Saturday, July 5, 2014

Today He gives....

The weight of all of it is so hard to carry so often.. I can't hold it all at once. I I wish that I was better at letting all of you in on what God is doing in our  hearts and where we are in our journey of grief…. This road that so many travel. we have learned how to have grace for people I could never have had grace for. I have learned how to walk alongside someone without offering them answers. I have learned how to grieve in so many different seasons and that grieving looks so different in different places of the journey. I have learned that this journey has no end here on earth. That I will heal.  I will find joy unspeakable in things again. i will dream again. I will actively hope again, instead of hoping like a person clinging to the anchored rope in the middle of a storm in the ocean. I have learned that the Gospel is more than I ever thought. Not a guide book for me or a map to follow, but a Living, Breathing presence that brings life to my spirit. That when I ask him with my will truly submitted to His will, He will answer me with a love so rich and deep and strong. He takes my breath away. Oh the Blood that washes me… 
This morning I woke up and opted out of getting up to face the world. I gave in to my selfishness and stayed in bed until 10;45. I have so many feelings about this day. So many memories and words fall desperately short of ex[plaining all the things that swirl thru my heart and mind on this day. I miss him. ii wish I could even just dream of holding him again. Of feeling and smelling and sleeping with him. The way my heart would swell with love and contentment just feeling him breathing next to me. I miss him so so much. But even in my cowardice to face the day, I awoke to text messages from the ones who love me. Verses from the Word that soothe and calm the hurt, words that brought hope and a sweetness knowing that no one has forgotten. The best part today though was the part of one of my favorite songs that the Lord reminded me of first thing before I got out of bed. "By the means of Grace and the hope of Glory." It was an answer to the question my wounded heart asks every time one of these days comes around. THe question, "How will I make it through today? How will I live and love you and bring you praise in the midst of this crushing pain?" aNd that is HIs beautiful answer to me… "By the means of grace and the hope of glory. How glorious is the Blood? That He has made a way? For me? For my wounds and my suffering… Through His wounds and His suffering. The Grace that He purchased with His precious blood. To HIM be the glory for that. To HIM be the glory for me getting up at all today. For me being a mom and a wife and a lover of Jesus in the midst of such pain. What a miracle it is…. 

By the means of grace and the hope of Glory,

"By the means of grace and the hope of glory
All Mighty God, Father of all mercy, 
we give you thanks. for all your goodness,
and how you love us. we give you thanks…"
-All Sons and Daughters

Friday, November 1, 2013

Anchored by hope?

