Not my will, but your's be done.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You Turned My Mourning Into Dancing

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing..."
-Psalm 30:11

Yesterday was quite a rollercoaster of emotions. I woke up not knowing how I was going to feel about that day. It was Treyson's due date. For most of the day I felt pretty good, even though it was on my mind often. But as evening came I felt the need to go to him. Josh agreed to put Ray to bed so I could go see him before it got dark. I had many thoughts running through my head as I replayed in my mind all the details from the day of his birth. I may write more about that another day, when I have alot of time and a box of tissues. But for now all I'll say is that I had alot of questions about why some of the details of the event unfolded the way that they did.

By the time I got home I had been crying and continued to do so off and on for the next several hours. Josh and I decided to watch a movie together. Most of our evenings consists of us watching tv for an hour or two together. If nothing is really on then we usually end up watching some kind of medical show and talking the whole time. Last night we ended up watching "The Notebook", which is a great love story and one of my favorite movies.

The movie ended around 10:45 p.m., which is a little past our usual bedtime. But, after talking, we ended up lighting a candle in honor of Treyson. We have a beautiful crystal cross that is a tea light candle holder. I like to burn candles in memory of Tres on Fridays, since he was born on a Friday, it marks the anniversary of his birth. But we decided that his due date was a good time to burn a candle too.

After that we ended up flipping channels on the tv. We discovered music channels way up in the 600's that we didn't know we had. I know you are probably asking yourself how we had channels that we didn't know about. We just recently got cable for the first time since we have been married. So I guess I'm just not cable savy yet. Anyway, back to the music channels.

There were about 25 music channels, of every kind you can imagine. We spent the next hour singing, and dancing, and laughing....and dancing. Oh, it was so much fun! We danced to everything: 80's, Reggae, you name it! After an hour I was worn out, but so happy.

Today I was thinking about how the evening changed from mourning to dancing and I thought about the verse in Psalms that speaks of the same. I was so thankful that God had given us that time together. It was nice to be able to remember Treyson with happy hearts instead of pure grief. I pray that God continues to provide the joy amidst the sorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

7 weeks 5 days ago

Today was my due date.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Before I start enlightening you all on the subject of my husband, I thought I'd give you an update on some of the issues we have been dealing with.

Dinah, my cat, is still missing. I've pretty much given up hope, but not entirely.
We think the rabbit is still hiding in the pile of junk behind our shed, but it has been several days since we have seen it.
We heard from the insurance and they are going to cover my car being fixed. That is a huge answer to prayer, because the final estimate from the mechanic was VERY expensive. My car needs a new, um, engine. So needless to say, we are very blessed that the insurance is going to pay for it. It will probably be another week and a half to two weeks before it is fixed, but at least we know that the end is in sight and it will be paid for. Praise the Lord!

Now, on to the interesting topic of my husband, Joshua Dawson Carlin. There is about a million and one interesting things about him, but I'll narrow it down to 5 or 6.
Here goes:

1. He loves animals.
If you don't know us, or don't know us well, then you don't know that we have had a ton of different pets over the past few years. Chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, cats, an iguana, a tarantula, sugar gliders, mice, a hamster, turtles, rabbits, and fish. That pretty much covers it. Josh and I both have always been animal lovers. But he has been the one that has done the majority of actually caring for all these animals. He truely has a sensitive heart for them and does a great job caring for them.
Once, when we lived in our first house, I was in the bathroom getting out of the tub. The window in the bathroom went out to the back yard and the rabbit hutch was close to this window. As I was getting out of the tub I heard Josh in the back yard talking intently to someone. When I peaked out the window to see who it was I saw Josh standing there holding a bunny and talking to her as he was petting her. It was so sweet. That is typical Josh when it comes to animals.

2. He is hilarious.
His sense of humor is how he won me over. He is always making me laugh. He can find the humor in just about every situation. Even now, when we bicker he usually ends up being so funny that I can't help but get over what ever it was that I was irritated about.

3. He has two brothers.
If you knew that Carlin boys then that in itself would be enough said. But if you don't then I will try to explain. Josh and his brothers are all three very much alike, yet very different. They are all funny and love to laugh, but with there own sense of humor. When you get the three of them together there is NEVER a dull moment. I am always asking myself how my mother-in-law survived them growing up. I think I would of died from exhaustion. Cliff and Jan(my in-laws), did a great job raising them because they all three would do anything for anybody, they are great dads, and all around good people. You haven't lived until you have had a Sunday afternoon at the Carlin's with all three brothers there in full swing.

