Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Few Notes

Well, four notes to be exact:

1. I take the bar on July 28th and 29th. I've been working through the DVR and books I want to read before tomorrow so I can focus on studying for the bar, studying the Bible, and walking/running. That's it. Three things. Simple. Tomorrow it's game on!

2. We both started new jobs. Both were total God things. We love our work and have been so blessed by it. (I should clarify that I've been at my new job for two months now. So not super new, but I haven't blogged about it up to now. If you follow me on IG, you know what I do.)

3. The obvious. It's been a little over 9 months since Lily passed away. Today is Mother's Day. It didn't totally suck, but I will probably always not like this day to some extent. I know it won't always be like this, but there will be other mommas that lose babies and that makes me mad and sad for them. I know how this day will hurt for them initially.

(For the record, if you know a mom that has lost a child, tell them Happy Mother's Day anyway. It lets them know people are thinking about them and also that just because people can't see their baby, however old they would be, doesn't mean that they have lost their momma status.)

4. We found my favorite root beer from Michigan. Well, technically it's from Maine, but the first time I learned about it was in Michigan. It is small and simple, but it made me really happy. The little things add up. (See number three if you need a refresher.)

Happy Sunday and Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Earth has no sorrow, that heaven can't heal.

"So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." - Luke 15:3-7

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now, death where is your sting
Our resurrected King 
Has rendered you defeated. 

Easter was incredibly special this year. I am truly so happy to serve a RISEN savior!! 

Happy Easter everyone! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

No rainbows yet, but I've got the baby bangs part nailed.

Sometimes I can trick myself into forgetting that I had a baby who isn't here with me. I don't even realize I'm trying to do it at times.

Last week I was getting ready for church. I had showered, shaved even, and was about to take the towel off my head when I noticed bangs.

I'd seen them before on all the moms who had babies on twitter. It's part of the having a baby process. It seems like they come along after a baby has been born. The mom gripes about how they're a pain for quite some time. The reason they gripe is because nothing can be done with baby bangs except wait for them to grow.

Well guess what? Those of us who go home without a baby. We still get those baby bangs. They're still a pain in the butt. They're still not glamorous. In my case, they are flat out ridiculous.

Mine were growing on one side. So now, not only do I have a physical reminder of what I don't have, I don't even get a solid row of them. I get janky ones. It's one of those times when I just want to say thanks to the powers that be for this call, except when I say thanks, I'm super sarcastic and probably not all that thankful.

I went to my hair stylist yesterday and was griping about my woes as she foiled my hair. She examined them and then made the determination that I actually had a solid row of them. I was thankful truly then because I like things to match or be even. What can I say? My type-A self reaches all corners of the earth.

Today I was driving home and thinking about my stupid baby bangs and I noticed that it was cloudy outside. Often times when I get consumed with what I don't have I get so wrapped up in it that I don't take the time to look at the world around me. I then remembered that I still haven't seen a rainbow. Oh people have seen pictures of them and sent them to us. But since April 24th of last year, I've not seen one for myself with my own two eyeballs.

I guess I've viewed the rainbow as a sign of progression and healing. Also, a two part promise that this won't happen to me again and that a baby is on the way soon for us. In a nutshell, I view it as a reminder that God hasn't forgotten about me.

Well I don't have a rainbow. I know that is a lot of responsibility to put on a rainbow, but it's where I am.

I have to admit that I'm slightly annoyed that what I'm left with is baby bangs. I think they're kind of a sign that a woman's body is pretty much returned to working for just one person rather than two.

As I pulled into my driveway just a few minutes ago, it hit me that just because I haven't seen a rainbow yet, doesn't mean that there hasn't been healing or progression yet. It just doesn't look the way I want it to look at this point. I know that God hasn't forgotten about me. He has been faithful to prove that to me over and over again this year.

Today I don't have my rainbow, but I'm grateful for these blasted baby bangs. They are a reminder that while it's not my time yet, hope is on the way...and somewhere a rainbow is too.

Happy Thursday y'all.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Seven Months.

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may NOT fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." - Luke 22:31-32, NIV (emphasis mine)

I've been thinking a lot recently about how I shouldn't feel bad to mark the time that has passed since I handed my first born to a nurse for the last time. I have a friend that wrote a book about the loss of her son.