"8so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain." Hebrews 6:18-19

Hi friends.
Today God has been speaking to me all day about this verse. We have this hope as an anchor.... Hope in what? I recently had someone I love very much say to me, "I'm happy for you that you can have faith in anything." I had the song from Stephen Curtis Chapman going through my head all day. " We can cry with hope, we can say goodbye with hope that we know our goodbye is not the end.... we believe with hope, there's a place where we'll see your face again.... we have this hope as an ANCHOR, that we believe that EVERYTHING God promised us is true..." I had a huge revelation from this. My HOPE is what my faith is anchored in. That hope is listed in the three most important things, Faith, Hope, and Love. I can't have faith at all, first without the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me and to me but also not without HOPE. My Hope is built on nothing less than JESUS' BLOOD and righteousness.  Hope is not a sweet little word that goes on a precious moments figurine. HOPE is what ALL of this is built on. "A hope not that is seen, for who hopes for what is seen? but if we hope for what is unseen by us, we wait for it with patience." I am not strong enough to have faith in something.... I have This HOPE as an anchor for my soul.... It holds me to the line when waters rise and toss and churn. When the waves threaten to drown me and I'm ready to give up because I'm just so tired of just surviving... THIS HOPE anchors my soul. I will HOPE in what is still unseen by my eyes. Because my hope is made stronger in the places of rememberance. Where He has blessed me with his goodness...  The places where I have tasted and seen that the LORD is GOOD.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I have been in my own mind and heart a lot today. I don't dig too deep in those places as a general rule in the past five years. Its too hard to be a good momma to my babies that are still here with me when I'm aching so deeply for that which is lost. I have been asking God a lot of questions about the event that took place five years ago. The last day I spent with my second child. With my red-headed, first baby boy. The one who had my heart in such a special way. I have just begun to be brave enough to ask God to remind me of things that I have chosen to tuck away for so long. The pain is almost tangible. I can actually feel it, deep in my chest. It aches so deeply. SO I wanted to share some things. To allow my friends and family a glimpse into my heart and the healing process so far. That special day we spent together five years ago today began very hectically. We were rushing around trying to get to the parade... (which we only attend because we have children. It's not that great:) Rocky and I were somewhat frustrated with each other which was not helped by the fact that we had a two year old and a baby boy that needed very much extra care. We got to where the rest of my family had set up chairs and we sat and watched the VERY long parade.... My dad was there for the first time in years because he had started a new job. These are everyday graces... precious things to look back on and thank Jesus for all the special memories we have of that day. He was held by everyone in our group. Such a gift. I held him in the pool that afternoon and watched his tight, always tensed up muscles relax as they did only on very rare occasions. He calmed and rested in the water. Then he laid in his special chair by the pool. It was a precious day full of love and surrounded by friends and family. That night we went to the fire works at UCO. I've had so many memories today of sitting on the ground with Courtlynn and looking up and seeing Rocky holding Jace in his arms. Courtlynn in awe of the colors in the sky and eating her weight in tiny chocolate donuts:) it was a precious night. Then we stood around forever afterwards talking with friends and watching our kids play.... It was almost as if I knew that I wanted this day to last as long as it could. We went home and put his jammies on and got Courty to bed. I fed him his formula mixed with orange flavored powder to stimulate his sucking reflex... And we climbed into bed. I laid his sweet, chubby body next to mine and cradled him close to me. His brain damage had caused vision and hearing loss so he felt the most secure when I held him. So i did. All. The. Time. And I wouldn't change any part of that. We went to sleep peacefully. The sun went down on one life and rose on another entirely. I could NEVER begin to explain what it feels like to wake up to what I woke up to that morning. To hope and believe so so hard for something and see all of your dreams and hopes fall apart in minutes before your eyes. To have thoughts run through your head about what it will be like to bury your own child. To plan him a funeral. To get his little body dressed in his pajamas for the last tim to lay that little body to rest until Jesus comes home. To kiss his little cheeks and the place where his hands meet his wrists for the last time. To close the casket and know that with that act, I admit it is over. That my heart is broken, never to be whole again. That I will never be fixed. Never done. Never over this. This is real, friends. This is hard. Its heavy and it hurts. And its real. In this world we WILL have trouble. My husband and family and I have had our share. But that is not all. The rest of the verse is this... "BUT, take heart! For I have OVERCOME the world." My heart is sore today. It aches again in that deep, longing way. Thank you to all of you who have allowed God to use you to reach out and be Jesus to us. It is my hope and prayer that we as the body of Christ would become better and better at binding up the broken. At joining in their suffering. At grieving with those who grieve. Even when its uncomfortable, unnatural, unnerving. That we would allow the Holy Spirit to use us to be His arms as we embrace them. To be His lips as we kiss their cheeks. To be His hands as we prepare food and tend to basic needs for those who are too devastated to do it for themselves. Thank you for letting me share.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Five years ago today, I was sitting in a little room with glass doors. Listening to the beeping and whirring of machines that were sustaining the life of my tiny, baby boy. My baby boy that I couldn't even describe the bond I had with him when I had tried to just a few days earlier. My baby boy that had just been laughing and grinning at me just 24 hours before. My baby boy that I felt had completed our home and our family. I was sitting there looking at him. Watching the monitors, wishing I could see any glimpse of hope that we were going to make it out of this unscathed. But God in His mercy had other plans. I used to say that I didn't think I could ever get to a place where I could say this is "well with my soul." I have. I had a huge revelation from the God of the universe about my sweet man. And about life in general just the other day. It was this. God's mercy takes the bad, awful, horrible things that happen in my life and turn them into good for me. I love Him and am called according to His purpose. This is His promise to me. The problem is, Most of us (mere human beings born into sin) think we know what God's LOVE is supposed to look like. That was my mistake. I had this massive sense of entitlment. I should have been able to ask God to do what I wanted Him to do and He should have done it because I love him and I'm called according to His purpose. Now that I am walking with Him more closely, I am realizing that He never owed me anything. It was His gift to give me all of these children. And to be fair, they aren't even mine. They all belong to him. It's hard because I worked so hard to get then into this world and they look like me, but they are His. Jace is His. So are the rest of my children. I love the song "Gratitude" by Nichole Nordeman. It has taken on new meaning for me as of late. My favorite part is when she says, "Grant us peace, Jesus grant us peace. Move our hearts to hear a single beat, between alibis and enemies tonight. But maybe not, not today. Peace might be another world away and if thats the case. We'll give thanks to you, with Gratitude for lessons learned in how to trust in you. That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream, in abundance or in need. and if you never grant us peace. But Jesus would you please?"
I pray that that is where my heart can stay. Submitted to His higher calling. Remembering that I belong to LOVE incarnate. And that it is not my place to say what it looks like for LOVE to love. I can't wait until the day I'm reunited with that tiny, chubby little man in eternity. Tucked away in safety and peace that will be never ending. Until then, God in His great mercy goes before me. And I will try always to tuck back under His wings and trust His heart for me.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Here I am again on the place where I MUST write. There are so many things that my Jesus is showing me. I have stepped into a place that I have not allowed myself to go in a very long time. I was afraid of this place. Afraid of what it would mean for me to walk back here. Oh how familiar it is. How I have longed for the truth and hungered for His words and I haven't even known it. I have thirsted for His words as though I have been without water for weeks. I have finally again accepted His invitation to dine with Him. To feast on the Bread of Life and Truth once again and let it fill my belly and course through my blood. The only thing that truly satsifes. How have I lived this long trying to find "my own truth" in this life. How have I wandered so far from the stream that I almost couldn't hear it calling me to drink? I have thought of the song by Shane and Shane this week,

