Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Post

I was chatting with a friend the other day about some of the little stresses of life we were both experiencing.  We actually both lost our dads on September 20th, just a year apart.  As we cried together about missing our dads, I started to say that this season we're in is hard, but I stopped myself.  For Tim and I, "this season" has seemed quite long, so my conclusion became that life is hard.  It seems to get harder the older I get.  I know the Christmas season can be very difficult for many people for many reasons and now I am one of them.  Christmas means family and family means a reminder that Dad is gone.

So I am thankful like never before that I serve a loving Heavenly Father who sent a sacrificial Son that I might know Him.  God was separated from His Son, just like I am separated from my dad.  But only for a time.  Just like me and my dad.  And my God can handle my raw emotions this Christmas.  The anger, the sadness, the frustration, the despondency, the numbness.  He can handle all of it.  And I believe He welcomes it when I appropriately direct it to Him so that He can heal it and bring restoration to my broken heart.  I don't really feel like celebrating Christmas this year.  I don't care about presents or even being with people I love.  (Except of course for my amazing husband and precious boys)  Sorry, just being honest.  Right now, I am sad and kind of a bah-humbug.  But I DO feel like celebrating Christ.  I wanna sing hymn after hymn after hymn about the birth of my Jesus, because He is the reason that I know I will be joyful again.

Even though Dad should be with us, God is good.
Even though we grieve, God is good.
Even though my heart is broken, God is good.
Even though...God is good.

Merry Christmas - HE is worth celebrating.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Good Medicine

I saw this on a friend's blog (which her husband found on John  Eldredge's blog) and wanted to share it.  I needed to hear this in this season of grief.

Loving Jesus in the Pain
This has been a tough year for me. A year with a lot of suffering.
Both Stasi and I have been through a lot of physical affliction. There were accidents. Betrayals. My father died this year. On top of this, my friends have been suffering. A year with a lot of pain in it.
And there is nothing like suffering to wreak havoc in your relationship with God. The damage pain does to our relationship with Jesus is often far, far worse than the pain itself.
Every time I turned to Jesus in the midst of one episode of heartache then another, every single time I turned to him, the first thing he would say was, "Love me." At first it surprised me - aren't you supposed to say You love me? I'm the one who's hurting here. But somehow, instinctively, I knew what he meant, knew what he was after. "Love me now, in this - not for this, but in this." And those words have been a rescue.
Here's why: Pain causes us to pull away from God. At the very moment we need him most, we pull back. Our soul withdraws, like a snail into its shell. Then you not only have the heartache, you have "lost" God for awhile too. Desolation on top of suffering. Sometimes it takes months, even years to recover the relationship. Jesus was rescuing me from that cycle by telling me to love him now, right in the midst of the pain.
On a soul level, when I love God in this place, it opens my heart and soul back up to him right where I need him most, right in the center of the pain. Too often what we cry out for is understanding - "why, God?" But I've learned over the years that when you are in the midst of the suffering, you don't often get understanding, and frankly, you don't need understanding - you need God.
And so dear friends I wanted to pass this along to you, for it has been a great help to me. Love Jesus, right there, right in the midst of the pain. Just start telling him you love him, right where you are hurting. For as you do, it enables your heart to open back up to him, it enables him to come to you in this very place. And it is Jesus that we need. Desperately.
Posted by John Eldredge 11/05/2011

Good words for my weary, aching heart.  I pray that I can find the strength to love Him in the midst of this season. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The last few months have been tough, but this picture shows why Heidi and I are thankful this year:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's been a month now.

It has now been over a month since my father in law passed away. I still cannot believe that he is gone. It still seems like I should be able to call him to talk about theology, football, politics, or home improvement. There have been many times when I wanted to talk to him about something and the sadness hits. Amazingly, Jackson seems to understand that his Papa is gone. When we ask him where he went, Jackson says that Papa is in Heaven with Jesus and God. He really loved Don and must miss him as much as the rest of us.

The Memorial Service for Don was beautiful. Heidi, her brother, a friend of Don's, and I spoke during the ceremony. Living Word Christian Center did an incredible job of taking care of the family and keeping things running as smoothly as possible. After the service ended and family went back to Iowa and Nebraska, we had to settle into life without Don. I have never lost anyone this close to me before and there is no way to be ready for it. Heidi, her mom and her brother are doing about as well as can be expected.

