Thursday, December 7, 2017

Announcing Baby #9. Be still my soul.

Officially announced this precious little life on our Instagram acct today, which you can read below.



If you would like to follow any of our accounts please do:

Our Family @buckoutfam
Our Little Michael James @babyjuly2017
and
Lord willing our newest one @babyjuly2018

Greatly appreciate your prayers for this new little life!



For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11




Thursday, November 16, 2017

The ESV Illuminated Bible {Review & Giveaway}



After loosing Michael, reading the bible was very slow going. I could only read support books, a devotional, and my daughters scripture cards the weeks following Michael death. Yet, thankfully am finally back to daily readings. This Bible was a special gift for a new season.

I've had my old bible for 20 years, so to open a new one up daily was a new beginning for me. I needed it. I started in Genesis and also am rereading Revelation. I am the type of person that has to underline and make personal notes in my bible. This Illuminated Bible has worked out perfect because the margins are WIDE. 

I don't use mine for art, but I do know Bible verse journaling as become a hobby for many.  I am not too sure if markers would hold up on these pages but definitely colored pencils would. I personally have only used pencil so far because the bible is so clean and pretty! :) Each book has its own personal cover artwork all in gold lettering too. I especially like that it is ONLY the Bible. There are no study notes or themed devotionals throughout. Only gold lettered scripture art. This version is a Hardback with a slide in book jacket. I love it. See ALL the details below. 

(Note: The only downfall for me--- I really like the New King James Version. From what I have heard though it is the most similar.) 

Good news, I get to offer it to one of my readers! 

PLEASE comment below if you'd like to win one for FREE :)
Giveaway will end in one week on November 23rd.
Open to ONLY continental U.S. residence please.
OR
Purchase Yours HERE.



FRONT

BACK





The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over 500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the
Bible's single-column text setting and wide margins provide generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs—inviting readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God's
Word.

• 9-point, Lexicon
• Black letter text
• 2-color printing
• 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
• 50 full-page verse illustrations
• 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
• 100+ other illustrations throughout
• Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been
featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House,
USPS, and Target
• Thick, cream-colored paper
• Wide margins
• Single-column, paragraph format
• Smyth-sewn binding
• Packaging: Permanent Slipcase
• Dana Tanamachi is an American lettering artist, graphic
designer, and illustrator whose exquisite typographic murals
ignited the worldwide chalk-lettering trend.  She has been
commissioned by clients such as Instagram, Target, Google,
Time Magazine, Nike, and West Elm. Learn more
at tanamachistudio.com.




In Christ alone I stand,

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Just your average, "I am still alive" post



Well, I finally felt the need to let you know I am still alive. Even had a birthday. I am 38 years old.

It's strange, but refreshing not to have facebook. If some reason, you are a friend I have not seen in 5-20 years and you are wondering--- I am ok.

I recently went on a retreat. A small cabin in autumn wooded beauty. I saw snow. I saw brilliant colored leaves. More importantly I was with a beautiful friend. I will be ever thankful for the time she took with me. (xo)

I was able to open my wound again... let it feel the healing air it needed and patched it up again, by the grace of God. Our time was raw. It was real. We laughed. We cried.  We enjoyed yummy food. :)

God knew I would need that special little retreat because it was there, I painfully miscarried another early pregnancy. Sean and I were so delighted three weeks prior and announced it immediately to our close family and a few friends. The sweet baby blueberry may have only been 7 weeks, but it was life. For that I am thankful.

The loss of life, put me incomplete surrender yet again. Again, into the loving hands of My Father. It has quieted me heart. Maybe I am just numb by grief and many times without understanding. My life and times are in His hands, not mine.

In regards to being pregnant so soon---Please don't bother telling me "I should give my body time to heal". Obviously I cannot make something happen a certain way or in my time. Otherwise my four month old baby boy would be in my arms breathing. Smiling and looking into my eyes. It is not in my power to do so.



At the end of my little getaway, I got an amazing tattoo in honor of Michael James. It hurt like hell, but means so much to me. I love that boy. I was standing in the airport waiting for my plane literally worshiping God (via YouTube) for being my strength through so much pain. He is my firm foundation. I will put my trust in Him alone. In God I will not be shaken.