It really has me thinking about writing my own.

I've read Angie Smith's book and now I've read my friend's, but I want to tell my own story. The biggest thing that I worry about is that people will forget about Lily. I have family now that don't like to ask me about Lily because I still cry when I talk about her. What my family doesn't understand is that I will probably always cry when I talk about her because I miss her. But I NEED people to ask me about her.

Lily was a real person and her story deserves to be told.

Unfortunately, this won't be the last time that someone has a little girl with Trisomy 13 and as terrible as it is to be in this club, people need to know that it can be survived. I need the world to know that a baby that was not wired for this world helped me to come to Jesus. Other mommas need to know that it doesn't sound weird that they know their kids loved a certain band or certain foods even if they never took a breath outside our tummies.

(For the record, Lily was a fan of Queen. She loved mango magic smoothies and hated ranch and salsa. She also was a night owl like her Pappaw and AJ.)

We need friends that will hold our hand when we are still sad and people don't get it.When family members don't know what to say or what it is like to experience this terrible tragedy, I want the momma to be able to hand my book to them and say, this is what it is like for me.

I want her life to mean something. I want Lily to have a legacy. I've been thinking about it a lot as you can tell. This might be the way it happens.

Happy Seven Months Lily. Momma loves you.

Friday, February 20, 2015

On Who I was...

This used to be my about me page. I'm working on updating it currently, but it sure is interesting to look at and take our former life into consideration. I didn't want to delete it because I miss that girl, but also I think it's important to reflect on who we used to be and where we are now.

The more things change, the more things stay the same....


First, the obvious...

My name is Samantha, but I also go by Sam.

I am a sinner saved by grace who makes mistakes on the regular.

I love politics, rock and roll, and running.

I'm married.

And I'm a Sooner.

Currently, we live in Michigan because I'm a law student. It has been the best adventure of our lives far.

Also, I am in the middle of a major weight loss journey.

And although, you can't tell it in the above picture, I have an unhealthy obsession with my hair.

These things aren't really related other than the fact that they are usually the first things you learn about me in real life.

We have two bulldogs. One is a Frenchie, full of sass, named Paisley. The other is a Boxer, who is a total ham, and her name is Sugar Ann.

Second, if you're curious...

I wrote out our love story in five parts. Well, at the least the part where we first fell in love. Our love story is still being written and you see part of that through this blog.

Endless Summer: Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four, and Part Five.

Third, the blog title explanation...

I used to have this whole spiel about how I love the Wizard of Oz, the Kennedys and turtles and how those things are related to my blog title. And I do love those things and they are related to my blog title.

But, truthfully?

I started this blog so I could keep up with a biffle (Biffle=BFFL=Best Friend for Life) who lives in New York City. At the time we were obsessed with six-word novels. They're fun to write. From there, I just kept writing. In short, this blog is about the life and adventures of a Sooner who loves Jesus, politics, and rock-n-roll.

Finally, if you read the above hot mess and you STILL want to know more, we're gonna be friends.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I say y'all A LOT.


Happy Friday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Some things to share...

1. If you've not seen this sermon yet...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? It is such a word.

2. Harper Lee has a new book out. I don't know how I missed this, but I have. Based on this article and a few others I'm afraid to read it. What are your thoughts?

3. Buy BooMama's book! Also listen to her podcasts with Big Mama. They're too legit to quit. (Hey! Heeeeeey!)

That's it. Happy Tuesday. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That time I asked Jesus into my heart...

I'm not even sure where to begin this post. If my words are jumbled, I am sorry. I'm just writing as fast as I can. So bear with me.

Since April 24, 2014, I've been in a wrestling match. If you don't know what April 24th is, it's not that big of a deal if you don't know, but that's pretty much when we found out that Lily was going to die.

I was very angry with God for the remainder of the pregnancy with her. When people asked what they could do for us, I just kept telling people, to pray for us. What I didn't tell them was why. I wanted other people to pray because I was mad at God. To be frank, I was madder than a hornet. I grew up in the church hearing that people will always fail you, but God won't. I can always count on him and trust him.

My entire pregnancy, I struggled with that. How could I trust Him when my daughter was given a death sentence.