4. He loves life.
Josh loves to experience different things. He loves to have fun. He used to ride dirt bikes and bmx bikes. He loves fishing and flying. He plays with the kids like he is one. In his early 20's he broke his ankle doing skateboard tricks for the neighbor kid. He just loves to play. I love that about him.

5. He plays the guitar.
If you know me you know that is enough to make me smile.

6. He is a peacemaker.
He doesn't like conflict or fighting. Maybe that is why he is so funny when I'm irritated with him. ha!

I hope now you know a little more about him and what a great guy that he is than you did before.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm "It"

A while back my friend Heather tagged me on her blog with the 6 quirky things about yourself list. At first I didn't feel like doing it. But I have been wanting to post, but not quite sure what I felt like saying at this time. After thinking about it I thought that it might be a good idea for some of you to get to know me a little better outside of my struggles and grief over Treyson. So I eventually decided to lighten the mood and talk about something silly. There were rules and all that kind of stuff that I was supposed to post. But I didn't feel like following the I didn't post them.
Here goes:

1. I used to want to be a criminal profiler in the F.B.I.
I don't know if you have ever seen the show Criminal Minds, but the is exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to do that since I was in about the 7th grade. I read ALL the time back then, so I'm sure it was a book that I read that sparked my interest in it. My senior year in high school I actually interviewed an F.B.I. agent about what I needed to do to prepare for the F.B.I. academy. I went in to college with those goals in mind. Around my sophomore year I decided that it wasn't the career for me. Not that I had lost my interest in it whatsoever,(in fact I am still totally intrigued by the interworkings of the mind and profiling a crime), but most F.B.I. agents work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Not for me. I knew I wanted children one day, and even thought I still thought it would be about 15 years before I had any(boy was I wrong!), I didn't want to spend all those years working up a major career and then just quit.

2. I have moved about a million times.
Here is the list.
I was born in Columbus, Ohio.
We moved to Nederland, Texas when I was 6 weeks old. From there I have lived in,
New Boston(I lived in 3 different houses when we lived there),
Port Neches,
Port Neches,
and last but surely not least, Beauxart Gardens(which is actually in the city of Beaumont)

3. I have LOVED being pregnant all three times.
I know most women are excited about the life growing inside of them and the fact that they are going to have a child. But they usually aren't too thrilled with all the things that come along with being pregnant(nausea, weight gain, tiredness, etc.)
But I have loved everything about it(it probably helps that I have had pretty easy pregnancies, for the most part). When I found out that I was pregnant with Luke it was a pretty big shock and it took me a little while to get my head wrapped around the enormity of it. But once I did, I was in love with the fact that I was having him. I was excited from the beginning with my other two.
As much as I love carrying all three of my children, I'm not sure that I want to do it again. I'm not saying for sure that we won't have any more, but there are children all over the world that need parents. Russia......

4. I love to exercise.
I know I'm weird, but I really do. I can't remember a time in my life that I didn't like exercise. It is always available and it always makes me feel better. I went through a bit of a funk as a freshman in college. Exercise and dance(I danced on the drill team when I was in college. I threw that fun fact in there for free.), were the only things that I really looked forward to.
While I was in college I really wanted to get my personal trainers certification, so that I could do that as a part time job. When Luke was a baby I seriously considered it again. It is something that I still would enjoy doing part time, but now I don't know when I would actually find the time to work!
I do aerobics most mornings and the kids often do it with me(at least part of the time anyway). It is always completely hilarious. But hopefully they will devolop a love for fitness also.

5. I am in to all kinds of natural/organic things.
It would take to long to list everything, so I'll just hit on nutrition in general. We eat pretty healthy. I'm not completely obsessed with it, but I am fairly knowledgeable on the subject in general. There are all kinds of unhealthy foods that I love to eat. But to sum it up, at our house when we eat hot dogs it is turkey franks, with turkey chili, on a whole wheat bun.