I always felt that I had hit the father in law jackpot with Don. He and I got along well and since my own father lives about 1,000 miles away, Don always took it upon himself to be another father to me. His natural response to people was to father them. Never in an overbearing way, either. He had a huge servant's heart toward Heidi and Dan and they always appreciated that. He will be greatly missed and we are struggling to figure out how to live without him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


My precious father went home to Glory yesterday morning.  I am completely numb, but hanging in there.  Everyone seems to be doing ok all things considered.  God is ministering His peace to us through this process and we trust Him completely.  We prayed for healing until the very end and rejoice knowing that Dad is experiencing that now in the presence of his Redeemer.

A wake will be held Thursday evening, September 22 from 6-9 at the First Memorial Funeral Chapel, 7835 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN.  The memorial service will be held at Living Word Christian Center, 9201 75th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN on Friday, September 23 at 11 am, lunch following.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Family Update

These days, Tim and I are mostly just trying to keep our heads above water between working on the duplex, visiting Dad as often as possible, and keeping up with the kiddos.  Two words:  stress FULL.  God is gracious though and occasionally, we are almost successful in sneaking in an adult conversation as well!  We even went on a date for the 1st time last weekend.  Mom braved all 3 kids at once, at bedtime and everything!  It was really nice to get away, although I think we were a little too tired to really enjoy it.  
Here is what I recently posted on my dad's caring bridge site:
A Daughter's Perspective
This is Heidi, I hacked into mom's account :)  I know Mom just posted, but in between diapers and mac and cheese, I have a quick moment and thought I would post a little message.

First off, special thanks to everyone who has visited my dad, left little notes in the guestbook and has been praying.  Keep it up, what an encouragement you are!  This type of situation can be so isolating and lonely, and we really appreciate your friendship and support.  More than you can know.

This is been such a challenging season, to say the least.  But in the midst of it all, we have felt God's nearness to us every step of the way. As you can imagine, it is truly heartbreaking to see my father in this state of pain and weariness.  Sometimes, Tim and I feel that our hearts might just burst.  But we are able to rejoice that my dad is a man of great faith, who put his trust in Jesus long ago.  He has been such a profound example for us of standing in faith for more; more of what God has to offer us if we would but ask and believe.

So I want to say thanks to my mom and dad.  Thank you both for being such incredible examples of faithfulness to us.  You have been a mother and a father to my husband and such amazing grandparents to our boys.   Some day, far from now, you will leave us a legacy of faith that will be passed down generation after generation.  Until then, we will stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, in faith for God to move miraculously.  It is never too late for Heaven to touch earth, so we wait in faith. 

Well, the twins are crying, so I gotta jet!

That about sums it up for now.

Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure.

 my three boys :)
 Jackson and I enjoying our morning coffee and biscotti
my beloved dad with his mom a few years back

thanks for reading and thanks for praying,

Friday, August 12, 2011

A great week

For a couple months now, I have been hosting a small prayer gathering once a week where we pray for life and for healing for 3 people:  my dad, a friend of ours, and the unborn baby of a friend's sister.  When both my dad and our friend, also a mother of three small boys, were diagnosed with "terminal" stage 4 cancer and we heard of this little child with terminal Potter's Syndrome (basically, no kidneys) all in the same week, it seemed clear that I needed to do something, anything, to help.  It was time to rally the troops in whatever way I could.

Given the busy stage of life we are in, I knew that about all I could commit to is hosting prayer.  With one of the twins in tow, of course!  I also knew that if no one came over to pray with me, I probably wasn't go to be able to truly enter into some serious intercession of my own.  Sad, but true these days.  So, Wednesday night it was.

The group varies a lot, often it's just 2 of us, but God always shows up in a BIG way each time and I have been deeply encouraged to continue to stand in faith for my father's healing.  Having a "terminally" ill parent is very emotionally stressful, as you can imagine, and strength often escapes me.  This prayer time has also been a wonderful source of encouraging and prophetic words that we can pass along to my dad, our friend and our friend's sister.  Our desire is to stand with them in these battles and be strength for them when they grow weary.

Well, it gives me tremendous joy to share with you that baby boy Caleb (not his real name) has kidneys.  Two perfect kidneys.  No joke.  There was no sign of blood vessels even going to that part of his body, no amniotic fluid was being producing, so his lungs weren't developing, etc, etc, etc.  Well, now he has 2 kidneys, her womb is full of amniotic fluid, which he's breathing, and his sweet little heart is pumping blood to his aforementioned miraculously perfect kidneys.  Can I get a "praise GOD?!?!?!?!?!"  Wow.  After an whole day with countless experts, they decided that this is an official medical miracle.  Praise God.  More appointments show that he won't even need surgery or medication for his lungs and heart.  Wow.  God is awesome!

