Friday, November 18, 2011

And all God's people say...

Most of you have already heard the news about my grandfather, so this post is to piggyback off of my status yesterday...

After her time with Papa yesterday, my mom did not tell my grandmother that Papa had received Christ... Instead, asked the Lord for one more, itsy, bitsy favor. "Please give me confirmation through someone else." this morning, my mom went upstairs, having decided to tell Booch. Papa was asleep on the couch. She leaned down, gave Booch a hug and said, "I have something to tell you...." with tears running down her face, Booch said, "I already know. Dad didn't take long after I got home last night to tell me he had received Christ." All my life, I prayed for this day, but it wasn't until I got older that I learned to pray WITH FAITH, as opposed to with doubt, because I honestly never believed this day would come. But over the past 6 months, so much has changed, and besides just praying with faith, I prayed with confidence. Knowing it could happen. Expecting it to happen...and it did. On November 17th, 2011, at approximately 3:15 on the afternoon, Michael DeMarco Jr., received the free gift of salvation, and his name is now forever written in the Lambs Book of Life.

"...for what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?..."

Guess we don't need to ask that question of him anymore...Big Papa has it all!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cash Michael

Many of you have heard the story behind how Cash got his name. Many of you have not. So that's what this blog is about...

Cash Michael DeMarco Liscom. Born on Sunday, October 5, 2008. 6 lbs. 1 oz. 18 inches long. Seems like a lifetime ago, yet I'm also sure it was only yesterday! This Wednesday, we will celebrate his 3rd birthday. He has requested "ice cweam. cake. and pwesents." So that's what we will do. The past three years, watching him grow into the sweet, laid back, blonde haired, blue eyed little boy he is, has been a privilege and blessing. Times of frustration are far out weighed by the times of joy and laughter he brings. I love my little Weezie!

During the early part of my pregnancy with Cash, Ryan and I had both agreed that we liked the name 'Brennan.' (It was the last of the names I stillliked from when I was young and flowed enough with Liscom.) Then came month 6. Ryan and I were in our living room. He on the couch. Me on the love seat. I looked over at him and said, 'So we're good with Brennan?" He paused and said, "Eh, it's not my favorite." (me:) "Uh, what??" (Ryan:) "Like, I wouldn't want my kid named that." Ok, so what to do? A few weeks later was my birthday. Ryan got me a baby name book. and just as we so recently did with Colt, with pages upon pages of names, we still couldn't agree on any. I really liked Levi. Ryan did not. One day, while talking to my mother in law on the phone, I said that I had absolutely no idea what to name the baby. She said, "...pray about it. God will show you what his name should be." There were two things about that comment that struck me. First, Trish was telling me to "pray about it." I'm not knocking her when I say this, because I've said it before, and it is the truth: Trish is not exactly the most religious person I've ever met. ;) (though don't get me wrong, she's no agnostic, either) And Second: We pray about everything else in life, why is it that when it comes to naming a baby, we feel like it's decision alone? So, yeah. Words of wisdom from my mother in law! :) That night, during bedtime prayers with Trey, I asked that God would show us what to name the baby. The very next day, while not even thinking about anything baby, the name "Cash" came to mind. It was the name that Ryan suggested for Trey when I was almost 8 months pregnant, except I was quick to shoot it down because Trey had been Trey since the day we found out we were having a boy, and I also thought the name "Cash" was a little weird. (ha) So for two years, I had neither heard nor thought of it. Just for kicks, I decided to search the meaning. You know, to see if it meant anything other than "money". This is what I found:

Origin: English
Gender: Boy
Meaning: Profit

But is what immediately came to mind:

Mark 8:36 - "Jesus said, 'What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?..."

It was at that moment, I knew what the baby's name was supposed to be. I'm not saying I heard a voice in my head, but it was a feeling I can't really describe. It just knew. In fact, I actually felt to name him anything else would be wrong. I had prayed that God would show me his name, and I truly believed that's what happened. His name was to be Cash.