"put down your paper plate
come to the table made
deep blue china
found on the table by the wine
so fine

it brings out flavor
like You bring out color in life

oh, i miss You so
the feel of forever
oh, that taste i know
it hurts to remember
unfortunately high
ironically dissatisfied
i miss You
i miss You

oh, i miss You so
the feel of forever
oh, that taste i know
it hurts to remember

i had a fleeting thought this morning
and i mentioned you today
it breaks my heart just to know You in part
and not to be with You where You are."

That is how I feel down to the last letter. I have missed being where HE is. Since my Jace died, I have only asked that He meet me where I am. Too weak, I have felt, to go where He is and be part of what He is doing. So focused on my pain and my disease to ask Him how I might be a part of healing others. Too tired and afraid to walk onto the battlefield and fight for my freedom and the freedom of those I love. Too long have I been shrouded in my own selfishness and my need to understand His plan. As if it is my right to know. As if He owes me anything. And yet.... HE has loved me with an Everlasting love... Oh to grace, how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be.... That has been the word that I have mulled over and over in my head. Constrained. The definition is to compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force, or (my favorite) to oblige. to oblige means to do as someone asks so as to please them. I have become so focused ion not trying to please others. To do what I want to do and be truly who I am, no regrets. I have forgotten my truest self is the one that is hidden in My Jesus. The one that is "obliged" to the grace that has made it possible to have that freedom to be me. That the me that is most full and lives in the fullness of Christ is the one who doesn't live to please others, but lives my life to an audience of ONE. The ONE. I have forgotten what it means to fight. And to truly LIVE. Oh how I have missed experiencing my Papa in this way. How I have missed the words living in the page and showing me only that I will never truly understand the mystery that is my God. That I am constrained, I am obliged to live for Him because of the depth of what HE has done for ME. 

