Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeling the Love

Lauren, Sabrina, and Ann Marie loving each other. Note the hand hold.

One of my greatest fears in those dark days in the hospital tending the lifeless body of my baby girl was the thought of going home. How could I go home without her there? How could I leave her? The two times I left the hospital to try to get some sleep I went to my sister's house. I just couldn't go home. 

Sunday, before we turned off the machines, my brother gave me a blessing. In it he quoted a scripture with which I was unfamiliar. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" 1 John 4: 18.  I felt a warm feeling of assurance come over me. Love was not something lacking in my heart or in my life or in my home. Love was like the air around me. It surrounded me and was keeping me alive breath by breath. 

I thought of my girls and how much love my girls and how much all of us loved Camille. And suddenly I was no longer afraid to go home. I knew as long as our home was filled with that love, Camille would always be there, in our home, in the love.

The past three months, I have stressed the need for our home to be filled with love. This is not always easy. Kids fight. They get tired and grumpy and they bicker. Sometimes even the big people get tired and grumpy  and bicker too. But there has definitely been more love in our home lately. 

I often find my girls being incredibly loving with each other. It brings me the joy I am seeking in my life. I found them all laying on each other in the photo above a couple weeks ago. I love the picture. I love those girls. And I love that they love each other. 

I know I have talked about this before but I think it is worth the repeat because it is so easy to lose sight of the need for love to fill our homes. Life so easily distracts us. Like the other day when Lauren was climbing up on me for the hundredth time while I was trying to type something. Frustrated and annoyed, I finally asked her, "Why are you doing this? Why do you always have to sit on me?"

Her simple response brought me back and reminded me about what is important. 

"Because I love you, Mama," she said. Love is really what it is all about.

25 comments:

Julie said...

Such a beautiful past. Thank you Stephanie. Thank you so much.

Julie
Sacramento

Heidi said...

Oh, I'm so glad you got a picture of that. It is so priceless. And that love is so special.

FishinFamily said...

I love that picture. :) I've been really trying so hard to take in all the 'special moments' at home because I realize how quickly they could be gone. Thank you for helping me become a more 'in the moment' mom rather than one who's just waiting for my husband to come home so I can go to the gym.

Rachel said...

I have one who's still in that stage of always being on your lap. I've never asked him why but I love Lauren's answer to your question. Sometimes as I hold him and kiss his head I look at his older sisters across the room who almost never climb on my lap anymore and I wonder where those years went. But they still always fight for the spot next to me on the couch when we're reading, so I guess I still have that mom magnetism. Thanks for reminding us to focus on the love, when we focus on it, we see and feel it more.

sarah s. said...

Beautiful Stephanie. Thank you.

Sue said...

You're posts are wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing them.

scrap chair potato said...

Oh, Stephanie, I needed that post right now. Thank you!
How could one not notice that hand hold? It was the first thing I noticed. :)

Stephanie said...

What a great moment to capture in a picture. I love it!! I am grateful for the reminder of how important love is in the home. Love is a powerful thing. Isn't it amazing how much we love our kids just because? It is a wonderful gift to have and feel so much love. I love Lauren's response to you. Kids can just snap you back into reality and what's truly important at that moment. If they just weren't so demanding about it all the time!

Brittany Osborn said...

That pic is awesome!

Megan D. said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely love it when my two (although only 2 and 6 mo.) get excited when the other comes into the room or laughs at something they do. Thanks for sharing!

The Pett Shop said...

I would love to hear from you in a future post about the little things you do to encourage all the love amid tantrums and crankiness! I think we can always use ideas from other people but you in particular seem to have a gift.

Jenessa said...

Nothing brings more joy to my heart than listening from a distance to the sound of my children loving each other. I sneak up and watch as long as I can without disturbing their little world and my heart swells and words can never explain the feeling that I have. I love reading about the joys and sorrows the highs and lows, the accomplishments and failures of other mothers. I think we can learn so much from each other through our sharing. I have learned so much from you and selfishly call you my friend. I hope you don't mind. Thank you again for being so real.

A Farmer's Wife said...

BEAUTIFUL post!!! I needed this today!!! My youngest is in the middle of the terrible twos!!! I am not enjoying this stage as much as I could and should be! Thank you!!!

The Pea said...

That is one priceless picture!
Our family was inspired by your blogs reminders of love. We had a great FHE all about it Monday. And by today I was feeling crazy frustrated again covered in scrambled eggs when I decided to take a time out and see what you had said today. "thank you so much for bringing me back"

Shanan said...

What a beautiful picture.

kaitie said...

Steph and jon, you guys just make me smile. Jon cracks me up with the fashion blog-I love it!!! Steph, thanks fot helping me remember what is most important. as I try to unpack boxes, I have two kids climbing all over me or wanting to be picked up. I remind myself to stop and take time for them. So, my house is still in boxes, but my babies are happy. I miss you guys,
Kaitie

Mandi said...

so true!! Thanks Stephanie..

Anonymous said...

You don't know me and I hate to be "one of those" people that just peeps in every now and then - but I just wanted to tell you I think the way your family is striving to have love in your home is amazing and a lesson we can all be encouraged by. Thank you for your courage in sharing.

P.S. That picture of your girls is precious. I hope you enlarge and frame that!

Lisa said...

I just love reading your blog. You are an inspiration to all! I can't begin to say how sorry I am for your lose. You are truely an angel and your little girl is one too. You are helping so many people understand the true meaning of what love and sacrife mean.

Boys and Beagles said...

I am one of those lurkers to your blog. I have been following your family's story from the first day of Camille's accident. I read your sister Lesli's blog and that is how I came to yours. I was in the 'old' 27th ward, but I am older than you and Lesli.

I have watched your process of grief and growth through your blog and admire your strength and perseverance.

Thank you for talking about love today - your girl's picture is priceless. As a Therapist Intern, I truly believe that love is the key to dealing with life's trauma and relationships - whether it be love of self, of spouse, of children - love is the great denominator in healing. But first and foremost, love of (and from) God needs to be recognized and kindled. Then love of self.

You are doing all of this and finding your own path. It has been a sacred experience reading along and watching the process.

Love to you and your family -

Janet Neville-Nordine

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I love the precious picture, and the sweet sentiment. You posted before about there is no fear in love. I have thought about it since the first time you posted about it, and realize I don't quite understand what that means. I fear several things, and losing one of my children is the main one. Does this mean I don't love them enough? Does it mean not to worry- there is a plan for all of us, so we don't need to fear? I'm sorry to ask these questions to you, but you seem to understand the concept, better than I.

Marleen said...

Psalms 8:2: Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Your post has strengthened me today. Thank you.

Mimi's Toes said...

I love this picture. I do feel the love coming from your site just by seeing the beautiful faces of your girls. How blessed you are.

Mommy Poulsen said...

What a beautiful picture of your girls! My daughter always wants to sit on my lap when I'm at my computer! Your post made me realize I need to stop and let her sit on my lap and love her! TFS!

Adam and Megan's Mom said...

I read this post after a really frustrating day with my almost three year old non-stop talker and my six month old teething baby. I finally got them both to bed, came on here to read blogs and your blog has me in tears. So many times today Adam wanted to sit on my lap and I was too busy with one thing or another. I feel like such a terrible mama right now! I just snuck into my sons room and sang I love you forever to him. He smile and told me I made his heart happy. THANK YOU once again for your wisdom.