July 31st, 2009
For those of you who don’t know, Nick gave himself the nickname “7-11” when he found out that he had a second brain tumor at the age of 11. He had his first one at the age of 7. We thought this was such a cute response to the news, and the number has been special to us ever since!
Well, not long after Nick died I learned from Lynn, a dear friend of mine here in Grayson, that she too had a very special number with her son Jerry who was killed in a car wreck about 10 years ago. It is 11 11.
So now we have this special little bond. If either of us sees the time and it is one of those two numbers, we text or call each other and we say a pray for each other.
The other day I was so excited to see this license plate!
My heart immediately thought of Jerry and of Nick and then I whispered a prayer for Lynn and her husband Bob.
Thank you, Lord, for simple reminders of your faithfulness and to pray for those we love.
Do you ever get to a place in life where you feel a little like you’re near this kind-of sign? I felt guilty even stopping to take the picture!
I’ve been in a long stretch of what I feel like has been a “no parking, stopping, standing…anytime” season.
Partly due to my own desires to see Nick’s foundation get up and running successfully and partly because I’ve sensed the need to keep pressing on in my spite of my grief.
Well, I’ve reached some sort of new place in my journey.
A place where the sign above has been figuratively yanked out of the ground and replaced by a sign more like the one below:
July 30th, 2009
July 30th, 2009
I just imagine Nick and Adrienne and so many others I love worshiping at the feet of Jesus…what a day that will by when we are all gathered round His throne..Oh, Lord, help me remember this song on the days when I feel so far from my children that I miss so much!
(You may have to push “pause” on my blog music in the column to the right in order to hear the song,)
Forever Lifting my hands toward Heaven,
July 29th, 2009
July 29th, 2009
Well, Friday morning I am going to pull out of Grayson, KY, all by myself at 6 a.m. and head to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a weekend conference called She Speaks.
I’m going to be honest.
I feel unqualified in many ways to think I have anything to share that could make a difference on this planet, and yet I feel such a burden to redeem the losses in my life and give some sort of glory back to God who has carried me through every day of this difficult journey.
On Friday evening I will be sharing “my story” in a three-minute critique group.THREE MINUTES! Pray that I can condense my journey into something that makes sense and yet shows the power of a God whose faithfulness and love exceed all of my pain.
On Saturday evening I will share a five-minute talk on a Scripture. Marybeth Whelan will be evaluating me. I’m going to confess that this talk is still buried deep within me and has not yet come out on paper…pray that I can pull it out and communicate it in a way that makes sense.
I am at a point in my life where I am trying to seek God’s will for me…
Is it to return to the classroom as a middle school teacher (I’m just going to sub this year while I wait for a clearer answer.)
Is it to write?
Is it to speak?
I just don’t know.
I do know this:
I am just a regular woman, an everyday wife, a struggling mom, a faithful friend (I hope), a sometimes moody daughter, a wanting-to-be better sister and aunt, a terribly lacking daughter-in-law (I’m so sorry I’ve been so distant), and the list goes on and on.
But I also know that I am part of the glorious Bride of Christ, I am the mother of four amazing kids and two precious angels, I am blessed to share life with great friends, I owe so much to my mom and dad, I adore my sister and brother and nephews, I am thankful for the parents of my husband…you raised him to be such a great man of God..thank you, and most of all I am a daughter of the King!!!!
I will share about my weekend as soon as I get home.
I’m looking forward to rooming with Melodie, my precious sister in Christ who lost her beautiful Brittany to a brain tumor two years ago. I am looking forward to meeting another Tammy whose son Brian went home to be with the Lord last summer after being in a car accident.
I know that spending time with these women and so many more will be the biggest blessing of my weekend! I’m sure we will share many tears and hopefully some laughter too.
I am praying that God will give me peace and that He will speak to me in very clear ways as I sit in the workshops and as I stand in front of my critique group.
My heart is open to God’s leading.
My Words are from Him and Him alone.
So I will enter this She Speaks weekend just as I do my blog..with…
My Heart His Words,
July 29th, 2009
At the family reunion this past weekend, I was so surprised to learn that this sweet distant relative has also lost a son (who was only 12 at the time). His name was Timmy.
