Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Did You Notice?

For the truly observant:
I've added a few links that I regularly check out!
I've done this more for selfish purposes than anything...
I truly am a child of the "it could be easier" generation - and I was tired of having to check them from my bookmarks. :)
I've been really blessed by these people... most (but not all) of whom have contacted me via the comments on the blog and I have followed their links to their blogs.
I hope you are blessed by them, too.
If you can figure out who is new... ;)

** BTW: If you are one of my links and you'd rather not be on - please let me know and I'll take you off right away - I promise. :)



First, the good news: I don't have cancer!
For those of you who didn't know the anxiety I was faced with from last Friday - I can now fill you in. :)
I had been having some pretty major discomfort in the general mid-chest and underarm... since just a few days before we came home from
Arizona. Friday morning I found some 'puckering'... which - if you have researched it - can be a sign of breast cancer.
Although I have several factors that reduce my risk (zero family history, a pregnancy, no smoking...) I went to the doctor right away, and he did an exam. There wasn't anything with huge risk painted across it in neon letters... but he didn't feel comfortable making that statement without further tests. He arranged for a stat ultrasound and/or mammogram today at
To be honest, once I shared the news with some of you, I felt a lot better. Part of me felt like it was probably just more postpartum changes (fat rearranging itself again...) but there was that little fear that said, "You can't write things off anymore,
Kendall." We've already received news we thought was impossible... nothing guarantees that the rest of our lives will be smooth sailing.
So today: All that was needed was an ultrasound... and there is nothing insidious. Praise God! :) The radiologist was pretty confident that things will stay that way... and other than his "Tell your doctor if anything changes or you feel lumps" there wasn't any need for follow-up. Double praise God! :)

Now: some honesty.

It's been a trying weekend. There have been so many other "issues".
Continuing grief.
Missing Autumn terribly.
Family stresses.
When I added fear into that mix, I found myself teetering (once again) on the edge of despair. I also - as it would be when thinking fatalistically - had an appointment at the very same clinic that I first saw my daughter alive in. She would have been 18 weeks old. I first saw her 18 weeks from conception. I knew (knew) that if there were people there for an ultrasound they would be at 18 weeks... it is so hard to see other people's blissful unawareness of the risks... and that is when my spirit can get downright bitter.

Today I found myself groping blindly through scripture trying so hard to find comfort. I ended up in the Psalms. (Universally known by people who read the bible as the place to go when you're in the dumps emotionally and spirtually. Chuckle.) Psalm 13 jumped out at me immediately.

1: ... How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2: How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3: Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4: lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5: But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6: I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Hmmm... I could have written that (chuckle).

So often (and especially in the past 4 months), my prayers are like a newborn's cries. I have a need. I cannot express it... all I know is that I must cry with all my might because my Father can somehow understand what it is that I lack and will supply it.

Sometimes I have inklings of what I want to be like - of how I want to behave, react, and live. But - like a star that seems to shine brightly from the corner of your eye and then vanishes when you turn to look directly at it - they are sometimes no more than unspoken feelings and longings. A sense of purpose. A whisper of what the future could hold. But to verbalize these thoughts would be a series of starts, stops, hand-gestures and tears... but the Lord knows. He does.

"I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was,
my God He is
My God is always gonna be"

Thank you, Aaron Shust.
You took a series of starts, stops, hand-gestures and tears and put them into words for my hurting heart. (The song is on the player if you want to listen to more of the words.)
"Simple" trust. Not blind trust... because God has shown me who He is... but a trust that understands I do not have to know what the journey will hold to be sure of the destination.

Thank you - thank you! - everyone who prayed for me. Especially those of you who prayed without knowing what you were praying for!
The Lord has done more for me today than taking care of my physical needs... I have no doubt He has used your prayers to take me exactly where I needed to go - and get me through exactly what I needed to go through.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kurt (Part 2)

These are just over 6 minutes each... part one is below.

What Kurt Said (Part 1)

This is for those of you who have never heard my husband speak... he does it so well for himself - I can never do him justice when I try to quote him. :)
I love this man so much.
Perhaps - after watching this - you'll see why.

