The Day Our Daughter Drowned

blog-pool

It was a smoldering hot day! The kind of heat that will take your breath away. But, it wasn’t the heat that took the breathe of life from our daughter, it was the water.

It was July 7, 2012, but I remember this day as clearly as if it were yesterday. Our Annual Fourth of July Neighborhood Celebration had been underway for several hours. My husband and I and our three little girls had spent most of the morning at the pool with friends and neighbors laughing, swimming, and playing. It started out as one of the best days we had all summer, but things quickly turned into one of the scariest days of our lives.

When the heat had drained the energy out of this new mom and our 6 week old baby, I had gone back home to put her down for a nap while the rest of the family stayed to play. Then it happened. A phone call that no mother ever wants to receive:

“Hello”

“Tiffoni…” Wait…this is my husband’s phone calling me, why is a strange woman on the other end? “You need to get down here now! Your daughter just drowned!”

What? Wait…what did she just say???

In a shocked and confused state of mind, I dropped the phone and proceeded to run down the road as fast as I could with legs that had forgotten their function.

When I arrived at the pool gates, there were paramedics, firefighters, and a group of bystanders watching as my 3 year old daughter was on a stretcher being transferred into an ambulance. But, she was conscious. She was ALIVE!!! I was blessed by the fact that I did not witness our little girl being rescued from the pool as her lifeless, little body was limp, blue and swollen. I saw her after her angel (who was dressed in a swimsuit and lives down the street), saved her and restored her by breathing life back into her lungs that had filled with water. The next 24 hours were scary. We were told by doctors that things looked OK, but they could not guarantee that she would make it through the night. And if she did, the extent of the damage could not yet be determined.

In the days that followed, family, friends, churches, neighbors, and strangers were all called upon to pray for our little girl. That is all we could do at that point. But that is all we needed to do. Prayer is powerful! Our prayers were answered and we have a healthy, happy, energetic 7 year old who loves to tell her “miracle story”. She doesn’t think it is sad or scary; she thinks it is amazing! And as we look back upon this day, we are able to see how amazing God is.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

I share our story with hopes that it might save a life this summer. Please pay close attention to children around water. We have a happy ending to our story, but there are so many families whose ending is very different. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5. We never thought something like this would happen to our family. It happened in less than a minute and there were several adults within 10 feet of her that did not notice what was going on. The water can be fun, but can also be very dangerous. Please let our story serve as a reminder of how fragile life really is.

Written by: Tiffoni Brown

 

Advertisements

Comparison Strikes Again

b-flowers3

Today started out as any other, except today was a mommy & Lexi day. She had her well child check scheduled with a new physician, so we took the day for just us. He said all the things I already knew. My child is dangerously overweight. And it’s alarming. It’s scary. It’s embarrassing that I’ve failed as her mother. I’ve been asking for a solution for years….we’d hoped she would just grow out of it. It didn’t work out like that for her.

Immediately I started running through all the things I should’ve would’ve could’ve done. All the perfect moms with children who are perfect on the chart. I’ve truly done the best I could.  I’m  still learning this stuff myself. At 33 years old, I JUST learned you can exercise all day but not burn off carbs. What?! I know. Those suckers are there once they’re there. I ran through every Pinterest mom I’ve ever seen, every classroom mom. All of it. And once I pulled myself together, I was able to soak in the truth. She’s ok. I’m ok. We are learning. We are changing our lives and we are doing it together.

The doctor recommended a program that’s going to really shake things up. We will get labs drawn, visit a nutrionalist, and even get some therapy. You see, at just seven years old, I’ve often walked in on her binge eating. I am paralyzed with fear every time I see it. The fear that she’s developing MY coping mechanism. The fear that she will wind up just like me. The fear that I’ve ruined her. I can’t wait for her to start this new journey.

What’s more is I haven’t ruined my child. I’m not a terrible mother. I’m not failing her. I am the perfect mom for HER. I know so because God wouldn’t have blessed me with her if He didn’t think I were fit. It took me 30 years to even comprehend that my coping mechanisms were totally wrong. Thirty years to understand that I need to eat healthy and not starve myself. Thirty THREE years to learn to love myself. And she’s going to learn those things at only seven years old. I’m not failing her at all. I’m doing just fine by her.