Please share this story and please join us in praying for more miracles.  God is at work.  Spread the word.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on twins

My friends, Jeff and Jaime McQuaid just had twins, a boy and a girl, a few days ago. In honor of their new venture into parenting multiples, I decided to give them some thoughts on twins. Obviously everybody is different, especially every child, but hopefully there are helpful ideas here.
  • ·         It gets old when everyone treats you like a freak show. Complete strangers will want to talk to you, usually when you are in a hurry or incredibly tired. Yes, they are twins. No, you cannot touch them.
  • ·         Heidi wakes the other twin to feed him once the first one is done feeding. This is especially true at night. We feel bad waking them up but she also does not want to just keep waking up all night. Eventually they fall into some kind of rhythm and Heidi gets more rest.
  • ·         Some people cannot stand that someone might be busier than them. When we tell people that having infant twins and a toddler is unbelievable busy, those people launch into a monologue about why they are busier than you. One lady said that her kids were born 13 months apart, so it was just like having twins. (No, it is most certainly not.) Another woman told us that she is a teacher and that is way busier than being a parent to twins. (Again, no. You get paid to be a teacher and don’t have to feed your students in the middle of the night.) We never want to complain about this incredible gift God gave us. These boys keep us really, really busy.
  • ·         We were fortunate that our twins made it to full term and were born unusually large so that plays a large part but we were still pleasantly surprised by how well they sleep at night. I am confident that consistency plays a large part in that. We put them down at almost the exact same every night and they have been sleeping through the night since they reached three months old. We are no experts on baby sleeping but that seems to work for us. It pretty much kills any social life, but that will change eventually.
  • ·         We have come to accept that there is often one crying child in our house. If Heidi is home alone, which she often is as a stay at home Mom, there is one of her with two infants and a toddler. When I am home, we are still outnumbered. The zone defense can only do so much. If I am playing with Jackson, and a twin starts to cry, then I have to decide if I will let the twin cry or stop playing with Jackson, which makes him sad. Naturally that only happens when Heidi is already feeding one twin.
  • ·         There are many opinions on this, but we kept the twins in the same crib at night until they reached three months. Now their cribs are right next to each other, and, I cannot prove this scientifically, but I think they sleep better right next to each other.
  • ·         Going anywhere is really tough. Beside everyone staring at us, there are so many babies and so much gear, that it is hardly worth leaving the house. With a few exceptions, if we see people, we have them come to us. Restaurants are totally not worth the effort.
  • ·         If someone offered us help, we almost always took it. Many meals came our way because we would not turn down anything. We did not cook a single meal for over three months after the twins were born.
  • ·         Twins were hard on me because I got up in the middle of the night to help Heidi feed them for three months.  Twice a week Heidi’s mom would stay overnight and take the middle of the night feeding but the rest of the time I was up with her. I was like a zombie at work for the few months but somehow, with a lot of caffeine, I made it.

We are so blessed and love these boys so much. While we are busy and tired, we would not trade our lives with anyone. Jeff and Jaime, you will be great parents. Enjoy this time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gird your loins, people.

Revelation 12:11 says "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."


I have been thinking on this verse ever since the Lord gave it to me during church a few weeks ago.  It has encouraged and reminded me.  I find I need a lot of encouragement (and reminders) these days.  Not solely b/c twins (and a toddler!) are an indescribably insane amount of non-stop work, but primarily b/c of the emotional heaviness of having a loved one battling terminal cancer.  My beloved father is fighting stage 4 prostate cancer.

In a season where I don' t have a lot of time to study the Word, this verse reminds me of the treasure of God's promises.  It encourages me to remember His faithfulness and focus on what He has done and what more He wants to do.  Many believe He is able, I also believe He is willing.

When I find that I am succumbing to the overwhelming waves of discouragement I feel, I am reminded that my emotions do not control me.  In reality, I can command them to "praise the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me."

Sometimes this feels like a season of so unending questions:  Why does this cancer have to coincide with the time in my life where I have never been busier?  I want to help.  Why are there so many needs when I have so little time to pray?  I want to intercede.  Why does it seem that just when things are calming down, another giant storm hits?  I am getting used to bad news.  Why is the man who taught me to believe for healing being hit so hard with sickness?  Hm, I think I know the answer to that one.

This verse reminds what God has said as I come to Him with my discouragement:  Gird your loins (which means get ready to run), rally the troops, fasten your seatbelt, prepare for the battle, when grief is overwhelming, buck up, Beloved, and know that I AM GOD.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Warning: Cute pictures ahead

We have had an eventful month since we last posted. A few weeks ago, a tornado ripped up North Minneapolis about a mile or so south of our house. Heidi was home with the twins and I was at church with Jackson for meeting. Our neighborhood was untouched but it was scary. 

