The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This is a test

I hate tests....I'm a bad test taker! Never broke 1000 on my SAT's (do they still take those?) Never in the past year did I really feel like we were being tested, although I may want to go back and read all my old posts to see if I ever said that...I'll rephrase. Looking back at the best year, I don't think we were being tested. I think we were being led on our journey. We were being taught our strength when we rely on The Lord. We were being shown a whole other side of life that a lot of people don't see or experience. We were being used to spread the Love of Jesus. 

Now, I feel like I'm being tested. I feel like God is saying "you just went through this crazy year, you learned a lot, now can you use it?" ....I'm sure my school friends would call that practical application or some Blooms taxonomy level. The bad part about this test is my brain is so jumbled up I just can't think. I'm having a hard time retrieving that prior knowledge and applying it to my new situation. (I've been planning my test taking/anixety lessons, can you tell?) 

In the past year, I've written a lot. I've preached a lot. I've encouraged a lot. Now I'm at the point where I have to take all that stuff I wrote about trusting God, believing in His plan, knowing He will provide and really live it. Kinda funny how easy it was to live that way when that was the only option. We couldn't control our situation, all we could do was to leave it up to God. We couldn't make the cancer go away, we couldn't make the medicines, we couldn't fix it. Realizing all that made it so much easier to trust God.  We aren't in that situation any more. We are back in the world where we can control things and it's funny how much harder it is. Living for today seems to be a thing of the past. Here we are once again trying to plan for the rest of our lives.  If I could figure out how to realize that I am really not control of anything, maybe it would be easier to trust in His plan again, instead of doing my best of convincing Him what I think His plan should be. 

The only study guide for this test is my Bible. And luckily everything I read tonight told me just how much my God loves me. Not based on my actions or thoughts. He knows my everything, and still loves me. 
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14 NIV)

I am asking for prayer for my family tonight, I haven't asked in a while, and I know that many still pray for us. But specially asking that we would truly surrender all control. We would trust that He has a plan. We would remember all those past lessons and apply them to our new life. Thank you.

There is one test I passed recently, that I've gotten pretty good at passing...

We found out in February that we are expecting baby #4. And as exciting as new life is, it came with some heart ache, and truely took me some time. I don't know how to explain the feeling you get when something exciting happens in your family, but there's someone missing to enjoy it with. It kinda is a mixture of guilt (even though you know there is nothing to feel guilty about) and sadness, but swirled happiness.  Once we told Noah and he became beyond excited I felt much better. He has been talking about a little brother since last year. I joking told him he better start praying...I guess it worked. We don't know if it's a brother yet, Noah has assured us he will be happy even if it's a sister, but for him, I really hope it's a boy!

Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Learning and Healing

Probably a month ago Noah and I were talking. If you've ever had an in depth conversation with Noah, you know how his little brain works. How he processes information and you can almost watch the wheels turning in his head. This particular night, I don't remember how we got to this conversation or all that was said, but one particular thing stood out. I was talking about bringing Ellie home from St. Jude because the doctors knew the medicines weren't working and there was nothing else they could do to fix her. Noah looked at me with tears and said "They gave up mommy! You aren't supposed to give up, you are supposed to keep trying!" He was so genuine and so hurt. I, of course fell apart. Being a parent in my shoes, it's easy to let your mind go back there and think "well what if we had tried something else..." But there's no answer to that, we did what we knew God lead us to do, but it still hurt to hear Noah say that. As much as I tried to explain why we didn't do anymore medicines or try other things, his little 5 year old brain didn't understand all that, as much as I wanted him to...probably so I wouldn't feel so guilty! Within minutes he had moved on to something else, but that conversation felt burned into my heart.