Soon after her diagnosis, I knew that we needed our booties in church. I knew that God would get us through this situation. Even though, I just said a paragraph ago, that I was madder than a hornet and I felt betrayed by God, I knew we still needed to be near Him and near His people. Every sermon, I struggled during the altar call. Our pastor said we needed to know that we know that we know we are going to heaven. It caught me off guard the first time I heard it. It wouldn't be the last time it did either.

After she was born and when we were with her that day, I just couldn't get over how peaceful everything was. I can't explain it, but I knew that God was with us and that she was okay.

About a month afterwards, I had found out that I hadn't passed the bar again. I felt so lost and so confused. I had all these plans for my life and this was just one more thing that didn't go my way. A few days later, I started Beth Moore's, Children of the Day bible study. And it was no coincidence that I did that study first looking back now. I squirmed through I don't know how many lessons because she talked about the end times and the hope we should have for our loved ones that are asleep. Pastor Philip on Sunday mornings was talking about Revelations as well. During this time, God's word was so fresh to me in a way it had never been for me. I grew up in the church y'all.

When I say I grew up in the church, I mean, I walked forward when I was 9, thought I was saved then, went to Kiamichi, Falls Creek, Super Summer, (and if you haven't gone to church in the South, particularly, in a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma, just know that I was basically doing all the things good little church goers do) was very active in my youth group, went to college and joined a Christian sorority, was an officer in that same sorority, and then thought I wasn't saved and went forward again when I was 21, I knew all the church words and things to say. I did things the way I was supposed to and kept up with appearances even though I struggled with various forms of sin throughout my life and still do.

And then, November 23rd happened. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that the church we joined, experienced a major revival that day. As in over 20 people went forward to ask Jesus in their heart and the sermon was a plane Jane sermon. It was not a scheduled revival time. That day, Pastor Philip asked again, if you don't know that you know that you know that Jesus died on the cross for your sins then come forward. It caught me off guard.

Now if you have read here any amount of time, you know that I am a very analytical person. I can get in my head like nobody's business. During that altar call and everyone since, I wrestled with God. I would say, but God, I grew up in your church, I did all these things. I have talked about you with Lily. I'm a deacon's daughter. I've done all the right things.

I could go on and on about the head fight I was having with myself, but I think you get the point. I would get in the car and talk about what a great service it was and then talk about how the altar call was hard for me because I felt like I was under spiritual attack  I would go back to my Bible study and feel comfort in it, but every Sunday when Pastor Philip would ask if I know that I know that I know that I'm saved, I would just about be ready to run from the sanctuary because I couldn't stand struggling through that wrestling match again.

At New Year's Eve, I saw the Committee and my second momma Karen, We had been talking about how we had felt like we were under spiritual attack. Jessika with a K then said, "Momma, have you ever told Sam how you came to know Jesus?" SHE THEN PROCEEDED TO TELL ME ABOUT HOW SHE CAME TO KNOW JESUS AS AN ADULT.  There was no way that she could have known that I was struggling with my salvation. I'm sure I had a look of panic on my face while she told me. I thought, how does she know this is what I'm struggling with? I never said a word, but my word, I tossed and turned that night.

And yet, I did nothing about it. 

If you didn't catch that the first time, let me say it again...AND YET, I DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

A few weeks later, I was doing Beth Moore's Believing God and she spoke about God's word being alive and active in us. She shared Romans 10:9-10 which says, "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you will believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." She talked about how salvation was a simple matter. It was just like the verse said. I realized I could check off everything in the verses except the part when I admit it out loud. I was stuck on all that I had done.

You guessed it. I DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

I couldn't wait for bible study at church to start back up again. I was craving the comfort of a Bible study. I sat for the last three weeks wrestling in the pew. Then this past Sunday, Brandon wanted to go forward to rededicate his life. I thought to myself, Greaaaaaat. Now I gotta go down front and deal with this up, close, and personal. I even asked Brandon if he needed me to go, that's how bad I didn't want to go down front.

While we were down there meeting with Pastor Randy, Pastor Philip asked again, "If you died, do you know that you know that you know that you're saved and that you would meet him today if you were to pass away tonight?" I was trying so hard to pay attention to what Pastor Randy was saying, but that question still jolted me like a lightening bolt. Pastor Randy asked why Brandon had come forward, and Brandon told him that he wanted to rededicate his life to Christ. Pastor Randy asked if I had come to support Brandon in that decision. I LIED and said yes...

