Wednesday, March 28, 2012

big things...

Big things are happening in the Sharbaugh household this weekend.  Please keep us in your prayers with the Lord's clear, direct leading in our lives regarding "next steps."


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Learning through grief

excerpted from journal entry 3/2...

God has definitely been at work in my life and constantly teaching me things that I very much feel like I'm not ready to learn--but if I'm truly depending on God to bring glory to Himself through all this then I need to trust Him in His timing too.

So here's what I've been learning:
*John 9:3 man born blind so God could heal and be glorified in the healing. (Malachi not physically healed, maybe greater glory is God healing grieving parents.

*I am believing this lie: If I can't feel the pain, then I'm letting go of my baby.

*In believing the above lie, I am intentionally rejecting the healing God has designed for my life.

*The aforementioned pain hurts and it's awful and ridiculous, but it's familiar.

*I tend to fear the unknown--even if it is something good/positive.

*I am thankful that God has allowed me to see this connection without causing me to experience a crippling depression.

*It is prideful for me to keep this struggle to myself.  God showed me from the beginning that I needed to be transparent with all this.

*I am thankful for friends-far and away-willing to lend a listening ear, share an encouraging word, and just cry with me.

*God wants His best for me, and I'm settling for the pain as my "good."

*Two steps forward and one step back... still overall progress.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Man; Big Impact #17

I don' t know if I ever told you this but I remember the first day I met you and Malachi. You were sitting next to him, telling him you were sorry this was happening and that you wished you could make everything better. That always stuck with me because I could tell that you had completely bonded with your boy and were doing whatever you could to be there for him and make him more comfortable. I'm so sorry you've had to experience such heartache, it is amazing how much healing I have seen in you though and I have to agree with your friend on the little man, big impact report, you have shown me that if our worst fears come to pass there is still hope to be found.

--A fellow NICU mama we spent three months with.  So thankful for her friendship and encouragement in the trenches!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

splash of color

the walls on our main living spaces are dark... "dark granite" to be more specific.  there will eventually be some white woodwork to break up the darkness (chair rail, etc.), but until that time comes I went ahead and livened it up a little bit by painting our mirror blue and some of the frames on our gallery wall blue and yellow to go with the rest of the color scheme.  i'll get around to straightening/leveling all the frames... one day!

Little Man; Big Impact #16

It's been a while since I've had some of these written down to share, but it's not too late to encourage US with your story (and if you have and I've failed to post it, resend it to me, PLEASE!).  I'd really like to keep this going even though it's almost two years after his death...

From a conversation with a friend:
Chi's death marked a realization for me... I was always scared of a loved one dying, or me dying and leaving my children... but I saw how God cared for you and for him before and after, and I'm not afraid anymore... I know that God is in control.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

an infant's casket

This was prompted from a video lesson we were watching at Bible study on Friday morning and she mentioned the sight of the casket belonging to a dear friend's young child...

   On May 25th, 2010, I sat next to my husband who's arm was draped around me as we watched the heart monitor... slowing with each beat to the point where it no longer registered.  My arms cradled Malachi as he breathed his last breath.  I could almost feel the spirit leave his physical body. Lifeless... limp... cold... gone.

My heart ached.

A part of my very being was ripped away as the nurse removed him from my arms.

We left the room... our son was no longer there .

That was our encouragement to one another. Our son was now with Jesus. It was the encouragement we needed.  And it was the encouragement we gave to others as they saw our baby for the first time--lying in his casket. "He's not there."

I'm thankful God used that truth to speak peace to me... especially during the funeral when many were there who are not believers and hopefully that strength (clearly not our own) would testify to the reality of God in our lives.

I'm learning now that there is another side to it that I don't think I've full grieved over....  I loved Malachi's little body... I housed that body for nine months...  I gave birth to that body...  That little hand, I held that hand... I stroked his soft baby hair... I kissed that cheek...  I changed that diaper... I sat by that body day after day after day... That body was my son's.

And it's OKAY to miss his body and grieve the fact that I don't get to witness that body grow or hold that body... it's okay.

I am learning, though, that just as Malachi's body was loved by me, Christ's body was loved by His Father. God put his hand over the tomb where His Son lay, over Christ's cleft of the rock... Almost as if this Old Testament passage was a foreshadowing of the event following Christ's crucifixion...
     "And the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (Exodus 33:21, 22 ESV)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

John 9:3 The Greater Glory?

From an entry on 2/4...

When Malachi was alive, I clung to John 9:3 which states that a certain man was born blind so that the works of God would be displayed in him.  In this case, God revealed His glory in physically healing the blind man.

Obviously, with Malachi, God chose to NOT heal him physically.  So I was disappointed, let down, betrayed even.  I truly believed God would heal our baby or give us the necessary strength to care for him.  I was left dismayed, wondering, defeated.

Then it was as if the Holy Spirit was speaking to me directly:
What if the GREATER glory is the healing of Malachi's parents?!?!

I have been very challenged with this revelation.  Sitting around and wallowing in what God didn't do is clearly not bringing Him the glory that He deserves.  Instead, I am called to live a life of brokenness--embracing it with all humility.  My desire is for complete healing in this life, but if I can better serve my Savior in grief and sorrow and find joy in that place, then I pray for changed desires.

God could have healed my baby in a heartbeat.  
But I think He's got something greater in store...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

food police

Emma noticed there were quite a few candies missing from our candy dish.  She asked John, "Did you have any?"

"Well, I had a few..."

"Well, how many?"

"Well, I just... I had a few..."

