Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thatcher Caleb Memorial Pt. II ... (6/26)

We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who was able to attend Thatcher's memorial service, everyone who wrote on a card how Thatcher had impacted their lives, everyone who has donated to the Thatcher Caleb Memorial, and everyone who has prayed for Thatcher and continues to pray for us.  We appreciate it more than you know, and more than our words can express.  Below is the slideshow that was played during the service.  (it's about 10 minutes long)

We have found encouragement in the words that were written on the scrap book paper, here are a few of the many that blessed our hearts:

"Thatcher changed the way I pray... All glory to our loving, sweet, faithful Jesus"
"It's so hard to find the right words to express the impact your son, Thatcher Caleb, has had on me and my family.  Even through I never had the privilege to meet your precious angel, he has changed the way I think, pray and praise our lord!  During the past 3 months I have found that I pray harder and turn to God much more quickly than before.  How it it that an infant, an angel of God, has had such a perfect impact?  It is because God is perfect and that is what I saw in baby Thatcher... perfection"
"God used His servant, Thatcher, in so many incredible ways.
    - to unite a community in prayer and compassion
    - to encourage my girls to use their gifts to bless others
    - to soften our hearts for the 'least of these'
    - to fight diligently for the things of the Lord
    - to urge and mommy and daddy to seize every moment
    - to hope in the Lord always
    - to loosen our grip of earthly things, when the Lord calls us home" 
"(from a 6 yr. old)  I think Thatcher is sweet.  I prayed for him a lot.  I love him."
"Thatcher has showed me how precious life truly is.  No matter how many days we are here on this human earth, we are capable of impacting millions.  We can move mountains.  He brought believers in Christ closer to God, and he has brought non-believers to their knees..."

Believe us, the list goes on and on, and don't get us wrong, this is not about what Thatcher did, this is about what God was able to do through our precious son.  As the first one here says (and so many others) all glory to our God.

As parents, however, we have certainly found encouragement and hope in your notes as we can tangibly see the impact that God used Thatcher to make on this world.  We'd love to hear from those who were not able to be there, it is truly incredible to see how God was able to use Thatcher's life to bring glory to God.  We would love to hear specific stories of when God used Thatcher's life in your life.  To be able to see exactly how God moved in a situation, or how God orchestrated a situation in which Thatcher's life and his story became a jumping point of talking about God's grace, or God's goodness, that's what we would love to hear about, that's what we as a church need to be observant of.  We need to seek God's hand in everything, we need to seek His face, and attribute to Him the praise He deserves for what He is doing among us and in our lives.

With that said, we wanted to let everyone know that we are working on the Thatcher Caleb Memorial, we are trying to understand all the in's and out's that it entails in terms of paperwork and documentation and all that jazz, but more than that we are seeking God's will in terms of what our mission and goal will be, and how we go about achieving that.  Please be patient with us as we seek God's will for the Thatcher Caleb Memorial, and please pray for us that we would be good stewards, and that we would be wise, and that we would honor God.  And thank you so much to everyone who has donated!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thatcher's Memorial Service

We will be holding a memorial service in honor of Thatcher Caleb Paul:

Wednesday, June 13th
11:00 am
Crossroads Baptist Church
5000 College Park Drive - The Woodlands, TX 77384

This service is open to all who wish to celebrate Thatcher's life with us.  Please do not feel the need to wear black.  Yes, we are beyond saddened and hurting that our baby boy is no longer in our arms, but we are choosing to celebrate the 2 months and 29 days we got to spend with Thatcher, for each and every one of those days was a miracle.  We are also celebrating that our prayers have been answered, of course not in the way we would have chosen, BUT our sweet baby is forever healed, no more pain will he feel... ever again.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thatcher Caleb Memorial.   Thank you all again for your prayers, love, encouragement, and support.

The service will be followed by a small private graveside service.

(The Thatcher Caleb Memorial is in the process of being developed into a charity, but as we are in the early stages it is not a fully tax deductible organization, but simply an account set up in his name.  Once this process is completed, and the foundation is approved, the money will be used in Thatcher Caleb's name to continue to bring God glory by helping people in similar situations)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our hope... (6/9)

Some of you may know, others may not.  Thatcher made the long ambulance ride home with us last Thursday (a little over a week ago now).  We spent 8 beautiful days together as a family in our home, and last night at 9:12 pm Thatcher Caleb went to his real home.  Jesus is holding him now, with his older brother or sister.  He has finally gotten to meet Caleb, the man he was named after and who we read to him about every night.  We know that he is singing God's praises loud, and is in no more pain.  He will never have another seizure, and never struggle to breathe ever again.  Our sweet baby boy is home with his Father, and is being held and loved better than we ever could here.  We are so thankful for the time that we got to spend with him, and we are so thankful that we got to spend the last week here at home with him.  Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.  There will be a memorial service to celebrate Thatcher's life some time this week, we will post more information as we figure it out.  Thank you all for your love and encouragement but as we are still incredibly overwhelmed we'd like to limit visitors to just our families.