Even though I knew that I needed to ask to be saved, I kept my mouth shut.
Even though I had never felt so lost in all my life the way I had this year.
Even though I knew that I Jesus' death on the cross had never been more real to me that it had been this year. I have cried I don't know how many times, about how God willingly let his son die on the cross for all of our sins. I know that I would have and still would do anything for my daughter to be healthy and whole and God's son was PERFECT and he gave up his Son willingly for me.

Even though I knew all of the above, I walked away.

After church, I ran into Pastor Randy and he said, "I have a book for Brandon. I think will be perfect for him. Make sure one of y'all come by to pick it up."

I went to Sunday School and didn't think twice about it.

After Bible study today, I went by to see if Pastor Randy was in so I could pick up the book for Brandon. He was and he came out and said, "We were just talking about y'all. I just grabbed that book for Brandon and you walked in and they buzzed in my office to tell me you were here. I started kind of sharing with him all that I had been thinking about and wrestling with in the past months. We talked again about Romans 10:9-10. He also brought his secretary with him because she lost a little girl named Shannon 42 years ago.

He then flat out asked me, "Are you saved?"

I started to answer, "Well when I was nine I went forward and then again when I was 21 because I wasn't sure." He said, "It's a simple yes or no." He went on to share some more scripture and then he said, "When you made a commitment to love Brandon however long ago, how do you know you made that commitment?" I said, "Well I was there, of course." He said, "That's how sure you need to be about your commitment with Christ, and..." Before he could finish, I said, "And I'm not."

He shared 1 John 5:14-15 with me, which says, ""This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." He shared 1 Timothy 2:4 "[God our Savior ] ...who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." which is proof that it is God's will that he wants me to be saved, so 1 John 5:14-15 would be granted, I just had to ask.

God had been patient all this time with me. He allowed my little girl to be sick so that my attention might be awakened. Even when I struggled still time and time again, he was patient with me.

So as of today around 12:45 ish on January 27, 2015, I accepted Christ as my Savior. Pastor Randy offered to guide me through a prayer, but I told him that I needed to do it for myself, so that I would know that I know that I know I had been saved. I prayed that exact thing.

A few weeks ago, my former boss told me that he felt like Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." was still my verse for this time. He said that he was sure I was struggling with how God could make Lily's situation for the good and with how his ways could be better at a time like this. Today I got my answer.

I know that I know that I know when I die, I am going to heaven and I will see Jesus and I will see Lily. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Inside the Box.

When we found out that Lily was officially diagnosed, I knew that one of the things I wanted for her was a chest made of wood. Little Women is my favorite book and I remembered that the March girls each had a chest with their name on it. I knew that what we would have of Lily's would fit in there.

About two months after she had passed away, Brandon and I placed the blankets we used for her in the hospital inside the box. They were the last items. I think at the time, I thought that if we get rid of all that was a part of her and put it away, that I can move forward.

Then Halloween happened.

And well, the box just exploded. I tried to move forward. I remember sitting at football games and thinking, "Why do these people act like everything is okay? Don't they know my baby died?"

I didn't say anything though because I felt like people were tired of talking about her. I also desperately wanted to feel normal. I wanted the nightmare to just end. I wanted my old life back before my bubble had been popped. So I just walked around the mess. I pretty much pretended it wasn't there.

I still feel that way. I will have interactions with some of my dearest people and in the time we are together, not a word will be spoken about her, unless I bring my girl up. Then when she is brought up, people want to talk about how she's an angel. At some point, that will bring me comfort, but for now it doesn't. Or people want to shut down the conversation as quickly as possible because it makes them uncomfortable. If it makes them uncomfortable, imagine what it does to me. Finally, there are the people who think that our solution is to just have another baby. I don't want to have a child just to fix my problems. That poor kid would know that there would always be a hole he/she is trying to fill. That's no way to live. I want Jesus to bless us in his time for us, not for anyone else. Then I feel extremely self-conscious about being that girl. I'm not the only person with real live issues. I know that and I get that.

And so I'm quiet.

