September 30, 2008

Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies: Loving moments Heavenly Father gives us to let us know that he is with us and cares about us. One of the apostles, Elder David Bednar, gave an address that teaches more about the Lord and his tender mercies. It gives me strength to know that the Lord loves me and was giving me gifts that I now recognize as tender moments of Evan saying goodbye to us.

Some of the mercies shown me and my family:

1. Sometimes out of anger or frustration, we all say or do things to our kids that are inconsiderate and childish. Evan was just 15 months old. When he did "annoying" things like turning off the TV when you were watching, he did it for our reaction and it turned into a game for him. He wasn't trying to be malicious, just fun-loving and he'd usually turn it back on if you asked him to and then run over to give you a hug. It was all part of the game. Evan was cute and innocent and thus could get away with most everything. He was not to the stage that needed discipline, yet. Well, he started getting a few swats on his fat diaper for insisting on climbing onto the dining room table and dancing around, but our BIGGEST TENDER MERCY from the Lord is that we have NO REGRETS with how we've treated Evan. We just loved him and his personality and were so happy to have been able to have him in our home.

2. On Evan's last day with us, I was planning on attending a celebratory dinner for one of my college friends that I posted about last week. I told Tymon that I would take Jovana with me as well as ONE boy. My choice would be to take Jett. He is fairly well behaved when eating. If I take Graeden or Elliott then I would end up taking both of them. And Evan is just too wiggly and being 9 months pregnant with a squirmy boy who drops his food all over the floor and then grabs you with dirty hands wasn't on my agenda.

Apparently, that wasn't on Tymon's agenda, either. Since I wasn't taking everyone, Tymon had the choice of who I took and he chose Evan. Somehow, Graeden who has a special bond with Evan, managed to be able to come, too. After dinner, we went to buy some shoes for Tymon, and ended up getting some for Graeden. Evan got a pair of shoes for Jovana...well we had to put them back as they were way too big, but it was fun to see which ones he liked enough to put in the cart. What a blessing to have spent an enjoyable evening with my Evan and I'm so happy that Graeden was able to be there. I'm grateful Jovana came and was able to help me with the boys. Had it just been me, I'm sure I would have been frustrated with their energy and my lack of energy.

3. On the way home from our outing on Monday evening, Evan fell asleep. It was about 9:45 pm. In getting out of the car, Evan woke up. I sat down with Tymon on the couch and watched the last bit of "Heroes" while Evan gave me a hug and then had some important things to walking around the living room cooing. He ended up in Tymon's lap and gave him a precious hug for several minutes. I'm so happy that we didn't put Evan to bed right away. We just enjoyed the moment with him.

4. We weren't sure what we may be getting into by hosting an exchange student this year. Sometimes you win and sometimes it's a lot bigger headache than it's worth. I wanted to host when I read in the paper that they they needed a family for a Serbian girl. My mission was composed of the countries of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia and I have NEVER heard of an exchange student in our area from any of these countries. So, this was an opportunity for us to invite into our home a girl from near the country I served in (Slovenia) as a missionary. We figured with all that we have going on (new baby and new house coming) that if it didn't work out, then we'd just have her go to a different family. So really, we had an out. However, we WON big with Jovana coming into our home. There hasn't been a host/guest attitude ever between us. She jumped in and did her household job (she chose dishes out of the list of chores) with a great attitude. We told her that if she was hungry that she could eat whatever she wanted and showed her the cupboards and what her choices were. When I brought her home from the airport, she immediately tried to play with the boys and develop a bond with them. She (by her choice) reads stories to the boys at night. Jovana has really become a member of this family. She can't even hide out in her room and be shy since she's sleeping on a cot in our computer opportunity that has helped strengthen our bond with her. We have many conversations with her and try to help her with some of her homework and papers.

Jovana's pain and grief at Evan's parting has been touching. She loves him so much. We are grateful that she has been here and willingly jumped in to help us with our home and family. Her acts of service have made it possible for us to live a little easier. She's not a burden. Jovana's a real member of the family who shares in our joys and pains. She is one of the Lord's tender mercies for our family.

5. Another benefit to having Jovana around is that we got out and made some memories with her and brought the camera around. I don't know of any other little boy of 15 months and a 4th child besides Evan that has so many photos taken of him. Graeden has a lot. Elliott and Jett don't have so many in their first year. They only started getting some when I started this blog last year and also I got a small camera for my pocket for my birthday (or Christmas?) last year. And Evan has just as many as Graeden did in his first year. That's such a blessing.

6. Saturday, 9/20/08, we went to dinner at Tymon's sister's house. His mother just happens to be visiting for the month of September. She hasn't seen Evan since he was an infant last September. At dinner, she was able to spend time with Evan feeding him and building a memory with him. Tymon's brother's memory of that evening is Evan poking him with a fork when he was done eating.

7. About 2 or 3 weeks ago, Jovana (into drama and movies) and Tymon talked about making a film with the boys. Jovana had thought of the idea of having an important meeting with children running it. Sunday, 9/21/08, was the appointed day because the boys would be dressed up for church. I suggested that they do it in the morning (church starts at 11am) so that they'd still have clean clothes on and not be tired and cranky. The incredible thing was that 3 of the boys did the script that Tymon wrote (one was cranky) before church started. After church and with some promises of candy and extra stories the last boy said his lines. Tymon then spent the evening editing the film and posting it on YouTube. With that, The Board Room, came to life and we're so glad that it did. It may not have been compiled for a long time had Tymon not had the drive to complete it that same day.

8. For 4 weeks my body has been going through so many changes preparing for childbirth. My ligaments were expanding and when I walked all of a sudden I might find myself holding onto a wall to keep upright. Jocelyn's head (and hand) scraped my nerves when she moved, which sent sharp pains down my legs and left me hanging onto whatever I could to keep from collapsing.
I thought that I'd deliver early (all my children were born late except Evan who came 2 weeks early) because of this and some of this felt similar to how I felt before Evan was born. Between 35-36 weeks gestation, I stopped going to aerobics. I didn't want to increase any chances that I may deliver too early as my midwives are only allowed to deliver babies between 37 and 42 weeks. Anything too early or too late needs to be done at the hospital. Once I hit 37 weeks, I went to aerobics faithfully...but no amount of aerobics, prayers, etc would make Jocelyn come. I thank Heavenly Father for this unanswered prayer. It would have been extremely difficult for me to celebrate the birth of our daughter as we said goodbye to our son. I'm grateful for the opportunity to lay Evan to rest and not have to deliver and be totally devoted to a newborn infant at the same time.

2 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Bridget-
    Your words are so inspiring, I know that I am looking at my children differently now-even though they are young men/adults they are still my babies.
    Having no regrets is what I am striving for also and I am not even close to that point but I am more committed than ever to achieving it.

    Congratulations on your lovely Jocelyn and the quickness with the birth. May God continue to shower your family with his comfort and love and blessings.
    Love always

  2. Those are beautiful. Isn't it amazing how you can see the blessings through the storm? I am so grateful that we have a Father in Heaven that looks out for us, and loves us, because he is sometimes all we have. Thank you for sharing these tender mercies. It helps me to see the blessings in my daily life that are sometimes too easily overlooked.


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