I was more shocked at the fact he was hesitant to recommend it because of cost. It’s $200. Two hundred dollars that I frequently throw away on fast food or impulse buys. Who wouldn’t be willing to make this happen for their child?!

So here’s to the Helmbrecht house. The family that is going to change their lives TOGETHER.  Learn to love ourselves wholly, learn to be happy, and learn to be healthy.  My husband was present and willing to jump on board. I’m ecstatic. This journey is going to be great.

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.

Written by

Amber Helmbrecht from helmbrecht8.wordpress.com

Mom Life

b-momlife

…He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“Mom life”…Have you ever stopped to think about what that really means?  Does it mean -hashtag- Messy Hair Don’t Care?  Does it mean -hashtag- I Need More Sleep?  Or how about -hashtag- Who Wants To Fold My Laundry And Put It Away?

In my conversations with the Lord I’ve come to realize that “Mom Life” doesn’t look the same for everyone.  Your mom life may look easier than mine, but I don’t know your struggles.  My mom life may look easier than yours, but you don’t know my struggles.

Lately, I’ve come to realize that there is no script for mom life.  Comparing myself to other moms will only make me sink into a hole that’s very difficult to climb out of.

What if instead of comparing ourselves, we decided to lift each other up?  What if instead of wishing we had “her mom life”, we appreciated our own?  What would every aspect of our life look like if instead of calling someone, we talked to God about it first?

Lord knows I’ve cried many tears wondering if I’m “the right mom” for my children.  Did I yell too loud? Did I spank to hard?  Did I hug them enough today?  Did I make them feel loved?

As I struggled with these questions a couple of days ago, (I had a tears falling, nose dripping type of moment) I felt God whisper in my ear you’re never going to reach that pedestal YOU’VE created for yourself.  I did not create you with the intention of sitting back and watching you fail.  I created you with the intention of guiding you to the top of the mountains you face.  Daughter, hold on to me!  I am your strength when you are weak!  You are my child, my creation, my wonderful masterpiece, one of a kind, beautiful, unique, blessed, and highly favored!  Daughter, don’t try to BE the best just TRY your best!  You won’t always get it right.  Sometimes you will lose the fight with your 5 year old.  Just know I’ll be right there to strengthen you for another day!  You are NOT alone!  I AM with you!  I AM in you!  I AM here, there, and everywhere!!

At this point I was a mess.  But you know what, I was a beautiful mess.  My Heavenly Father wrapped me in His arms and hugged me until I could breath again.  What an amazing moment!  I literally sat up and took in a huge sigh of relief.

I then heard a little voice from the bathroom say, “Mom, I’m done.”  So I wiped my face, walked into the bathroom, and gave my child a bath.

#MomLifeWaitsForNoOne

Written by

~Jenn Quinones

Dear Lord, Please Bless This Mama!

b-prayer

The Grace Filled Moms community was born on a prayer for a place to share our struggles and challenges in motherhood in order to encourage other moms, who may be going through similar situations. It is a place to reveal and confirm that God’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses.  A place to share and delight in the journey we call motherhood.  A place where we can all be encouraged to freely accept the gift of God’s grace and learn how to extend that grace to everyone we meet.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in  weakness”.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that  Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Dear Lord,
Our prayer is simple, we pray that every mother who visits the Grace Filled Moms website will come away encouraged.  We pray that there will be mothers who finally figure out that God’s grace can not be earned, because Jesus already paid the price for us!  We pray, Lord, that mothers are able to connect and grow.  We pray that shame will be melted away and relationships will be strengthened.  Lord, we pray that each mother is able to find joy in the journey today and everyday.
Lord, we pray that you will use the Grace Filled Moms community to bring countless mothers closer to you.  Please pour blessings upon blessings on each mother who reads these words.
To God be the glory, honor and praise.
In Jesus name we pray these things!
Amen
 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it  is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

Hello moms!

b-flowers4

We are so excited to bring you this new community!  We pray that you will find hope and encouragement while you are here.  As moms, we have one of the hardest jobs.  We just want to let you know you are not alone.  We are all trying to figure this out together.  So sit back and get ready to laugh, cry, feel encouraged, and we hope that one day you will want to share your stories with the Grace Filled Moms community!