The problem is that my box has exploded and what has been raging and shouting in my head for months can't just be quiet anymore. The mess will not be ignored any longer.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

On this Christmas...

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, 
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head. 
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, 
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay. T

he cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes, 
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
 I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky 
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh. 

 Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay 
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray; 
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, 
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

I love Christmas. (If you know me or have read this blog for awhile, you know this to be true.) The lights. The glitter. The movies. The music...oh the music! But every year certain aspects of it stick out to me more than others do in the years past. For example, this year, I love the hunter green and gold color combination for decorations. I think snowmen are really cute. Songs that make me smile this year are "A Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Silver and Gold" by Burl Ives.

But most of all this year, I'm struck by the Christmas story from a mother's perspective. It truly is magical that Jesus sent his son in the form of a baby. I'm also captivated by the mention of angels. I read somewhere that when children go to heaven they become angels. I'm not sure if this is Biblicall, and I'll need to research it some more. Either way, this year I have thought a LOT about what Gabriel did or where he came from. The Bible doesn't tell us much about him. We know that he was a messenger for God, but WHAT A MESSAGE. "Do not be afraid for unto you a Savior is born!" How did he get to be an angel? How was he picked to tell the world that we didn't have to be afraid anymore?? But even more significant that that, how did he get picked to tell us that we have been saved??!?

I must be frank and say that if this theory is true, I've wondered what kind of work, my Lily has been commissioned to do.

This Christmas is hard. We had so many plans for this year and they didn't come to fruition the way we thought they should. We are still making peace with that. Lately, I find myself thinking about her funeral and being in the hospital. I'm afraid I'm going to forget how it all happened. I lay awake at night and think about all the people that were there and what they said about us, about our sweet girl. Like Mary, I cherish all these things in my heart. Our stories are very different to say the least. But we were both present at the death of our children. I take comfort in the fact that loss of a child no matter how old is part of the story line of the most important story ever told. I find even greater comfort that Mary's little boy rose again so that I might see my little girl again shortly after I see Him.

On this Christmas, I hope you know Jesus was born in Bethlehem to save us all.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2014

On where I've been...

So. Halloween sucked big hairy balls. (I'm sorry mom.) But it did. I didn't think it would. I've honestly never cared about the holiday all that much. Now that I'm on the "parental" side of things though, I kinda was looking forward to this year. I realized that when I spent Halloween and the day after in tears.

I've spent the past couple of weeks recovering and trying my best to prepare for the upcoming holidays. I have never wished for January or appreciated January in my life. But circumstances can do that to a girl sometimes. I'm very much a respect the bird kinda girl this year only because putting up Christmas decorations makes me sad. I also have pumped the brakes on social media A LOT lately. It's just something that helps me not be so sad.

(Note: I don't say this crap to make y'all feel sorry for me. It's just where I am right now. I am posting it for the simple fact that life won't always be like this. I want to look back and see how far I've come.)

I've also decided to not take the bar until the summer time. I need to clear my head as best I can. The best way I can describe my grief right now is a cloud of fogginess. I am always always always thinking about Lily in the back of my mind. I just am. Sometimes it is directly, and others indirectly. But the fog is always there. Some days, I can see through it and it almost seems to clear. Other days, it's so thick that I pretty much just have to pray for Jesus to help me get through it.

BUT. Having said that, I still want and feel a calling on my life to be an attorney. The responsibilities that come with that are serious and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that or be in a situation where the responsibility becomes a burden.

The other area that we are waiting on is more babies. I know a lot of women that started trying pretty much as soon as the doctor said they could. But I know myself. I know that I'll worry from start to finish once the stick turns pink. So in order to not have that going on in the back of my mind while I am trying to study for the bar next summer, we are waiting for babies as well.

(Note: I say this as politely as possible, but if you disagree, please keep it to yourself. It's not your life or your future babies or career at stake. It's mine.)

So what else is going on lately? I've been doing Believing God by Beth Moore and LOVE IT! I've never experienced a place like this in my faith. I don't think that's a coincidence either.

ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND the most fun news is that I'm working for Old Navy now. I'll have everyone know that I've worked three times now and I haven't shopped yet! That's some serious self-restraint on my part if you're new around here. IF you're not new, then I just scored for the home team!

I hope this finds you well.

Happy Friday!

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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