Sing To the Lord

Thanks to everyone who is praying for us... God has given me a much more peaceful heart than I had yesterday! I'll still give more details when I'm able... much love to you all! :)

For the time being I've added a few new songs to the play list on the side of the page. If you are a regular reader (and not a music player muter) you'll be able to recognize them right away. (Chuckle.) It's actually pretty easy: they're all the bottom ones after My Savior, My God. :) If you'd like to check out a couple or a few... just click them and they'll play...

My particular favorites?

East to West (Casting Crowns): This song echoes a heart that often breaks at how I still rebel in attitude and emotion against the Lord's plans... but wants to weep in reminder of a wonderfully sufficient Savior. It reminds me of how much mercy has been shown to me... The God who holds atoms together died for me. It's hard to complain when this truth hits me...

Praise You in This Storm (Casting Crowns): My testimony.

Bring the Rain (Mercy Me): My other testimony! (chuckle)

Blessed Be Your Name (Tree 63): I was waiting for this one to be available online! :) It was in our batch of songs played before and after the funeral. To this day, I can listen to it and my heart cries, "Yes! Yes!" even as tears stream down my face. Strangely enough, I always pictured it as a funeral song... and I heard it long before our daughter died.
I remember - clearly - thinking: "Lord... would I have the strength to sing this song if you ever took something precious from me?" and never allowed myself to finish the thought as far as the 'something' went...
A prayer answered.... although not like I ever pictured or planned.

Give Me Jesus (Fernando Ortega): Simple. Deep. A prayer that still needs to be answered every day in my life.

Anyway, they're all great. Crank them up with my blessing! (lol) Hope you enjoy them as much as I do... :-D

Friday, February 22, 2008

Brief Hello

It's been a busy few days.
On the road and back again... Oscar grew another inch and some pounds at the farm. :)
Without too many details, I could really, really use some prayer tonight and in the early part of the coming week. I'll share after more details come available.
Thanks for reading, everyone... God bless...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Other Side of the Valley

The Lord has gotten us through a couple of really difficult few days... and I lift a grateful heart of praise. Thank you so much to those who have been praying for us and for those who continue to do so.
For a note of humor... see our goofy, gigantic dog go through his regular routine of getting on the bed. At night, he actually walks around the edge and places his chin everywhere until we say come up. If we don't say it, he stares at Kurt and does a subtle deep whine. Charming...

Friday, February 15, 2008

What I Said at the Funeral...

I put what I said on my other blog - Life Out Loud, if you'd like to watch it.
Blessings - again. :)

Murray - Part 2

Number 1 is below. Here is the other video...
I hope if you listen/watch that it can bless your heart.

thanks for reading,


ps: for all those praying for us today - thank you so much.

Murray's Funeral Message - Part 1

A few people have asked to see this... I'll upload one part at a time. Just so you know - they're about 10 minutes each (thus the breaking it into two parts)

It's a good reply to the question, "If God is a God of love then why is there suffering."

BTW: make sure you pause the music player. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Itinerary (so far)

1) Woke up (admittedly the hardest part)
2) Kurt made breakfast (sausages and pancakes and coffee)
3) Listened to Fernando Ortega during breakfast (we grew to like him thanks to Priscilla down in Phoenix)
4) Breakfast kicked butt...
5) Admired single red rose on table with Valentines (red envelope) card... (should have put that observation between 2 and 3 - but after the table was cleared I enjoyed them more. ;) )
6) Held hands with Kurt and had a little sad time about our daughter... he actually bought the pregnancy test on Valentines last year as part of his gift...
7) Made the conscious decision that- today - we would enjoy the original blessing - from which Autumn sprang - our love and marriage... it really isn't that hard when I have such a wonderful man to enjoy. :)
8) Opened a beautiful card from Kurt - did I mention that he came home with very suspicious sparkles on his face yesterday? Yep - the card had sparkles. ;)
9) Opened my gift (fall down in shock!) - Mercy Me's latest CD... which at this moment is blasting over the kitchen stereo player. I love this band! They have such great doctrine and truth in their songs - but still are so much fun to listen to... great choice, sweetheart! :)

Apparently - there are still supper plans... but I - truly - am happy with this. This day, last year, I had a 12-hour day on 6100 (oncology) and came home somewhat depressed... so, so much has changed.