We chose the middle names "Michael DeMarco" for a reason. Ryan's middle name is Michael. My brother's middle name is Michael, and my grandfather's name is Michael DeMarco. Over the past 5 years, since having Trey, I have seen a whole new side of my grandfather (whom we call "Papa", or now, "Big Papa" to the kids:). He has truly built a relationship with his great grandchildren. They visit him in the office. They sing him songs, he teaches them Italian phrases. The kids make him laugh, he makes the kids laugh, and I wanted to be able to carry on his name in one of my kids. I felt it even more appropriate to use his name, along with Cash's, given the story behind it. See, my grandfather has always been a business man. "Business first." He grew up in a family business, took over the family business, and grew the family business. He has gained a lot in the eyes of the world, but ... "...what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?..." Papa is 83 years old. He was diagnosed with 4 types of cancer this past summer. I realize none of us know how long we have on earth. I could die today. You could die tomorrow. But there are circumstances in life that can lead one to believe time is short.

I have prayed for my grandfather for as long as I have memory. My mom got saved when she was 14, and has been praying for her Dad ever since. My kids now pray for Big Papa. He is a good man. A great man. Funny. Hard working. But none of those things will get him into heaven. Being good, or even great, is not enough. Giving to charity, praying, going to church...those "things" aren't what get us inside heaven's pearly gates. If they were, why would Jesus have suffered and died on the cross? My cousin, Tyler, died of cancer 19 months ago. It was, still is, and forever will be, a devastating loss for our family. But Tyler set an amazing example, and one I can only hope and pray my grandfather will follow. Tyler was a good kid, but he also knew he was sinner. During his final 11 months on earth, Tyler prayed to accept Christ. He knew that just being a good kid wasn't enough. He needed to acknowledge the fact that Jesus died for his sins, and it was only through acknowledging that fact, and asking God to forgive him, could he have eternal life in heaven. And that is exactly what we're still praying for my grandfather. I can sit here and say that Papa has "gained the whole world..."...but what will he do with his soul?

If you think of it, please pray along with us for "Big Papa." Because I know 10 little ones who are expecting to see him in heaven!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Ever Exciting Birth Story

This face...

Came out...

looking up...

But I forgive him.

And now, for Colt's birth story, since "Merlin" (name has been changed to protect the innocent:) has been practically begging for it!