Very sternly, she replied, "No.  Tell me a number."

Friday, March 16, 2012

trust, peace... testify

excerpted from my "spiritual lessons" journal...

January 30, 2012

One of the verses I often go back to when my mind takes me to dark places where it's sinful to be is Philippians 4:8:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

For whatever reason, I had never connected 4:8 with the verse immediately before it, 4:7:
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

This peace described in verse 7 is exactly what we were privileged to experience while in the hospital with Malachi--a peace that guarded both our hearts and minds...

So then I started looking at some more of that chapter and found in 4:9:
"What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

We were blessed to experience first-hand this peace during very trying times. We know it exists because we have felt it.  Now we are charged to give testimony to it because we have received it.

Not only can we testify to the peace we had during that time, but God says if we continue in right thinking, He will give us that same peace again!

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts You."
Isaiah 26:3

Thursday, March 15, 2012

pondering these things

Where to begin…
God has most certainly been at work in my life.  Day by day my heart and my soul are being renewed.  With renewal, with growth...there’s pain.  I’m learning that in my pain, that’s where I see God most clearly.  My prayer is to truly be able to see my brokenness as the gift that it actually is.

So be patient with me.  I want to be “real” through this journey.  I want to continue the transparency I felt convicted to uphold during Malachi’s life, yet I fear I have failed to hold myself to that same standard in his death and in our loss. But in order to succeed in this, I need to be “okay” with my posts not being perfect.  They might be inconsistent or incoherent, but I need to be digesting these lessons. 

I wish I had a better record of the “darker days” following Malachi’s death—to be able to look back and see where I was and even be able to comfort another in their dark times.  But I can’t go back, and frankly I don’t want to go back.  There is a reason I don’t have a written record, and I need to be okay with that.  Because I am God’s, I can rest in the fact that all things will be used for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29) and that God will make, everything, including myself, beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  For now, I’ll settle for growth.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The word is Kleenex

I needed to blow my nose. But don't worry, I ran over and got a "blow-my-nose" paper and took care of it myself.


While emma was looking over johns shoulder during a remote control car game...

Dad: Emma, I really just don't have any...
Emma: ...idea what you're doing?

Sent from my iPod

kiddo pics

This past weekend, I was blessed to be able to help out some friends who are raising money for their adoption fund.   They own a pretty sweet photography business here in Indianapolis.  So let's face it, I was definitely on the receiving end of this deal!

Jackson was not about to be his usual cheery self, but rather intent on practicing his "serious look"

my beautiful first-born!

and the baby... so studly!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Promotional Giveaway!

Two entries allowed per person.
     *FB entry: "like" and leave a comment on the recklessly inspired wall.
     *Blog entry:  leave a direct link to your blog in the comments section
on the giveaway post here or at!

Winning entry will receive a custom designed piece of jewelry, value $15.

Winner will be announced March 17, 2012... Good luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

vote of confidence

After telling Emma I'd let her watch a show when she got done eating her breakfast, she replied: Thanks Mom! You're the best mom ever!...of ours.

Awesome.  Way to keep my ego in check this morning, daughter!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lyrics for a good wife

From enchanted:

Together: How does she know that you love her?

Emma next line: how do you know she declutters?

relearning hope.

“Secular optimists are wishful thinkers…  Sometimes they capitalize on optimism by becoming rich and famous, but then what happens?  They eventually get old or sick, and when they die they go to Hell forever.  Their optimism is an illusion, for it fails to take eternity into account.

The only proper foundation for optimism is the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.  Any other foundation is sand, not rock.  It will not bear the weight of our eternity.  However, if we build our lives on the redemptive work of Christ, we should all be optimists.

Why?  Because even our most painful experience in life is but a temporary setback.  Our pain and suffering may or may not be relieved in this life, but they will certainly be relieved in the next…  No Christian should be a pessimist.”  Randy Alcorn, Heaven.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Do YOU have a Heart for Spain?

Meet Andy and Lindsey Messmer.  They are good friends of ours who have a God-given passion, desire, and burden for the people of Spain.  They are currently at 78% of their support-raising, but must be at 85% by March 12 in order to be on their way to Spain by the end of 2012.  This is a CRUCIAL benchmark!

Prayerfully consider committing to a monthly support to get these two to Spain!  

From their most recent prayer letter...

... Please continue to pray for us, and if the Lord is burdening you for Spain, please partner with us financially to reach Spain.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

January 2012--Happy New Year

A new year, a new haircut...

a belated birthday present... Disney on Ice.  
some quotes from the night posted here.

when we stopped at dunkin' donuts for hot chocolate and a latte to pass the time before the show, the lady who made our drinks gave Emma a little Rapunzel figurine...

crazy bed head

"will work for food"

Super Bowl in Indy!

how John (and most of Indianapolis) feel about Tom Brady.

50 degrees in JANUARY!  
She found Frosty's nose.

exploring the backyard.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

December 2011--part 2

and to finish out the year...

sibling play time.. this first one cracks. me. up.

kissy face

 reading intently

opening Christmas gifts.

some down time with Grandma Kathy.

checking out the lights downtown

pretending to lick the candy cane pole

being silly

waiting for Papa Sharbaugh to read the Christmas account.

the girls waiting... they're growing up!!

she will always be my baby!

lights downtown with Uncle Bud, too!

catching snowflakes while Daddy builds the snowman...

one of my new favorite pictures... oh, emma--we love you!

school days

emma just turned her worksheet over and said (with way too much enthusiasm)... 

"wow, this one looks like a fun one! it's the letter R!"