6. I'm addicted to my supplements.
Here is an average day.
Barley green with lemon essential oil
organic green tea
fresh brewed organic red raspberry leaf tea
cayenne pepper tincture

With lunch and in the afternoon:
herbal fiber
more vitamins
coconut oil
fish oil
more raspberry leaf tea and cayenne tincture

supper and evening:
fish oil, or coconut oil, or both
and we always drink some kind of hot herbal tea in the evenings

That is just a general run down. Don't even get me started on what I do when I'm pregnant, nursing, or fighting some kind of illness.

Well, that's my six uninteresting quirky facts about myself. Part of the rules are that I'm supposed to "tag" six other people to do the same list. Most people that I know in the blog world have already been tagged, so I thought that I'd tag my family. Over the next few days I'll tell you different things about Josh, Luke, Ray, and maybe even Tres. I thought that maybe it would lighten my mood and give me something fun to think about. Get ready! I think that I'll do Josh tomorrow!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Well, I guess I semi-jinxed myself with my post on Thursday. By Thursday evening the stress of life had reduced me to a bundle of nerves. I was feeling very overwhelmed, not by the loss of Trey inparticularly, but other difficulties temorarily got the best of me. I'll briefly list them just to give you a better idea.

The rabbits got out of their hutch. Pilot, Luke's boxer, killed one of them. The other one is hiding from the dog in a pile of junk behind our storage building. Haven't been able to catch him yet. Hopfully we will before Pilot does.
Luke's fish died. He wasn't looking great for a day or two. I was pretty sure that he was about to die, but every time I asked Josh about it he said that it was sleeping. Now it is laying on its side on the bottom of the tank, so I'm pretty sure that it is dead.
My cat, Dinah, is missing. I am still hoping that she will show up, but it has been 5 days now and I'm not as hopeful as I was a day or two ago. I have had her for almost nine years. I have been through ALOT(to put it very mildly) with her. She represents me making through some tough times, so it would be difficult for me to lose her.
My car is broken down. Wednesday night I drove over something that drug on the bottom of my car. Apparently it poked a hole in the oil filter and the oil drained out and I most likely burned my engine up. HOPEFULLY insurance will pay to have it fixed(after we pay the deductible), but it is going to be very frustrating for me to be completely immobile for probably about a month. Josh's truck was wrecked a couple of weeks before Treyson was born. He has been borrowing my dad's truck to go to work and back since then.

All of these trials are very temporal. But for the moment I felt very overwhelmed. Luckily, when I woke up Friday I had put things in the proper perspective and was feeling much better.

Today I sat down and started reading a devotional book that my sister gave me. It is called "Streams in the Desert", by L.B. Cowman. I have only just started it today, but I would recommend it to anyone that is going through a difficult time(and isn't that all of us at one time or another). The reading for today encouraged and spoke to both Josh and I. It talked about how Christ had to suffer and therefore, "doing God's will and thus expericencing suffering is the highest form of faith, and the most glorious Christian achievement".

Josh and I, even while I was still pregnant with Treyson, knew that we wanted God to use our situation to minister to others. Especially to others who either had lost or where facing the potential loss of a child. When you are suffering it is easy to forget that God wants to use it for good in your life. It is easy for sorrow and depression to cloud your vision of God's greater purpose. When your vision is clouded and your focus is off of the Lord it is easy to get caught in the "why?" Why us? Why our child? Why does this even have to happen at all?

Today's devotion helped put me perspective back on the right track. In it the writer said, "In order to have a sympathetic God, we must have a suffering Savior, for true sympathy comes from understanding another person's hurt by suffering the same affliction. Therefore we cannot help others who suffer without paying a price ourselves, because afflictions are the cost we pay for our ability to sympathize. Those who wish to help other must first suffer."

This was wonderful encouragement. Josh and I very deeply want to help others. Now we understand a little better why we have been chosen to suffer and how God plans to use it in our life. Understanding, though not always nessessary(no matter how much you feel like it is), helps bring peace.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Better Days

As I sit down to write I am hoping that I don't jinx myself. The past several days have been good ones for me. I sat down yesterday to write about how much better I have been feeling, and I immediately got upset. Today has been a really good day for me so far, but I hesitated to actually write it for the fear of jinxing myself. We'll see about that...

Since we have been home from San Antonio the fog has lifted. The sorrow remains, but is much easier to deal with when you can think straight. I still miss Treyson desperately. I think I will feel that way until the day I die, and I am completely fine with that. He was my son. I am glad that he has changed my life forever. I am functioning much better than I was a couple of weeks ago though.

Spiritually I am doing much better too. For the first several weeks the only prayer I could pray was, "God, help me. Just help me survive." I prayed that, or something similar to that when I would start feeling overwhelmed and I couldn't go on. Besides my desperate cries I haven't had much to say to God since Treyson died. This has been worrying me. I don't feel angry at God(at least not that I recognize), I just feel like I haven't had much to say to him. Period. I did not want to be angry with Him, and even though I didn't feel like I was I figured that anger was the only logical explanation as to why I was avoiding prayer. Continual prayer had become so second nature to me while I was pregnant. So the lack of it felt like a huge void in my life that made the loss of Treyson even more painful. I was so immersed in my pain that I shut Him out for the most part, only crying out in utter desperation when the load became too much to bear. But since we have been home I feel like I am starting to draw close to the Lord again. I've learned that you can feel deep sorrow and God's peace at the same time.

I have begun talking with the Lord again. It started by talking about Treyson. Just talking. Me asking the Lord what he is like now and telling Him how much I love my son.

The more I talked to God about Treyson the more I began to feel the Lord's comfort. God gently told me that He also knows what it is like to lose a son. He felt the same pain when He had to watch Jesus die. The Father feels my hurt and I have found comfort and peace in that. Not only do I feel more comfort and peace, but I actually have excitement in my heart. I am looking forward to walking closely with the Lord again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


***note*** I realized that my last post was titled "Three Weeks". I am completely nuts because the day we left from vacation was actually Treyson's one month birthday. I'm lucky to remember my own name these days.

Well, we made it back. We got home yesterday evening. On our way home we went by my sister's house in Houston and dropped Luke off. He is going to stay for a few days and play with Nathan and Jacob.

Overall I think I would say that our trip was good. The kids had alot of fun and that was the main goal, so mission accomplished on that one. Every place we went the kids really had a blast. I told Josh that the look on Luke's face as he watched Shamu perform, and Ray squealing with delight as she watched the rescued animals do tricks(both of those shows were at Sea World), made my entire vacation. It was pure delight. The kids had fun pretty much every where we went.

One of our biggest worries about the trip was how Ray would do in the car there and back. Since she was born she has hated riding in the car. She is better now than when she was an infant, but still isn't great. She completely adores Luke. Every thing that he does she finds amusing. When he laughs, she laughs. If he cries, she cries. So she spent a good bit of the ride just staring at him. Watching him talk or even just watch a movie on his portable dvd player was mesmerizing to her. She did better than we could have ever hoped for. That in itself was a HUGE blessing.

Another thing that I found surprising was that almost immediately after we got in the car and started driving to San Antonio the fog lifted. My head felt clear and in general I felt more "normal". That continued for then entired time we were away. I am still unsure of why. I thought about Treyson all the time, we talked about him all the time, and we bought souvenirs for him to place at his grave since he wasn't able to make the trip with us. But still my head was clear and I didn't feel immersed in my sorrow. It was a nice break. The dark cloud of saddness was waiting at my door the moment I got home. I didn't mind too much. It felt comfortable and familier.

There were a few negatives like our camera being stolen while we were at Sea World(that is all I am going to say about that because if I get started expressing how I feel about that I may completely lose my temper). Also, in the relaxation aspect, the vacation was not relaxing, especially for Josh. I don't know if you have ever tried to chase a 17 month old through the zoo, Sea World, the Riverwalk, and Splashtown...and pretty much any where else we went. It is not an easy job. Especially when that 17 month old is very strong willed and independent. At best it is completely exhausting.

In short, we had fun, made memories(that we have no documentation of. AGH!), but we are glad to be home.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Three Weeks

We are going on vacation tomorrow to San Antonio for the week. Sea World, Splashtown, Zoo, and riverwalk here we come! Since my head has been in such a fog I haven't really planned or prepared until today. Last night I sat down to make a list of everything that I need to get done today, and no, posting on my blog was not one of them. Oh well. As much as I am an anal list making person, sometimes you just have to do things that aren't on the list.


(This is the part of the post that I am not going to act happy or try to be wity. I am just going to be honest. Honest is not always funny, and rarely is it pretty.)

I am not at all looking forward to this vacation. I'm tired, irritable, not thinking clearly, not sleeping well...and did I mention tired? Here are some examples of how my brain works these days. Yesterday Ray spilled a melted ice pop on the carpet. Don't ask me why a 16 month old was walking around with a melting popcicle because there is not a logical explanation for that.
I got a rag to clean it up.
Got is wet at the kitchen sink.
And then wrung it out on the kitchen floor.


I've also gone to the credit union to make a deposit, only to find that I forgot the check at home. Gone to wal-mart specifically for diapers, to come home without them. Life is like a dream right now. So much so that I had a dream Thursday night that I thought had really happened all day on Friday until Josh told me that the whole thing never happened.

To answer the question that some of you may be asking yourself now, no I am not on drugs(perscribed or otherwise). I have used drugs in the past(wow, that was forthcoming of me. And when I say "past" I mean years ago.), and that is pretty much what this feels like. Life is a haze, and I am in a daze(not trying to be poetic there). Not that there aren't moments of clear thinking, but in general that is how I feel.

I may have revealed before that I am not very expressive with my emotions, feelings, etc. That is partially why I started this blog because I thought it would be theraputic for me. Instead of bottling it all up I could let people know how I am feeling and what I am going through without ever having to say most of it out loud. So, if I am going to be talking about feelings then I guess I will start with how I am feeling physically. Besides the haze, I hurt. Sometimes my whole body hurts, similar to the flu, but it is mostly just my heart. It literally hurts. I had always thought that heartache was a term that describes how a person was feeling emotionally. But now I know that it really means heart ache. Pain in your chest.

It is the worst at night, when I'm laying in bed and the weight of my grief is crushing. It is then that my heart hurts. If I didn't know myself better then I would probably think that something was really physically wrong with me. Panic attacks and heart attacks also cause chest pains. But I've had a panic attack and this isn't that. And in regards to a heart attack...well, all I can say is that I am 28, excercise all the time, eat healthy, and not genetically predispositioned to have a heart attack. So I'm pretty sure it isn't that either.

I have a band aid of sorts that I use for my broken heart. Before Tres was born I bought some material and my mother-in-law made it into a baby blanket. I brought it to the hospital to wrap Tres in when he was born. I knew that if he passed away that I would want every possible keepsake. And what could be more special than the blanket that held my sweet baby? Before he passed away we all just held him and kissed him and whispered how much we loved him. After he passed I decided it was time to bathe him and get him cleaned up. After his bath I put on the micro-preemie hat that Jan, my mother-in-law, got for him. When we first saw the hat it was so tiny we thought that it was going to be too small. But when he came out much smaller than we had expected, it fit perfectly. I tried the gown on him that I had really wanted him to wear, but as small as it was it was too big and akward fitting. So I decided to just wrap him in the blanket that Jan had made for him.

When we left the hospital to come home we packed every possible keepsake of Treyson's in one little suitcase. It was the same suitcase that we had carried all of his things to the hospital in. That suitcase remains in the living room. Still packed. There are a few things that we have taken out, but I haven't been able to unpack it all and put the suitcase up yet. One of the items that I did take out right when we got home was the baby blanket. I carried his blanket with me much of the time for the first several days after his passing. Smelling it often to see if it still had his sweet baby scent. I don't carry the blanket with me now as I did the first several days, but I have slept with it every night since he was born. It is folded in a little rectangle. Every night when I lay down I place it on my chest and fold my arms over it, holding it close. It feels much heavier than its actual weight. But the weight of it is soothing to my heartache. I cling tight to the blanket that once held my precious baby boy. I don't want to ever let go.

One thing that I wasn't prepared for was every day being more difficult than the last. If you would have asked me before hand, I would have told you that the hardest part of this whole thing would be his passing, if it came to that. We sailed though that part. Not that there weren't tears and saddness, but God's grace and comfort, mixed with shock and denial, provided quite a cushion for the initial blow. It is everyday waking up only to find that he isn't here. That is the blow that is feeling less and less tolerable. After the shock wore off, the cushion of God's grace and peace is not quite so soft. It isn't that it is not there, it has just become hardened by my sorrow. Grief, with a touch of bitterness if we are being totally honest, has incased me in a shell that is not easily accepting of the comfort that the Lord has to offer. I can bear the grief with all its physical and emotional side effects, as long as it is a stage I am passing through. I don't want to take up permanent residence in the state that I am in. But it has only been three weeks. Things have to get easier one day.

But for now I am going to go on vacation with Josh and the kids. I am going to try to have fun. Or at least look like I am having fun for the kids sake.