I will neither confirm NOR deny whether or not I made myself a Castor Oil cocktail on Sunday afternoon (July 17th). But if I did, it was around 1:30. And it may have been mixed it with Pepsi. And it was possibly just as disgusting as Castor Oil pudding (Lynn, Jeff, Trish and Amanda have fond memories of that event!) At least it went down easily. Despite a nasty aftertaste that only a bowl of Fruit Loops could cut. And two ice pops. And mouth wash. Oh, and I wont say whether or not I have video of downing said "Castor Oil Cocktail." I guess you'll just have to wait for it to show up on FB... :)
Fast forward a few hours. I figured a nice, long walk and soak in a hot tub (or "warm tub") couldn't hurt. I gave Gerrie a call and around 7:45, headed to her house. After about 45 minutes of walking, we jumped in the hot tub. 20 minutes and 20 million mosquitos later, I was headed home and was off to bed. Shortly after 2am, I woke up. I wasn't having contractions, just a few minor "cramps." I thought it was the Castor Oil. But it wasn't. Slowly but surely, the contractions started coming. Exactly like they did with Cash. I was on FB writing a message to my cousin ("Cougar";), saying how I wished it was light out so I could walk around, as opposed to still being dark and hanging out in bed. Just as I wrote that, my water broke. Or something. I'm not convinced it wasn't my water, though there's conflicting reports on whether or not my bag was still intact. But anyway. For the sake of the story, we'll say my water broke. It didn't gush, thank goodness. We don't have a waterproof pad on our bed. :) I got up, went into the bathroom and decided I should probably make myself look presentable. I woke Ryan up shortly before 5. He had visions of delivering a baby in the car, or me dropping a baby in the bathroom. However...that was not to be the case. We headed out at 6:20. We brought the boys with us to the hospital and my mom picked them up. At 7:00, I was settled in my room and the nurse had me stay in bed for "20 minutes" so that they could test the fluid to make sure my water had broke, and also get me/the baby on the monitor. AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER they came back into my room, and my contractions, which had been 3-3 1/2 minutes apart (with wonderful back labor, too) were now almost non existent. After being allowed to get up and walk around, the contractions started back up. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that I'm pretty sure they didn't think I was actually in labor. When the Dr. checked me at 8:15, I was "maybe a finger tip" dilated. Seriously?! (And the test of fluid they sent to the lab came back negative, tho the initial test in the room showed positive. Whatever. I know I didn't lose bladder control!) Anyway. So I paced the room for over an hour. My mom showed up around 9:30. Shortly thereafter, the nurse came back in and told me she wanted to get me back on the monitor and check my blood pressure. I got in bed, she got me set up, took my b/p, and walked out the door. I'm not sure the door was actually even closed when I looked at my mom and said, "I don't feel good....get a nurse." I laid the bed flat and within a few seconds, people were crowding my room. My mom and Ryan were each holding a leg elevated, oxygen mask was on my face, IV was being put in, my finger was being pricked, I was sweating, and my b/p was dropping (70/20). A dr. came in, introduced himself, then went to work trying to make sure the baby was okay. My mom got kicked out of the room...which was fine with me. I was worried about her getting a front row seat to a show I didn't want to put on! When the Dr. checked me, he said I was "6-7 and changing." So, things obviously progressed rapidly. - I got the shakes really bad. They kept me laying on my side because my b/p seemed to go down if I was on my back. At this point, I decided I wasn't going to get an epidural. I didn't want to risk another b/p issue, as my b/p dropped after my epi. with Cash. And, I wasn't having too terribly painful contractions. I really thought things were going to move fast and I was going to have this baby with relative ease. (...*wait for it...*...*wait for it...*) ... HAHAHAHA! Seriously? EASE? What was I smoking? I finally started getting regular contractions again around 11, and tried different positions in an attempt to get Colt to flip face down, but...he didn't. So the back labor continued. For what seemed like forever, I was 10 cm but did not have the urge push. Just lots of contractions. Lots of back pain. And lots of pain. (did I already say that?:) It wasn't until around 1:00 I finally started pushing. Or, at least trying to push. I was in so much pain, I almost couldn't. There was a constant pain and pressure that wasn't letting up, and I couldn't get a breath long enough to hold. At one point, I know I said, "I can't!"... and there was moaning and groaning. And lots of gripping and pulling at the bed! At 1:22, Baby C made his appearance. And he let us know here was here! The midwife let Colt stay on my chest until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing. I had asked her if she would, despite being afraid she might think I was some extremist. She just smiled and said, "I always do." (besides the baby getting the extra oxygenated blood that's still running through, it gives the mom more time to cuddle with her slimy new worm:) About 20 minutes later, Ryan cut the cord, and Colt was his own little person!

And there you have it. Well, mostly. There was still the placenta. And that thing hurt, too! Oh, the things you learn! I was glad when it was all finally over, but it did not take long before I started thinking ... ya know, maybe 4 wouldn't be so bad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why the stress?

Over the past couple weeks, as you most likely are aware, I've been feeling a little stressed. Or, tense. Or, "on edge", I guess. I don't usually get stressed. I'm just assuming that's what it is. I'm not typically on edge, so I figure this must be what it feels like. But, why? Why the stress?