He is in control. Casting out all fear. My hope will always be His promises to me..

He is my Father, I do not wonder
If His plans for me are good
If He'll come through like He should
'Cause He is provision and enough wisdom
To usher in my brightest days
To turn my mourning into praise
He's not just reviving
Not simply restoring
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have yet to come

I am who He says I am
He is who He says He is
I'm defined by all His promises
Shaped by every word He says
Oh I am who He says I am
He is who He says He is
I'm defined by all His promises
Shaped by every word He says..


These are the two songs rocked me to my core as I worked tonight and actually prompted me to write this blog.








ONLY because of my Jesus. grace and peace,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Less Noise; Off of Facebook Disclaimer

"The LORD is good, His mercy endures forever"
Coloring on my swing, under my mosquito net! 
Today was a quiet day. Monday. I was the only one home with my three littles. Everyone was out the door by 7am. Sean took Elizabeth off to the stables, then he headed to his college class. Elijah, Lydia and Jason left by 645 to catch the ferry to school.

After a busy weekend with a full house, it was pleasantly nice. Reminded me that having less noise has been very healing for me. About two weeks ago, I took a week off of facebook. Oh my goodness it was strangely refreshing! How many of us have done this same thing.. time and time again?

Right after Michael went to be with the Lord, I needed a place to share. Mostly on shared Instagram posts, but it was still nice. I hesitated to "take a break" because I was able to connect with other moms who have experienced stillbirths. So many mothers. So many different groups. But even in those groups it was hard. Hard to see how many people go through the similar loss everyday.

I decided after the week break to come back on... then more drama happened. I knew God was confirming it to me. While its nice to "see" what others are doing, it can be such a HUGE distraction from what God wants me to be doing at the moment. It honestly distracts me from real relationships. I have to undo the habit of even just clicking on facebook.

It can be used for good (social media)-- What a blessing it was to have so many people praying for me when we lost Michael. I know this was a HUGE support for our family! But... I also question how much God intended us to be aware of everyone else's life? A good friend of mine said, "it is an easy way for people to check in on me visually, but then you have no clue they actually did." Truth.

Anyways, I am rambling.  All this to say, I will be doing updates here on my blog. This way I am not distracted with more noise.

I am actually praying more.
Reading more..
Crocheting more..
Making shutterfly family albums again.
and Coloring more with my kids.

I will look at instagram here and there, but thats about it.

Heard a hashtag this week and loved it: #thestruggleisrealbutsoisGod


Peace and Love friends..
and whoever is reading this blog ;)



Three of our kids on this ferry, parents passing on the other (we were headed to Jason's conference)

took my littles to Petco.
the perfect costume for our dog sweet pea aka: sausage

Saturday, September 2, 2017

He Knew 5 Years Ago

the peace of God

Was God preparing my heart 5 years ago that I would lose Michael?

Did He know in exactly 5 years I would be holding my son, seeing his beautiful face, praying over his earthly body for the VERY LAST time? 

That in 5 years, I will feel the presence of God wash over me like never before? I would get a glimpse of heavenly peace as I held Michael... but have to hand him over, saying goodbye did we met again?

"But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day..." 2 Peter 3:8

Yes. He did.

God knows the moment I will see my baby Mikey again---That I will see HIM, my Heavenly Father; my Abba Father.. and feel true everlasting peace wash over me again.

JULY 11th, 2017; was my precious Michaels due date. 

It was the day I held him, prayed and said goodbye. 

Five years earlier, when I blogged this song on JULY 11th, 2012 ----God knew it was going to minister to me like never before. I was going to cry before God like never before, broken down and needing His help like never before. 

YET, in it all I would continue to serve Jesus wanting to see him glorified in my life. He knew I would experience a moment of trial that would change me forever. He knew I would need His strength, His help like never before.

AND, here I am am singing that song:
Take my life.
Take my hands.
Take my voice.
Use them..
I am written on His hands.

"for your Father knows what you need before you ask him... " Matthew 6:7

and I will share it again. 




Monday, August 14, 2017

Life Continues after Birth

Random thoughts I am processing..

walking with mama
Hadassah turned 7 years old this summer.

Elijah got his drivers license last friday.

Today is the first day of school.

I waved goodbye to three of my kids as the left for the charter school---in the car--- with their big brother ---over the ferry!