After all of these reunions where I have seen him smiling, laughing, visiting..I learned that he too has walked this painful road of grief..
He shared about how Timmy’s life is still making a difference today in the lives of so many. He shared his hope of Heaven. We talked about how Nick and Timmy are together!!
I guess “my Tim” caught this photo. I found it when looking through my pictures.
I’m glad to have it as a constant reminder that grief is a road walked by many others and that often you have to be on the road yourself before someone feels safe telling you they are there too.
My heart goes out to all of you who walk this road with me, beside me, before me, and after me.
You are not alone,
July 28th, 2009
I SAMUEL 2:2
“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
There it was..
Right in front of me…
See my toes to the left?
I was walking in our backyard, sharing a little of my heartache with a friend on the phone when right there in front of me,
Do you see what I saw?
I saw “love.”
I saw God’s love in a rock…The Lord of the Universe was reminding me that He truly is the Rock beneath my feet. My foundation. On Him I stand. Even when I stub my toe and am hurt by things around me. Even when I trip on things that I should have seen coming and stumble to the weaknesses of my fleshly emotions. Even when I slip and totally fall…showing my absolute ugliness and desperate need for a Savior. HE’S STILL MY ROCK…
and HE’S THERE IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THE PEBBLES OF THIS WORLD’S TROUBLES AND TRIALS AND STRESSES AND DIFFUCULTIES.
THIS SIMPLE HEART-SHAPED ROCK BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES.
Praying that the Rock of our salvation will always bring us to our knees as well,
July 27th, 2009
Good Morning and Happy Monday.
Thank you for all of your prayers as we faced our first family reunion without Nick.
We definitely needed every prayer.
Overall we had a very nice time. Always so good to see family who we only get to see once every three years. I just love the way we can pick up right where we left off and feel connected so closely.
It is special.
Grief ambushed me several times though, I can’t lie.
Like when we were in the ice cream shop and I was looking at the flavors. I remember Nick loving to pick mint chocolate chip!!! Last July we spent a week at the beach and we got ice cream every day! Nick just grinned and grinned!! Oh, I miss his grin.
Or when the boys were playing putt putt or shuffleboard and Nick wasn’t there.
Or when Todd and my two nephews were sitting at a table for four in a restaurant and there was an empty seat across from Todd.
Deep inside I KNOW that Nick is great!!!!!!
But my heart still aches.
I know it will get easier. I guess in some ways it already has.
Yet I always thought as Nick was sick that I NEVER could live without him here, and so in some ways, I hate that I am able to. That may not make sense to some of you…….maybe to none of you. But that’s how my heart feels.
Nick’s wind chime just began chiming loudly on the back porch. I think he’s saying, “Mom, I’m GREAT!!!!!!!!!”
I placed Nick on God’s lap over and over again while he was fighting cancer. I took him back a lot, but I always tried to put him right back where I knew he was safest and most loved.
This time I just couldn’t physically have him back.
That’s what I’m trying to adjust to……still……eight months later.
Needing to get a lot of things done today. Have already been to basketball camp twice and to the grocery store and to the furniture store with Maria to pick furniture for her apartment! Now I need to go pick up Todd from soccer camp and get him to a hair cut appointment!
God has a way of keeping me going……..
But sometimes it feels good to just stop and pour out a little of what I stuff down over and over again.
Thanks for allowing me to pour out my heart all over you.
July 24th, 2009
Well, it’s 11:36 p.m. and I’m packing (trying to anyway) for our first family reunion without Nick.
Nick loved trips.
He always got so excited about getting his video games ready, his jammies picked out, his pillow…..oh, his favorite pillow…it’s with him. I miss seeing it too. It was such a special part of him.
Well, tomorrow will be a 10-hour drive for a weekend with family from all over the United States. It’s a once-every-three-years event, so it’s always a fun weekend. I still want it to be fun.
I just have to keep praying for strength, for joy, for peace…….
I know that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
So, I turn around to face the suit cases again. And I try to stay focused.
Focused on Him Who carries me through every first,