We started a journey last year... the Lord has brought us - together - to this point. I bless His name and love Him because of His Son... all is well because He is in control. Today I praise Him for that wonderful, securing, beautiful truth...

So - married or single - Happy Valentines, everyone!
The card, the rose, and both CDs (sorry for the flash effect on Mercy Me...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I actually went to a tea importer today to buy tea.
No joke.
How snobby!
even know it's snobby!
Only people of wealth and privilege buy tea from a tea importer... I have plenty of privilege - but the wealth is somewhat lacking... ;)

(In my defense, I tried Superstore first - but they didn't have any loose Earl Grey.)

But it's really good tea! :)
It tastes... imported. (chuckle)
If you're in Saskatoon, check this place out... very cool - and such a great smell when you walk in the door. They actually let you smell all the teas before you choose one... I guess that is important - to sniff the tea. (Raised eyebrows...)
(Like my spa experience, I have once again fallen into the trap of being out of my element and not wanting it to show. I sniffed a few and made some banal comments trying to appear as though I knew what I was doing... I believe the Lord may smite me yet for all my vanity... LOL!)

Anyway - it's on (where else) Broadway. $4.95 will get you 100 grams of the variety I sniffed out. (Ha-ha... clever joke.)

I'd say tell them that Kendall sent you - but we do not yet have a relationship. :)

As I write, Oscar and I are waiting for Kurt to get home. Kurt, who maintained as he walked out the door, that he had simple "errands" to do. He got a little motionless (like an animal that doesn't want to be spotted) when I asked if he wanted me to come... Hmmmm....

Methinks he's got some kind of big'ol plans for Valentines day. (No pressure for him now that I put it on the blog, right? Heh-heh.) So I let him go by himself... now the rest of you can enjoy my somewhat random post. :)

My... I do believe I am feeling much better!
Much love to those who are praying for me!
Instead of dreading the 15th, I'm looking forward to tomorrow and whatever my sweetie does (or doesn't) have planned.
Lord willing - I'll awaken ready to do battle with my emotions Friday morning. He really is a very strong, very big, very kind God... and a special thank you to Victoria for the card with a poignant reminder that the Lord carries me through the sorrow. I really appreciated it, my friend. :)

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let There Be Light

First of all - I cannot begin to express my thanks and appreciation for those who have left comments and been praying for us since yesterday. All of you... thank you so, so much.
Although it has been a struggle, the Lord has shown great grace to me today and it has been a good day. :)
I love my Lord, my husband, and even my dog. ;)
Thank you everyone... I love you all very much.
(And Rachel - you crack me up! I am so glad that the Lord has encouraged you through what we've been going through... you, also, are an example to me of how to persevere. Thank you.)

A few pictures of our day!
I finally (as we're about to move) got my new, bright kitchen light. We found it on clearance at Home Depot and decided it was time to act. :) Happy Kendall, happy Budget Manager. (AKA: Kurt for the puzzled - chuckle)
Kurt started the process during the day... and it was finished tonight around 7pm. Our thanks to Cody! I wasn't strong enough (or tall enough, for that matter) to hold the light fixture up for Kurt as he secured it - so my little brother came to the rescue! :) We love you, Cody!
Tonight we bask in the bright, florescent light of our light fixture. Not exactly 'cozy' - but oh so satisfying. ;)
Now I, in particular, am groaning at the amount of grime on the blinds and fridge that were hidden by the old dim light. (rolling eyes) Oh well... One way to guarantee that whoever buys our house will have it very, very clean... 'cause I can only tolerate so much.

Oscar, also, is excited to see more light (I took this picture of him as he was watching closely what Kurt and Cody were doing in the kitchen.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valley Walking

It's one of those posts....

To be honest, I've been struggling a little bit since getting home. The trip was a great distraction... I looked forward to it for a long time - but now its over. This reaction to getting home has been a tad delayed - what with going to the farm for a couple of days... but it's back with vigor. And it's Monday... which everyone knows is the most depressing day of the week, anyway. (chuckle)

For example - there have been times in the past few weeks and months where I have looked at her picture and intellectually known she was my baby... I'm sad - but not overtaken with it.