I can blame it on the pregnancy. That's easy enough. Or, I can blame it on boys who have "their moments", and a dog who loves everything that isn't hers. Like, the pacifier, for example, that Cash just set down. The teddy bear he just unstrapped from the carseat. Or, of course, the shoe I was just looking for. All those are a good place to start, when seeking to place blame. However, tonight, as Ryan loaded up the boys and headed to the driving range, I was left home, alone, except for the dog, ... and my thoughts. I sat on the computer and mindlessly perused my way through Facebook. I came across a youtube video. The singer was Kari Jobe. I hopped on youtube and searched. The song I was looking for was, "We Cry Out." I found it. And there, alone in my kitchen (except for the dog), I found my stress relief. Or, my "on edge relief." Whatever you want to call it. But, I found it. And not-so-surprisingly, in the exact place I should have been looking all along.

"Father of life, seated on your throne of grace, it's only by your mercy we are saved. Lord, you've said that if we call upon your name, we and our families will be saved. So we cry out your name, El Shaddai, God of Grace, Lord Most High, Jesus Christ. We rely on your grace, Adonai, crowned in praise, Lord Most High, Jesus Christ."

On Monday, my Aunt and Uncle are holding a golf tournament in honor and memory of their son, my cousin, Tyler, who, at the age of 12, died of cancer, just shy of 16 months ago. They went through 4 years of stress (or, more appropriately, hell on earth), and they continue to live each day with the reality that their precious son is no longer here. They'd give anything... ANYTHING...even what I might consider "a worst day", to have Tyler back. If only for a moment. Who am I to blame my kids for putting me on edge? They are the most amazing gift God has ever given me. Why do I dare blame my stress on pregnancy? Don't I realize how blessed I am to be 7 short weeks away from holding another tiny miracle in my arms, while there are countless women who would literally give their right arm to be in my position? I'm not saying one can't get frustrated. It happens. A lot. That's life. But lest I quickly forget..."I will most gladly spend and be spent for their souls."

Here's to being spent...And remembering to find relief in the only place it can be found.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Story Behind the Title

I promised an explanation. So, here it is.

Scanning through my newsfeed this morning, I happened across a blog. Not by the person who posted it, but someone else. It's called "A life in need of change." Anyway, the post was about "Real Success." The woman started out by saying how after 19 years of education, a BS and MS, most days find her "wiping noses, kissing booboos and holding little hearts in the palm of my hand." I was hooked. I had a feeling it was going to be good. And I was right.

She went on to talk about the apostle Paul and how he was called by God to the Corinthians. A stubborn, disrespectful, disobedient and unkind people. Here are a few direct quotes from her post.

"I look around my home that hard day and watch another people all too often stubborn, disobedient, indifferent, disrespectful and unkind…my own little Corinthians. Paul was imprisoned, beaten, ignored, stripped. He suffered, he prayed, he pleaded. He disciplined, encouraged, exhorted and suffered open rebellion. I read Paul’s words and I know they were meant for me this day…every day:

" I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls." 2 Cor. 12:15

Is there ever anything so valuable to the mother’s heart as the soul of her child? Is there ever anything that tempts her to feel more like a failure than to be with the ones she bore and be ignored, stripped? To suffer, pray and plead? To discipline, encourage, exhort and suffer open rebellion? The spending and being spent and hoping to be found lovable and true and longing to be wanted and respected and loved. The dreams laid to rest – wait – so there’s time for the spending and being spent – all this for the soul of her child?

What is real success?

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” ~Matthew 16:26

I wish I could take credit for this whole post. It really sums up the job of a christian mother perfectly. We don't just discipline, encourage, exhort "for their own good." We do it for their souls.

At long last. We meet again.

So long, Poopie Spencer. I didn't use you, anyway! I had been meaning to start a new blog as of late, but didn't want to waste so much time finding a creative blog name again. I'll explain what this means in a REAL post at a later time. Right now, I just wanted to get this up. Ya know, kind of "wet your appetite." Because, well, my blogs were always so exciting! All 3 of them. ;)