This week we have had Jubliee at church. We've been up way past out bed times, but my heart has been touched greatly. Many nights on our 5 minute drive home (church is the only thing we live close too!) Noah is weepy from being tired or going on about the movie they watched. Tonight he told me about the balloons they let go at church, which led him to remember letting balloons go after Race For Hope, DC last year, which then led him to ask me what that walk was for, which led to a conversation about brain tumors and Ellie. And in the midst of it he says "Mommy if Ellie hadn't have taken all that medicine she would have died sooner, right?" 
"Probably," I answered. "And we would never have had all those great experiences we did, like going to TN, making new friends, going to Disney World"
"Well then I'm glad she took all that medicine, so that we could keep her as long as we did!" He replied. 
My heart soared, somehow that little statement relieved me. He's not thinking we gave up, he's not angry at the doctors, he's happy they gave her the medicine that they did, and he really wants to help raise money so "the doctors can find the right medicine that will make those bumps in her head go away and never come back!" 
It was a small moment, but for me, it just felt like we were heading in the right direction. He was feeling good about something, and not holding that anger...a little relief filled my heart.

Just so grateful tonight for the little things that encourage me to just keep going!


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

 
Prayers, Praise, and Pink
Carly

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strength


Someone said to me recently they don't know where I find the strength, and sometimes they feel weak when they read my posts.  It made me really stop and think about what I'm sharing. I never want to give off the impression that it's easy or that if you just believe in God he will make it all better (although if you have given your heart to The Lord, he will always be there to provide the peace you need. He will not forget you).  Any strength I have comes straight from The Lord. I could never do any of this on my own. And there are many moments I feel weak and I fall apart. In grad school my entire research project was on grief and a lot of what I wrote about were stages of grief. I surely can't recite them all now because that was a million years ago, but I can assure you, from own experience grief comes in moments, waves, mountain slides, a gentle breeze or a big old hurricane. Sometimes it's quick and sometimes it lasts all day.  It's something you can't always explain to others, but can be seen all over your face.  

So I have been compiling a list of "confessions" I guess you could call them. Things others might not know who haven't walked this walk. Or if they have, maybe something they can relate too. My hope is to encourage someone that it's okay to be on the roller coaster, you aren't alone.

I often sleep with her monkey
I feel guilty sometimes that she's the picture on my phone, my watch and around my neck, and I'm grateful my other children aren't really old enough to feel left out.
Everywhere reminds me of her
I leave the radio on a lot because this house is too quiet
I try to take way more videos of the kids now
I stay up late looking though the pictures and videos on my phone
I search other people's Facebook pages for pictures of her
I get sad when I can't picture her in my head
I don't feel "her presence"
I don't know what to do at the cemetery 
I love to talk about her
My heart soars when I hear others talk about her
I'm scared she'll be forgotten
I watch my other kids neurological signs very closely
I stay in the shower for much longer than needed because it's the only place that I'm completely isolated
I'm tired of looking tired
I know what soul weeping is
I'm not depressed
I don't think people expect me to just be okay
Grief can still have a smile on it's face
Some days I'm just not in the mood to pretend I'm okay, and I can only be "not okay" around my husband
And some days it's easier to pretend to be happy then say how I really feel
I can't understand why there's not a cure for cancer, but we have the latest technology on our cell phones
I still take my other kids for granted 
I miss St. Jude 
I miss TN
I don't wonder what she would have been when she grew up because obviously that wasn't God's plan for her
I wonder how long till I see her
I read a lot about heaven
I cringe when Noah talks about death
I'm grateful Noah knows about death
I really wanted God to heal her, I wanted her to be that miracle 
I wish Noah had her back to play with because he drives me nuts some days
Knowing that I can't hear her silly voice or hold her any more breaks my heart
I talk about my daughter a lot, probably more than some people may be comfortable with, but it makes me feel good.
The shower and the car are the places I cry the most.
I doodle her name
I wish I could hear God more often
I miss her bald head way more than her pig tails
Sometimes when I see other little girls around the same age I get jealous
I hit my steering wheel in anger...just not sure what I'm angry at
Sometimes I get frustrated when people act like nothing has happened in my life, but also feel weird when I get treated differently because of what has happened in my life
I'm not scared of death anymore



So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” 

Deuteronomy 31:6


Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly