Tuesday, October 8, 2019

When God Uses Your 5 Year Old to Remind You of Eternity

Quick back story. So after I miscarried last year, we use elephants to remind of us of our baby that we lost (we named him/her Micah). So we have some elephant things: a blanket, a stuffed animal and we have a little plastic elephant figurine on our kitchen table. 

We talk to our kids about the baby that died and went to heaven sometimes and Judah somewhat comprehends it.
Sunday morning while getting ready for church, somehow the little elephant figurine ended up on our living room floor and Judah (who just turned five) tripped over it. 

He immediately was reminded of our sweet baby Micah.

He said, “Mom, is that baby in heaven?” 
I said, “Yes.”
He said “Which baby?” 
I said, “The baby we had before this one (pointing to my large pregnant belly) - baby Micah. He died in my belly.”
Judah asked, "Did Jesus bring him to heaven and bring him back to life?”
I said “Yes, Judah, he did.”

I started crying and can’t stop. I’m so grateful for the gift of eternal life and for our God who values babies enough to “let the little children come to me.” I’m glad our faith gives us hope and that our God raises people from dead... even ones we will never meet this side of eternity. I'm so thankful our God is in the business of breathing life into death.

And I’m so so grateful that God uses my five year old to remind me of the hope of eternity.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 
Matthew 19:14

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13

Friday, September 6, 2019

One Year Anniversary of my Miscarriage

One year ago today, I experienced an incredible loss. It was a loss that felt like it wouldn’t end. For days, I was sitting numb in my tears. For weeks, I felt raw, cut open in the heart. For months, I didn’t know how to move forward. And now it’s been a year, and that numbness is present. 

I miscarried my third baby at five weeks on September 6th, 2018. One year ago, time stood still. Then it sped up and this year has gone by remarkably fast. 

One thing I think most women want after a miscarriage is to get pregnant and to carry a healthy baby full term. I couldn’t even bring myself to even think about getting pregnant again for months afterwards. It was a long transition to feel like myself again. Because I wasn’t myself. And I’m not now. I changed. I am a new person. This is now part of me and my family’s story.

I recently listened to a popular interview between news anchor Anderson Cooper and comedian and host Stephen Colbert. They both experienced loss of parents so they bonded immensely together. Two quotes from their talk stood out to me. The first is from Anderson Cooper who said "Grief is a strange thing in the sense that we all experience it and yet we rarely talk about it. “

I’m here to talk about it! It’s tough. Stephen Colbert also said in this interview "I think when you meet someone who has had a loss, you have two options. One is to say, I'm sorry for your loss which is a perfectly lovely thing to do. But if you can share your experience, then they're not alone.”

I wept listening to this interview. Knowing you’re not alone in a tough situation can get us through these kind of difficult situations. If you’ve miscarried, you’re not alone. Share your story. Share it with me if you want. One thing Satan loves to do is make us feel isolated - that we are completely alone and that no one else has gone through what we’re going through. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. The way we don’t feel isolated is by opening up and sharing even when it’s hard. I’m so grateful for people who have gone before me and shared their struggles and their stories so I wouldn’t have to feel alone. 

One year later and the pain is very real. Things have changed with me however. I am pregnant again. 20 weeks exactly which is incredible. Being half way through my pregnancy on the first anniversary of my 3rd baby’s death is bittersweet. I am still mourning but looking forward to meeting my fourth baby on earth in January. My fourth baby doesn’t replace the baby that I lost. I am so grateful that I have been able to carry our baby for this long and can’t wait for the day where we meet him or her (in case you’re wondering, we won’t find out the gender until the day they’re born!). 

If you’re suffering, I am praying for you my friend. Life can be so hard but God is always good. 

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LordI wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

I blogged about my miscarriage a year ago here and here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Amusing Observations Living in MS for 10 Years

This month marks 10 years from when I moved from Pennsylvania to live in Mississippi. Life has been an adjustment moving 1000 miles away from home permanently especially from the North to the South; so I compiled a short list of observations I've gleaned from living in the MS:

1) Sonic and Chick-fil-A are different denominations of the same religion. They are a way of life around here. I am not a hater but I just.do.not.get.it. As the young folk would say, "don't at me."

2) Ranch is a staple here much like ketchup, mustard, water and air. And I'm a convert. I am here for it.

3) Everything can be fixed. You fix your car, your hair, your breakfast, your supper, your life. And if you didn't get your fix of things getting fixed, you can also use the phrase "fixin' to" to mean you're "about to" do something.

4) When you go to a southern restaurant, you can order a "vegetable" of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Coincidentally, I am eating way more vegetables.

5) Sweet tea runs through southerners veins. When you're sick, a doctor will recommend drinking more water and more tea.

6) In all seriousness, MS gets hated on a lot. I'm sorry if you didn't know that but it's true. But we have some of the lowest cost of living the country and let's be real, some of the greatest people in the country. And my favorite place to eat in the country is here (Avellinos!). Oh and we have the greatest church in the country here as well. Like homemade ranch, I am here for it. Let's leave the hate for our neighbors, Alabama and Arkansas. ;)

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Sowden’s Desoto County Favs

2018 Sowden’s Desoto County Favs

Troy and I compiled a list of some of our favorite restaurants in Desoto County, MS. Let us know your favorites and if we need to visit a new place!


Avellino’s, Southaven

I mean, this is a no brainer. This is our FAVORITE of all time. We love getting pepperoni pizza with traditional hot wings with ranch & blue cheese. We love, love, love this place. 

Melody also loves the Memphis pizza from Buon Cibo in Hernando (Troy recommends the Nesbit) and both of us love the Newk's Q pizza from Newk’s in Southaven. 

Troy - Mis Pueblos, Olive Branch
Melody - Rancho Grande, Olive Branch
I recommend the rancho grande enchilada and cheese quesadillas.

Melody - I recommend the red curry with chicken. 
Troy - He recommends the drunken noodle with beef. 
We both love the Olive Branch sushi roll and the kaboom shrimp appetizer. Ask for Madeline as your server; she’s the absolute best.

Memphis BBQ, Southaven
We both recommend the Pitmaster Sampler with ANY of the meats. Their seasoning is delicious on everything. Our most frequent choice is ribs, turkey and chicken but we change it up. When we get an appetizer we usually do the sausage and cheese plate. 

Sear Shack, Olive Branch
We both recommend the angus cheeseburger and their Nutella milkshake is absolutely amazing. Their fries are incredible too. Their burger buns are made fresh and the pickles on their condiment bar are perfect. Get the Sear Sauce on your burger and some for your fries.

Melody - I love the Newk's Q sandwich from Newk's and you cannot go wrong with anything from Lenny's.
Troy - The Newk's Q sandwich will change your life. The pizza is good but the sandwich is amazing. The Italian sandwich is very good too but nothing touches the Newk's Q.

We recommend any of the iced lattes. 

Our Non Restaurant Favs

Dan Feret at Burleson’s Auto and Diesel Repair, Hernando

Brooke at Studio 139, Hernando 

Bailey Berry from Bai's Photography is so amazing and we highly recommend her! 

There are TONS of amazing churches in our county.  We absolutely LOVE CityChurch of Olive Branch. I'll save you a seat if you let me know you're coming!

I know we missed a bunch of categories that we hope to add next year. What are some of your favs?