Father, thank you for blessing us with a child as amazing as Thatcher, and though we don't get it, and we're mad and angry, and sad and hurt and we don't understand how this is for our good or for your glory, we still trust you.  Our hope is still in You, and we will still praise you, for the 2 months and 29 days that we got to spend with Your child and servant.  God, please be gentle with us, please give us comfort that surpasses understanding, please hold Thatcher tight and let him know that we love him so much, and we miss him more than life itself.  Please kiss him for us, please squeeze his hand, please brush his hair and put him in some really great heavenly robes, and he really likes physical therapy, though he doesn't need it anymore and You already knew that.  God please be near, and hold us too... we need you, we miss him, we want to be close to him, we want to worry about alarms going off, we want to worry that he is breathing, we want him here to care for him, we want him here to love on him, we want him here to sing over, and pray over, and read to...

What's a mommy to do? ... (6/9)

     When a girl finds out she's going to be a mommy her world begins to change.  Some changes happen in an instant, some happen slowly over time.  When I found out you were in my tummy my love for you come in an instant and my presence changed too.  People were left wondering why there was a new twinkle in my eye, and a new bounce to my step, as if I was carrying around a wonderful secret.  I was, you! Slowly, they began to tell what was different.  My body began to change.  You changed my tummy, my hips, the size of my feet and fingers, even the size of my nose!  But other changes occurred as well.  You became more important than me in an instant so I changed the way I ate, moved, even the way I slept.  Celebrity gossip, sitcoms, and the news no longer mattered, but rather the the latest findings on immunizations, consumer reports on car seats, and how to learn your cries became my choice of late night entertainment.  When I found out you were sick, God showed me what the term "momma bear" really means, and how it's okay to say no to the world's mentality of convenience and selfishness, and yes to fighting for life no matter how it looks, to speaking for you no matter who or what I was up against because you needed me to, you depended on me to.  The night you were born my love for you exploded in an instant.  Over the next few months I learned you.  I learned I could be so in tune with another being I knew what was wrong by a single grunt.  I knew something had happened by the way my heart fluttered and tummy ached when I wasn't even in the same room as you.  You taught me that simply watching you or making sure you were you were handled with care, your meds were on time, you were fed at an angle, and not touched for at least 20 minutes afterwards, you weren't positioned in a way you disliked, not too much noise was surrounding you, and you were not ignored when you showed you needed help were more important than food, showering, dressing even sleeping.  My need to do things for you came in an instant.  The process of learning the best thing I could do is pray took a long time and no other baby could have made me pray as passionately or desperately or allowed me to feel God's peace the way you did.  My love for you has grown and changed who I am. 
     A baby changes a girl into a mommy some times quickly, some times slowly, some ways gracefully, some ways it's rough.  Baby boy, you have changed me to my very core ... but now you are gone and what's a mommy to do?  You took 12 months to teach me how to be a mommy but then you left me in an instant.  What's a mommy to do?  I still carry around a secret, a different secret now, the precious memory of you.  My body will be forever changed, no longer the youthful tightness, rather the markings of endurance only a mommy experiences.  But a mommy body without a baby in her arms feels so wrong.  What's a mommy to do?  You changed the way I slept, ate and moved but now you are gone.  I have all the time to sleep, there's no reason to stop and think about what I eat, and coffee is no longer something for me to dream about.  But my body requires less sleep, and doesn't like coffee or junk food now.  What's a mommy to do?  Now that you're gone no one is going to ask me how long breastmilk can sit out, or what's the best way to soothe an overstimulated baby.  Now I have this wealth of knowledge I can't use.  What's a mommy to do?  The need for this new strength you gave me to fight for you left with you.  A momma bear spirit with no baby cub manifests itself as a cranky, old grizzly.  That's not the way I want to come across, it's just that you're gone now and I don't know what to do with this passion and left over fierceness.  What's a mommy to do?  I have this constant ache in my tummy and flutter in my heart, but now you're gone and I have no one to check on.  What's a mommy to do?  For three months, I spent every waking hour by your side making sure you were okay.  Now you're gone and the hours painfully inch by.  What's a mommy to do?  You taught me the importance of quiet and stillness but without your "accessories" going off, it's too quiet.  When people get loud I have this need to tell them to quiet down but you're not here for them to be queit for.  What's a mommy to do?  You became the center of my world.  You became the forefront of my every action, thought, intention.  You changed me, I am no longer just a girl.  You made me a mommy in every definition of the word, but now you are gone and I am left forever changed.  A childless mother, it just feels awkward and so wrong.  I can never go back to who I was and I am so thankful to you for that  You have forever changed me, my baby boy, but now you have left me . . . 
What's a mommy to do?