Lately, I've looked at her picture and all the memories come flooding back. Feeling her move, hoping she was a girl, washing her baby clothes and putting them in her dresser... (none of which I have removed yet, by the way.)

I look at my life now, and think, "How did I get here?" How did I end up on maternity leave, with extra weight, and stretch marks - and no baby? How did my house end up with a brightly decorated baby room - and no little girl to rock to sleep in the chair we so painstakingly picked out?

It's frustrating. Frustrating... and so, so sad.

We went on a date the other night - decided to watch PS: I Love You on the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Cherie!).

We really enjoyed it - but there is so much in that movie that hit close to home. Grief. Seeing your friends and family move on and wondering how that happens when your life is stuck. I told Kurt it feels like I fell off the merry-go-round, and now I'm watching everyone else spin around and am waiting - hoping - for my chance to get back on. To get on with life.

It's so strange. I'm happy for others - joyful, even. :) But I am so uncertain about my own future. I'm almost afraid to have hopes and dreams... for fear that my heart will be broken again. The "what ifs" can be paralyzing - and suck the joy and life out of me before I even realize it is happening. It's too easy to not to trust God - too easy to feel like He's lost control - or stopped caring. When those feelings arise I run to Him... because if they take over I am truly without hope.

Some days the desire to move on feels like a betrayal of Autumn. As though this phase of my life: her creation, growth, movement, death, birth, burial - the grief - is what my experience with her is summed up to. And, yet I can't wait to move on. It's so hard. How do I balance the war in my heart and head? How do I remember my little girl without the grief tainting the joy? How can I think of having another baby when all I really want is her? Just her.

In Arizona we found out that God won't be giving us a baby in October. I've told a few people this, but I had pinned so much of my hope for the future with my desire to have a baby in my arms on her birthday. "Then", I thought, "then, I'll be able to handle the one year anniversary..." but the Lord is not yet done teaching me what I can, despite my fears, handle by His strength.

And that, I guess, is what my heart is clinging to - yet again. The Lord is still on His throne. He still loves me. He will always do what is best for me. Jesus died on a cross so that this life would not be "all", for me. This valley feels so deep at times... and there are times I feel totally alone. But, by His grace, I look heavenward and remember that He does all things well. He comforts the brokenhearted. He was brokenhearted - a man of sorrow! He will, one day, wipe every tear from my eye. Some days it feels like that will keep Him very busy! (small chuckle) He is not disciplining me, or laughing at my expense. This is just what is best.

If you are so inclined - I would really appreciate your prayers this week. On Friday, it will be one year since we found out we were expecting her.

I have to shake my head when I remember... because I want to scream at the Kendall of February 15th, 2007, "Don't hope! Don't be excited! Don't dream about her!"

But then I take a step back and remember the blessings and joy that the pregnancy brought about. The Lord planned this for us. I have to be honest with myself about those emotions - to walk through them - but not be overtaken by them. So hard - but so worth it.

Her death has had such an impact on others - I know that. Would I take that away? I love the Lord more because of this. He sustains me - Jesus is real to me. This, also, is a place I would not have been had this never happened. This is true.

Nevertheless, Friday might be kinda difficult. I could use the support... (small smile)

PS: As I was finishing this post Kurt started the central vacuum downstairs (cleaning the furnace filter because of an odd, burning kind of smell...). Oscar ran into the office to protect me. Or vise verse. (lol) His hackles are up, and he's staring at the door as though Genghis Khan were about to walk through it. The Lord is gracious to give me a smile. :)

Thanks - again - for reading, everyone.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Last Sunday I wore sandals.
This Sunday it is 32 freaking degrees below zero.
That is -25.6 F. I'm not even going to mention the windchill...