Monday, August 13, 2012


Five years ago tonight I was laying awake trying to convince myself to go to sleep. I was so anxious to meet the little man that was growing inside me and making all the last minute preparations to meet him the next day. I was so ready. I had wanted him for so long. Felt him moving inside me. I knew his patterns and that he calmed when I sang. He knew his daddy's voice already. He was born with a bunch of sweet red hair that poofed up all over his big, baby head. His hands and feet looked like a toddler's already. He was fat and squishy and he made my heart all melty. I held him, he was everything I dreamed of. I don't get to hold him anymore...  I was thinking yesterday of all the tributes I give to my living babies on their birthdays. Of the hopes and dreams that I have for them and all the beautiful things that I love about them that are unique to them alone. The intricate pieces that they bring to our family and our home. And that is mostly what I'm sad about tonight. The only things I got to know of my first born baby boy are the things that happened in the first four months of his life. I know that he smiled at everyone, no one was a stranger. That his eyes reminded me of the ocean on a sunny day and they always caught the light just right. That I just melted when he put his little fat arm around my shoulder when I'd carry him around the kitchen. That he was the final piece in the puzzle that made everything right.... Or so I thought. It was so good of Papa to hold me like He did. To continue to hold me like He does. To be ok when I scream at Him and tell Him that I feel like He held out on me. That  most days I don't believe that He kept His promises. That I don't care about His plan because I just want to hold my baby again. I want to remember what he smells like and what he feels like. That I want to watch him play with his cousin and not just wonder what that would be like. That I want to watch him start pre-k and ride a bike and play superheroes and see the ocean in his eyes again. How sweet of my Papa to hold me and cry with me. To stroke my face and bottle my tears and not "need me to not be" angry with Him. How sweet of Him to hear my cries and love my brokeness. To continue to patch the wounds that tear open over and over. To walk with me while I ask the darkest questions I think there are to ask and still find no answer... and to hold my hand all the while. I find myself today opening up the box where I keep all this hurt and all these emotions and revisiting once again. Asking myself what has changed in my heart. What have I allowed to be transformed... And all I know is this... That not much has changed as far as what I feel I know about theology and the Bible. That truly the only thing I KNOW for sure is that He loves me. Deeper and wider and truer than I can ever understand. And that is all.... it is. And I don't know if I will ever know anything more than that. It's not any easier to understand or feel than it was when we started this bittersweet journey. But I am more sure than I have ever been that my Papa has never left me alone. So this birthday I will choose to feel it all. I will choose to let it soak and let it touch me again. I will feel the things I am afraid to feel because the hard things are the real things, as my Bethy says. And I will again be transformed. I will grow and change and be different because that is the only thing that can make any of this worth it.

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."
- winnie the pooh "

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Four years ago last night, I held a little boy. I carried him around the bedroom while I fixed his milk and got his medicine ready. I watched him while he ate. I marveled at the miracle that it was that he could suck and swallow, suck and swallow, over and over. I put his little train jammies on his stiff, chubby legs. I rubbed his tight muscles in his feet. I put his little socks on. And I laid dow with him. He put his chubby leg up over my side and got as close to me as possible. He was immediately calm and relaxed. Completely at peace.I listened to him breathe. And we went to sleep. That was the last time. It was the last time I ever held him with life's breath in him. It was the last time I rubbed his feet. The last time I fed him. The last time I slept with him snuggled up next to me. It was the last time....

I've thought a lot the last day or two about the word hope. I read a blog from my sweet friend Mandy and she talked about the one strand of hope that tethered her.... I love the word tethered. I think of a rock climber tethered to one strand and climbing higher and higher, all the while trusting in one single chord. He has put his whole life, dreams, everything, into the trust of that tether. If it breaks, all is lost. Tethered.... that is what I am. I choose everyday to HOPE. That is my tether. Hope is so necessary to faith. It is the evidence of things HOPED for. Our HOPE is an anchor.... We are tethered to Him with a single chord of HOPE. And I am holding to the promise that He holds my world in His hands. I am choosing each day to climb higher up the mountain and put my everything into the HOPE that He is worthy of my trust. That He will not let me down. And that if I were to lose my footing, the fall would end with me still being held.