The twins have been sleeping through the night! It has been amazing. They suddenly became champion sleepers at 3 months. We have a new lease on life.

We are still crazy busy but are settling into some kind of normalcy. Those little boys are wonderful but they are a lot of work. Still, we thank God every day for them.
Tummy time!

The Chase boys.

Baby Theodore aka T-Bone

Jackson got all dressed up for Easter Sunday.

Beckett smiles all the time but especially in the morning.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Twinfant survival tips

Tim and I are definitely still in survival mode with these boys.
As we are making our way through each day, we figure out what works and what doesn't.  

Here is my first installation of survival tips with twins:

--  Only eat when you are also doing something else, like cleaning up the kitchen or nursing.
--  If not nursing, don't stop moving.  Ever.  
--  Veggies Tales, LOTS of them.
--  Buy a cute hat for the many days you will want to cover up your greasy hair.  
--  Before you have twins, make sure you get an awesome husband like I did.


hands in pockets! 

only T-Bone is excited about being 2 months old i guess

Thursday, April 14, 2011

my scattered thoughts on twinage

 sleeping princes, their first week home

 family of 5 at Costco.  we are officially now "that family."  you know the one, 2 carts, 3 kids, lots of diapers, always in the way.  yep, that's us :)

 "T-bone" and "B-bop" in their sweet handmade outfits complements of Sierra and Sumer.  
Yoga pants for babies!

 Daddy and little Theo

 I don't think my back can take the full load, but I was impressed with myself that I got them both 
in the Moby by myself.

 4 of our 5 birthdays are now in March so we celebrated with a little fondue a few weeks ago.

Right after Jackson was born, Tim and I celebrated 4 years of marriage at the Melting Pot.  Time flies!

It was Jackson's first experience with the delight of melted chocolate 

one month old!

twinage update
The twins are 6 weeks old and things have been going better than we expected.  the past couple weeks have been a little harder, however, and we are feeling pretty worn out.  I don't know if you know this, but twins are a lot of work!  Well worth it, but a lot of work.

Here are a few of my reflections this week:
+  I am so thankful for friends who bring over meals.  (SO thankful)  (SO THANKFUL!!!)
+  Sometimes I feel like I will never sleep again, but I know I will...eventually.
+  Showers are a luxury.
+  I miss my husband.  I see him all the time, but I miss actually getting to talk to him about anything other than time-outs, poo, and bottle parts.
+  I truly appreciate those who have come to our rescue to help us make this transition to a family of 5.
+  Sometimes medication helps more than you know :)
+  There is nothing like having twins to remind you of your frailty.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

How we are doing.

Baby Beck
Our boys.
The boys are a month old, so how are we doing? Aside from being more tired that I though possible, pretty good. I did not know just how busy it would be to have twin infants and a toddler but it's crazy busy. There is no time for anything other than taking care of the boys. We change diapers, feed them, try to clean the house, and go to bed as soon as possible, only to do it all again the next day. People have helped us and without that help, we'd be going a little nuts. Heidi's Mom has been spending two nights a week at our house so I can sleep while she takes the overnight feeding. Both of my sisters have spent time helping out, and many other friends have been bringing meals or coming to hold babies or amuse Jackson. We are so grateful to everyone for their help. These boys are a blessing and we thank God for giving them to us.

Baby Teddy

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

So, I am two days late on this post. Heidi's birthday was on Sunday but I was just too busy to write something. I had no idea how busy we would be with twin infants and a two year old but it's pretty darn busy. Anyway, I am so blessed to be married to the attractive, wise, and funny Heidi Chase. She is a fantastic Mom as well. I love you, baby.

Here are some more pictures of the kids.

Eliah Showers was one of the first to meet the boys.

Jackson is not normally this happy at bedtime.

Theodore sleeping. He does that a lot.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

first professional pictures

At the hospital, they come by and take some pics of the babies when they are 1 day old and then they offer to sell them to you at ridiculous prices.  I figured, sure take the pics, but there's no way I am buying them at those crazy prices.  Well.....she got some pretty cute ones, so I did end up breaking my "budget rules" and Ie ended up buying a couple.

 Beckett's on top, hugging Theodore :)

Beckett and Theodore

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More pictures!

The proud big brother.

Theodore needed to be warmed up.
Our friend Sierra made these shirts. What's the good of having twins if you don't dress them alike?
Just an hour or so old.