Sunday, March 14, 2010

A New Normal

Tomorrow is one month. One month ago everything that we knew as normal was completely removed. All of our expectations for our normal family were changed forever. In just 12 days, we would be throwing her first birthday party. We'd be wondering how soon it would be that she'd start "cruising." And walking wouldn't be far after. It all changed one month ago.

A month into this I'm feeling numb. The initial shock has worn off. Most people around us have returned to their normal world; and we struggle to figure out what this new normal looks like.

There is so much that has changed in our day to day lives. One of the hardest things is how "easy" the day to day operation of the household is. Fewer diapers. No middle of the night bottle. Less food to prepare. No diaper bag to get ready when we go down the hill. Less laundry to do. A single stroller to push on walks. Less mess in the house. A quicker bath in the evening. Less work. It's easy. And I hate it.

I miss the 3am cries. I miss the diaper changes. I miss how long it took us to get out the door to go down the hill. I miss how complicated getting her dressed was compared to her brother. I miss it all, and would take it all back in a heart beat.

To those reading this with young children, please don't miss the amazing moments God gives you with your children. They may seem burdensome. They may seem repetitive. They may even seem counter-productive. But those are moments to treasure, and you never get them back.

So here we are in the new normal. We didn't choose it, but we must head down this path. In the new normal I find a desperate need for God each and every day. I cling to His new mercies every morning. In the new normal I treasure even the mundane moments with my son. In the new normal I value my Godly wife and her unswerving commitment. I am emptied of so much of who I was a month ago.

Our prayer for ourselves this day is that we don't miss a single thing God is doing in our hearts. We don't want to look back in three years and realize we're still the same people. We want this to have transformed us to the innermost parts in such a way that God would truly glorify Himself through us and our family.

We value your prayers and are so thankful for those in our lives that are sticking with us for the long haul. While a month may seem like a long time, to us it's just the beginning of a long and hard journey. April did a great job in her blog post today of identifying many elements of our grief, and I'd encourage you to read it to understand how you can help stick with us through this.

As an endnote, for those of you who have been praying for Peter, he is doing so much better physically. His cough is almost completely gone, as well as the cold that accompanied it. He continues to ask to see pictures of "Sissy" and obviously misses her. We're happy for this, since we prayed from the beginning that he and Elyse would have a very special relationship. We are blessed that he treasures her, and pray that he would always treasure her memories in his heart.


Jennifer Turner said...


I am so very grateful for you, your leadership, your strength, and your courage to share with all of us your trials, sufferings, and joy. I love you and your family and will continue to be in prayer. I'm always right down the hill if you guys need anything.


Shannon said...

Praying for you, April and Peter.

Unknown said...

Cliff, April's post today was so raw. I love it. I love the vulnerability, the dependence. That will not change. That is part of the journey that did not change for me. I remember that feeling of how easy it was to get out of the house and what I would do to wash Caleb's clothes again. It sucks. The journey is deep and full of grace. We are happy to talk whenever, or better yet, listen.

annamae said...

I needed to read this today. Been having a rough day with the kids, got them down for nap and quiet time and God sent me here. To remind me not to take it all for granted, to enjoy every bit of joy and every bit of annoyance because we don't know how much time we are given and even as they grow up they change so quickly. So thanks for the reminder, and as always, still praying.

Sara and Brad Auch said...

Hi there, my name is sara auch, i got the link for your blog from a friend of my family's church, i also attended Hume Lake for 7 years. Anyways, My husband and I just lost our 11 month old son 2 weeks ago, he got really sick and stopped breathing and later we found out that he died from an intestinal hernia. I read your most recent blog and it had me in tears...reading what i feel but coming from someone else, it was a suprise. I just wanted to give you our love and prayers and let you know how sorry we are for your loss and we know EXACTLY how you guys feel and there are no words to really say, except you are loved.