Praising God for a furnace and new windows to keep that nasty chill outside. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Arizona: Day 2

I'm not a shopper by nature: it irritates me to look at things I cannot afford. :) But we did set aside some money for this trip to get me a few new things. So - as soon as rush hour was over - we set out Tuesday morning to get me some loot.
I had seen on Oprah (confession time: I do watch Oprah from time to time... chuckle) that Sarah Jessica Parker had designed a clothing line called Bitten. As in, "bitten by the fashion bug". I, however, wasn't bitten by the fashion but as much as the price of the fashion: all items $19.98 or less.
So, when we finally found the store, all the items from that line were (get this) $8.99
No joke.
Jeans, sweaters, shirts, jackets...
All $8.99.
:-D (this was actually Kurt's expression, not mine... giggle!)
We also bought a few other things... and then we went to Carls Jr for lunch. I have been waiting over 7 years to have Carls Jr again... and it was worth the wait. :) We totally looked like tourists taking pictures of the cup and the burger... but I knew I would blog on it (duh) and should have some proof of how great that flame broiled burger really was. ;)
The highlight of the day was visiting the Adams family (snap! snap!) and finally meeting Jaime, Susan and Marissa - the gals from my other blog Life out Loud. Plus the rest of the gang. :) We had such great fellowship with that family... it was the first of a few late nights.
They also made BBQ pork chops for us... and Mike? You did a great job of them! (Not sure if I told you that when we were there... better late than never! chuckle!)
So, Tuesday was great.
But Kurt officially pronounced at the end of it, "No more shopping." :)
S'okay... I got everything I wanted.
Present day blog: We had a great time tonight with Mikey and Amy. Thanks for eating my spaghetti, guys. :) And for playing out goofy game. It was fun - even though Kurt won. Barely. :)
Love you two more than words can say... and it was so great to talk about our precious Savior with you. See you in the morning! :)

Arizona: Day 1

Monday can basically be summed up as:

Saskatoon: ... blizzard.
... COLD!
... early morning (with only 2 hours sleep)
"Thank you, Murray!" :)
...a delayed (but not canceled!) flight
Thank you, WestJet!

Phoenix: ... palm trees
... Geoff waving by the luggage carousel - wearing a jacket (grin)
... Priscilla's hugs. :)
... Kirk and Linda's loaned van (thank you, thank you, thank you!)
... sleeping great because of total exhaustion with the window open!! :-D

Yours truly with the minivan we were loaned for the trip - such a blessing! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I Was There, Too...

... just in case anyone thought I had sent Kurt all by himself. :)

I think this is a funny self-portrait of us... me all squinty and him all cool. :)
We're back in Canada - many thanks to our good friend Sheldon who came and picked us up.
The Lord was very gracious... while it was fun to snicker at the freezing temperatures while were down there, we were a little worried about what would greet us when we got home. It was windy - but mild... so we're really thankful the shock wasn't too great.
We had such a great time, though! Not only at the Grand Canyon, but with friends (family, really!) and fellowship to boot.
My prayer had really been that our time away would be one of refreshment and relaxation... and the Lord gave both abundantly. We're already talking about our next trip back. ;) My plan is to blog on the days and what we did (some will be longer and some shorter)... we'll see if I stick with that. :)
Today we're at the farm... we came right after we got off the plane, pretty much. Our dog was growling and barking from mom and dad's room when we came in - but as soon as he realized it was us, he cheered up. And how! :)
Anyway, I'll post this for now with the promise (hope?) to write again soon. Have a good day!
(And for all our Phoenix friends... "Brrrrr!" ;-D)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Don't Worry...

He was on a ledge...
(for our mothers...)

Hello from Arizona

Hey everyone!

I don't have a tan... yet. :)

I'm so sorry for not writing sooner... too busy having fun, I guess. (Ha, ha!)

In the meanwhile, (and to prove we're really down here) please enjoy a picture from our day at the Grand Canyon:

Great shot, eh? :)

It has been beautifully warm (sorry fellow Canadians!) and although there was snow at the Canyon, it was so mild that we only wore our mittens for a little while.

Geoff and Priscilla have been such gracious hosts... and we're humbled by the love and generosity that has been showered on us (by them and others) these past few days: great food, a minivan to use and wonderful (wonderful!) fellowship. :) A particular highlight for me? Meeting most of the girls from my other blog: Life Out Loud (we missed you Julie and Karen!).

We're praising God for our family down here... and for now, that will have to suffice. :) I'll post more from home... but we're thinking of everyone up there - and send our love. Especially to our parents and brothers and sisters-in-law... can't wait to see you guys and give you all sunshiny hugs. ;)

Bye for now!
kendall for the manzs'