. :) I decided to take her in first thing this morning to see what we might be dealing with as I suspected with such a high fever, we might have the flu. I was right. Type A flu. And yes, we had the flu shot. All of us. So, tamiflu for Ally and the rest of us will start it if needed.
While we waited in the doctor's office this a.m., the Motrin had kicked in for Ally and she was feeling somewhat normal. She had her new pretend cell phone in hand as well as her hand on hip. She was in deep conversation with someone (?) and she was pacing the floor of the waiting room like her Uncle Scott does when he talks on phone. The conversation went like this:

"No, I can't go to the ballgame. I sick. I do love the Eagles. G will be there. (pause) I know. (pause) My daddy can't go. He in heaven. (pause) See you later. Bye."

Now wait...Before you get sad for me, know I wasn't sad when I heard her say this, but rather I was laughing. Ally talks about her daddy everyday so this wasn't anything new and honestly if you could have seen the reaction of the nice people in the waiting room, you'd be laughing as well. The stares began. The quiet whispers as well. After a few minutes of Ally's conversation a sweet lady sitting near me said, "did she just say her daddy was in heaven?" I politely told the lady that her daddy had died of leukemia when she was 5 months old. Honestly, I felt sorry for all in the waiting room that heard her because for us we talk of Jason's life and death daily, but some people are not used to hearing a 3 year old talk about such a heavy subject.
Right after this conversation, Ally says to me, "I want to do my cheer leading." I immediately grabbed my phone so that I could video this routine.


video

At this point, I was laughing so hard. Ally Weathers has been a great distraction since her birth, but I was super thankful for yet another funny distraction provided by Ally on this day especially. :) God is good like that!

Lots of sweet memories today of what took place 13 years ago. I am super thankful that God allowed me to be the wife of Jon Jason Weathers. Thankful for the grace of our Lord that is ALWAYS enough...especially on significant days such as this one.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

This morning as I was scrolling through facebook on my phone, a sweet sister in Christ had posted a youtube video of the song "Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer" by Kristyn and Keith Getty. It was a most busy morning in our house, but for some reason I was drawn to watch it. As I stood in my bathroom while trying to put make-up on for the day, I wept as I listened to the song. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80s6fWli-Rc to listen.

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labor through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

This is most definitely my hearts cry...certainly I didn't pen these words, though I felt as if whomever did had read my heart. I have failed miserably in so many areas since Jason's death, but my desire has been to honor Christ in all areas of my life, especially in my grieving.

He has called me to this "passage" and I am worn from the journey, BUT my longing is that when this "testing" is complete that I would look more and more like Jesus than before it began.
And when "midnight meets the morning, let me love You even more." His word promises that morning will come...Psalm 30:5 says, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning!" The hope that I have is in Christ! How I do love Him so, but want to love Him even more.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Allyson Laine Weathers!

(Below is repost of a February 22, 2009 entry...a recap of the birth of sweet Ally)

Friday, February 22, 2008, my sister in law, Ashley, drove me to see Dr. Gillespie for my weekly check-up. I went to this appointment with the intent of persuading my sweet doc into letting me have baby Ally that day. Her due date was February 29, 2008. (Funny she was due on leap year! Little did we know what a year this 2008 would really be!) My bags were packed and everyone was on stand-by, including a VERY weak Jason. You see, Jason had finally been released from the hospital after an almost 7 week stay the Sunday before she was born. M.D. Anderson had called on Thursday, February 21, to schedule a consultation visit with Jason for March 2nd. I had just a small window of opportunity to have a baby in all of this craziness! I told Dr. Gillespie of my predicament and his answer was, "let's go have a baby TODAY!" Yea!

I walked into the lobby where Ashley waited for me and said, "Ash, we're having a baby today!" Labor Room 7 was where I was assigned. Seven...a perfect number. Ashley and I called all of the family to tell them I had been admitted. Mrs. Peggy, Jason's mom, was in charge of getting Jason to the hospital at the appropriate time. I had prayed SO fervently that Jason would be able to be there when Ally was born. (Many of you prayed with me in this regard!) God was so faithful.

Labor lasted most of the day, but finally later in the afternoon things began to progress quickly and my mom called Mrs. Peggy to tell her to bring Jason, IF he felt up to it. I wasn't certain he was physically able to be there, but exactly one hour before her birth my sweet Jason walked into Labor Room 7. I was elated and overwhelmed with emotion that he was there! Ally could come. And she did. She was perfect. She weighed 7lbs and 7oz. Seven...a perfect number!

Jason was the only one to hold her after her birth besides me. No one would dare ask him to hold her. He just held her and stared at her perfect little face that strangely enough looked just like him and still does! Jason had a little over 2 weeks with Ally before he had to go back into the hospital for more chemo besides a quick 2 day trip to M.D. Anderson. He soaked up as much Ally time as he could. She was just what we all needed. A little bit of JOY.

Ally was almost 5 months old when Jason met Jesus. Some days I ponder who I hurt for more...Anna Lea and Jon Brent, who knew their daddy well and miss him incredibly or Ally, who will never have any memories of her own of her daddy. Regardless, how thankful I am that he did live to see her and hold her for even a few months. I am well aware that he could have died during his initial diagnosis and induction therapy. I praise God for each day he had with her. I will tell her one day how he would just sit and hold her and stare into her face for hours and hours. I will tell her that when she was fussy that he would wrap his big arms around her and immediately she would settle down. (I have held true to these promises. We tell of her these things almost daily.)