Praying for my little Jay Jay. First time back in school since 1st grade.

Supposedly I am going to do a great job homeschooling the four others. gasp.

Sean and I found out we will be working now four nights a week on our online job. Thankful for Gods provision, but praying for endurance.

All the while---- (very few people know) Sean continues his schooling as a Nurse Assist 2 & RN.
AND continues his web design.
attempting a selfie
So proud of him. We are going to his summer graduation as a CNA on Thursday!

As I type this, I am getting two little girls out the shower. (Multi-tasking at its finest!)..Also, keeping Mo from wandering and somehow trying to motivate Elizabeth to start her "new homeschool year".

Yet..As I kissed everyone goodbye... stress over the busyness of it all,  I picture a newborn swaddled in my arms. The moments of what I thought "should have been" will always be with me. From my understanding they will lesson, but never leave my heart.

Even as I combed the millions of rats out of Hadassah's hair she said, "Mommy, I miss baby Michael". We all feel it in our own way, some more than others.
I told her "I do too, more than words could express"...I assured her we can pray for a new baby someday. :) She thought it would be neat if I could have a Christmas baby.
Well.. I then explained how "this Christmas would be a little too soon because it does take 9 months." ;)

Life continues.
happy 7th bday hadassah!
Deep breaths. Time to put on some workout clothes...
pressing on,



read this scripture last night
it was from the book i was reading right before Michael passed.
a fiction book about a midwife.
i never saw the scripture before in the front of the book.
of course
little i knew what the night would hold..
but now I cling to the fact that God knows my future.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Battle for Normal; After a Stillbirth


Empty arms. I am fighting hard. Feels like a spiritual battle daily. Stressful nightmares. Outburst of anger. Anxiety attacks. Confusion. Loss of joy. Purpose. Focus.
At any given moment especially toward the end of my day..when tiredness sets in.
I have to take breathes. Pray. Turn on worship music. Listen to bible studies. Read my bible. Intentionally listen to my kids.

It comes in waves.
My hormones have been out of whack.
Postpartum depression at it's worst. (or the worst I've experienced). I should have gotten Michael placenta encapsulated, yet that was the last thing on my mind in the emergency room.

I was "supposed" to have a baby rest. For me, having eight kids I actually looked forward to nursing 12 times a day. The Lord knew what was to come, He would have to be my rest.

Last week I was screaming... "what do I do now!?" I was falling apart tremendously.
Yet, I have been "feeling" better today and the weekend went better... Maybe the hormones are balancing out. The grief fog is lifting.

I have to be so careful because the every day mothering tasks stir up bitterness.. and plain tiredness.

I have been trying to find some source of "normal" outlet, but it is not coming easy.
Two weeks after birth, I got aggression out by weeding my garden beds. Yay, I planted two new rose bushes. Planted seedlings.. planted a potted plant.

Went on a a few run/walks, but was quickly reminded I was only three weeks postpartum and not three months. My body is not as strong.. yet. Knee braces and all. 

This week, I was praising God because I actually started a new crochet project. :) YES. A new baby blanket. Hopefully, for what grieving mothers call their "rainbow baby." I am praying for my own rainbow baby and I don't care what others opinion may say.

I attempted a start of a new fiction book. For the first time in years it is not about birth or midwifery. Someday, I will get back into my passion.


Friends, then it came: Only out of observation, I went an entire day without crying. 28 days, exactly four weeks after the birth of Michael.

Not sure if I was even happy about it, but I knew it was needed. Part of the fog passing..

((((deep breaths))))


Watching my family play during an evening beach trip.
Yes :) All seven, plus Dad are in this picture.
I was laying down on the blanket taking life in...
Our first time back here without baby Michael.

Last April...
One of my beach memories. Mordecai hugging Baby Michael.
Miss you little one.




God, what is normal? You are working in me... I will trust. I press on. In You I HOPE. You are with me in this battle.


In verse 19, word "high hills" literally can mean "battlefield"...

Habakkuk 3: 17-19


Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines; 
Though the labor of the olive may fail, 
And the fields yield no food; 
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, 
And there be no herd in the stalls— 

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will joy in the God of my salvation. 
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet, 
And He will make me walk on my high hills. 






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