It is too soon to know whose personality Ally will have...mine or Jason's. My prayer is Jason's! (Yikes...not too soon anymore. Now after 3 years I think most would definitely say she acts much like her mom, but still looks like her daddy!:) I know God has to have great things in store for little Ally. I can't wait to see what they are! Sometimes when I look at her I think to myself, she has no idea all that has transpired since her arrival. She has no idea the pain we've felt. She has no idea of all the ways God has showed up and been so faithful to all of us during this incredible loss. All she knows is the love and smiles we give her day in and day out. Of course, she is now experiencing some "no, no, Ally!" (Clearly now after 3 years she is a little more aware of all that surrounds her. She definitely knows her daddy from pictures and stories we tell her. She often will say, "I love my daddy." My heart hurts and leaps for joy all at the same time when I hear her say these words.)

So, Happy Birthday, baby Ally! Thank you for being a picture of God's love for us.
I pray you will grow to love our Savior and walk the path of righteousness all the days of your life. I pray you will seek Him in all you do. I pray you will have a deep love for God's word. I pray you would have compassion and show love for others the way Jesus does. I pray you would be content with whatever circumstances come you way. I pray you would love the church as Christ does. I pray you will be gentle in spirit. I pray that you will always have a heart full of gratitude. I pray you would be a woman of great integrity and humility. I pray that your lips will ever praise Him. I pray that you never turn your back on the ONE who died so that we might LIVE! For by trusting in Jesus ensures that one day you will be united with our Savior in heaven and reunited with your sweet daddy. This is a reunion I don't want to miss!

A recent photo of Ally - this pic captures her fun personality

Ally on her 2nd birthday :)


Ally on her 1st birthday


Perhaps one of my most favorite pictures of all time - one I will cherish forever


Jon Brent, Ally and Anna Lea days after her birth


Several hours after her birth


Ally Weathers is definitely a picture of God's faithfulness and love for us!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Contentment

I do wish I could be more consistent when it comes to writing on this blog, but for many reasons it just doesn't happen. Tonight, however, I feel like writing. I pray that just maybe someone reading can relate to what I am going to share.

God is still teaching me so much in this season of my life. I can't believe that it has been 3 years since Jason's diagnosis with leukemia. January 7, 2008, is a day I think will forever be etched in my memory. It is so strange how a date on the calendar plays such a huge role in the grieving process. Thankfully, this January 7 came without a whole lot of dread, but once I realized what the date was, I felt overwhelmed with sadness and emotion. However, January 8 was a new day. I still felt an incredible sadness as I relived so much of what took place 3 years prior, but I spent a good bit of time re-reading Jason's caringbridge site. As I sat and read with tears literally blinding my eye sight, I was once again blown away at the faithfulness of my God.

I love so much that we kept a journal of the journey. The encouragement we received from that website was huge while J was being treated, but it amazes me that even now I find so much encouragement there.

Although I am able to see His faithfulness to me then and know that He is never going to leave nor forsake me, I still find myself struggling in other ways right now. One of the major areas that Christ is having to work overtime with me is the area of contentment. One dictionary defines contentment as "desiring no more than one has; satisfied." A Christian author of the 1600s by the name of Jeremiah Burroughs defines contentmet as "a sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

I have found lately that discontentment in my soul seems to be the theme. I have longed for the days prior to when leukemia invaded our lives. I have not only longed for pre-leukemia days, but also longed for this season of pain and grief to come to an end. Sort of 'enough already, God.' I have even cried that very prayer many, many times.

I am currently going through a book entitled Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes. Actually I was introduced to this book some time back by a sweet group of college girls who were studying through this book in a small group. I had the opportunity to lead one of their sessions. I now have the GREAT privilege to walk through this entire book with 3 recent college graduates who are wanting to be mentored each week. I can't wait to see how God uses this book not only in their lives, but in my life as well! Anyway, there is a chapter in this book entitled Discipline of Contentment.

Discipline in any form is never easy and as I read through this particular chapter I became extremely convicted over my discontent with this season of my life. The author writes that Paul, when writing to the Philippian church, understood contentment so well. By the way, the book of Philippians happens to be one of my most favorite books of the Bible and chapter 4 my most favorite chapter. He tells the Philippian church in verse 11 that he had "learned" to be content in all circumstances. The word "learned" brings me great hope that I can be like Paul and LEARN to be content. Paul certainly faced numerous hardships and difficult circumstances. He goes on to say in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this (i.e. find contentment) through Him who gives me strength." It will only be through His strength that I will be able to achieve this.

As I thought about other seasons in my life, I began to realize that it hasn't been just this particular season that I have been hit with discontent. Does this sound familiar? When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to be in college. When I was in college, I couldn't wait to graduate, have a job and be married. When I first got married, I couldn't wait until we had a baby. When I had Anna Lea, I couldn't wait to stay home from work. When I got to stay home, I couldn't wait to have another baby. When Jason got accepted into CRNA school, I couldn't wait for him to graduate so we could move back to Hattiesburg. I could go on and on, but I think many can relate. We all long for whatever it is we don't have!

My prayer right now for myself is that I can be content in the season God has called me. I don't want to miss anything that He wants to teach me nor do I want to miss the blessing of the right now. Another verse of scripture that I have come to claim each and everyday over the last several years is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..." Being still for me has always been difficult, but necessary! I know this God I serve is just that...GOD...and news flash...I am NOT! I certainly don't want to long for another season when that isn't what He has for me. Barbara Hughes said it best when she said, "the truth is, the worst thing that can happen to a Christian who is longing for something outside of God's will would be for God to grant that desire!" She goes on to say, "when we experience discontent, we must ask ourselves some pointed questions: What is the source of my longing? Is it a godly one-or ungodly? Will you yield to temptation in an attempt to satisfy your heart's desire, or will you turn to God and His Word for help?" OUCH!

So...as I strive for contentment may Jesus fill my every longing! I know He is able!

Philippians 4: 11-12 "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

May we all strive to be like Paul and learn to be content in whatever circumstances Christ allows!