November 30th, 2009
We packed our weekend full of activities, forcing ourselves to do the “normal” things like putting up our tree, hanging Christmas lights, and even putting stockings on the mantle which I dreaded most of all.
I have much to write about from the weekend, but for this morning all I can say is I am having a tough time and am trying my best to do everything “with hope.”
Thank you, Janet, for sharing this song with me this morning. I needed it.
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying.
Much, much love,
November 28th, 2009
Today did start pretty “black”………..the sky anyway……
But Mom, Evan, Maria, Todd, and I felt anything but darkness.
We had awoken at 3:30 a.m. and almost immediately heard the sound of mom’s wind chimes ringing loudly on her back porch. This always makes me and mom smile….realizing Nick’s presence is never as far from us as it so often feels.
By 4:30 a.m., we were headed for E’town…..not especially looking for “one thing” but definitely looking for a fun memory. The boys and Maria had never experienced this once-a-year phenomena and were very curious about how it really was in shopping centers in the middle of the night when prices were slashed, items were limited, and people were on a mission of madness.
Why we chose Target first, I didn’t think I’d ever understand…….
The parking lot was totally full. One car actually released a passenger at a stoplight so that they could run across the parking lot and get into the store more quickly! At that point, we knew we were in trouble!
Little did we know that we would run into friends from long ago all through the store!
And then after standing in line for over an hour and visiting with the very friendly lady right in front of us, mom somehow mentioned Nick to her while I was talking to a cashier and who would have ever known that this new sweet friend of mine had also lost a child…a precious little boy who lived only 6 hours. Instantly, we shared a part of life that no one can ever take away.
I knew INSTANTLY why we had chosen Target first!
When God “aims” to bring people together, HE SHOOTS STRAIGHT at whatever “target” is necessary. I hope this new precious friend stops by this blog, because in the craziness of the early morning hours, I got her picture but not her name!!!!
Anyway, I write all of this to say this:
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS BE OPEN TO GOD’S PLAN EVEN IF IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE AT THE TIME!
HE HAS WORK TO DO, and HE GETS IT DONE…..
IN SPITE OF OUR BLACK FRIDAYS!
The only black Friday in God’s eyes happened over 2000 years ago and became THE MOST GLORIOUS SUNDAY in His eyes in just three short days!
No matter what we may call today……God simply calls it “another day to draw people closer to Him!”
And Nick, you are forever changing me (and Mamaw) into the people God longs for us to be! Thank you, my brown-eyed baby boy! Oh, how I miss your grin, your voice, your conversations, your sense of humor, your laugh, your love for life! I am who I am today because of you.
Clinging to the promise of eternity in Heaven with my babies and My King,
November 26th, 2009
I haven’t read this book (If You Give a Pig a Party) that is waiting for Olivia under mom’s Christmas tree…..
I’ll read it with Olivia when she wakes up. (Olivia loves pigs!!)
But it does make me think about some other “ifs”……
If you give a friend a hug, you show them they are loved.
If you send a friend a “Happy Thanksgiving” text, you make them smile.
If you focus on your blessings, your troubles seem to fade.
If you live with an eternal perspective, grief cannot consume you.
If you put others first, you’ll forget all the things that “you” wish “you” could change about “your” life.
If you love people in spite of their imperfections, you’ll receive love in spite of your own.
I wanted to send a quick note and say “Happy Thanksgiving” from my family to yours!
We’re missing Nick greatly today, but my morning Bible reading was all about living with the Hope of Heaven and the GLORIES we will experience that will surpass any earthly suffering!!!
Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Thank you, Father, for Your Word and Your WIsdom and Your Hope!
Loving all of you and thanking God for you,
November 25th, 2009
November 24th, 2009
At 5:30 this evening we’ll be heading to Cabell Huntington Hospital to deliver baskets to all of the children on the pediatric floor.
It’s almost surreal to me that last year at this time we were in last few days of Nick’s earthly life.
I still believed last year at this time that God could heal Nick. Even with all of his physical struggles, I never stopped believing that God could perform a miracle.
When God chose to take Nick from us, I’m going to be honest. I did not understand.
Many times even now I do not understand.
I know that if Nick were here, we would still deliver baskets tonight. He would be right there with us……….grinning ear to ear and being so sympathetic to every child who is dealing with IVs and shots and tests and all sorts of different medical treatments.
I have to believe that Nick will still be with us tonight.
It’s the only way I can enter the hospital and wear a smile.
I’m looking forward to sharing the hope and love of Jesus with families in the hospital, but I’m also kind-of dreading it.
My mind and heart swirl with so many different emotions.
If you think of us tonight, please whisper a little prayer.
But more than for us, please keep praying for the family of Snowy Hall, who died yesterday.
November 24th, 2009
Our morning at school started with a moment of silence in memory of a graduate from last fall who was killed yesterday afternoon in a car accident.
As the classroom transformed from whispering and giggling to absolute stillness, I closed my eyes and thought of the student’s family.
I wondered what they were doing this morning as they face a totally different Thanksgiving than they had planned.
I thought of the students who have stopped by my room this morning sobbing and wondered how they would put their lives back together without a friend who sounds like an amazing young girl.
I thought of my own grief and realized that none of us really knows when we will be forced onto this unchosen road of pain.
All we do know is that we don’t have to walk this road alone.
My prayer this morning is for this sweet girl’s family………that they will be so enveloped in love and support that they will be able to face each new morning knowing that God is with them in a powerful way.
If you would like to write them a note, either post it here or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will print out all messages to include in a memory box that we will have delivered to them in a few weeks.
Thank you for every prayer for this hurting family.
November 24th, 2009
During Olivia’s latest basketball tournament, my husband took one of her friends’ little brother across the road from the high school we were at so that he could visit the fire station.
He had such a fun time feeling like a “real fireman!!”
I just love how kids can “transform” into whatever costume they are wearing and totally take on that costume’s role!
I can’t help but think of how Jesus says that in order to enter Heaven we have to “become like little children,” and then later in the New Testament we are told that part of the armor of God is “the helmet of salvation.”
Do I really wear this helmet with confidence?
Do I wear it with a smile like Ian’s?
Lately, I don’t think I have.
To be honest, I’ve been a little down.
I try so hard to stay upbeat and positive……..and truthfully, if I remember what my helmet looks like (ETERNITY WITH MY SAVIOR!), then I should “rejoice always!”
I think life sometimes has a way of trying to knock off our helmet, causing us to doubt and become discouraged.
My prayer for tonight and tomorrow is that I will remember what kind of helmet I am wearing and as I remember I will
November 23rd, 2009
This picture makes me smile.
I hope it makes you smile too.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, Rejoice!
November 23rd, 2009
We were able to send money to the small orphanage in India, however, we have not yet been able to work out the details of helping our sweet friends in Romania.
Believe me, I pray for you and think of you daily!
Believe me, if I could hop on a plane and deliver boxes of clothes, medical supplies, food, and cleaning supplies, I would!
I have a friend who is heading to Romania in December and I’m praying we can hook up and send a few suitcases with her!!!
Until then, I am still researching a way to send a monetary gift.
Please forgive the delay,
November 23rd, 2009
We are planning to deliver baskets to every child on the pediatric floor of a nearby hospital tomorrow evening. We would love to have a caravan of volunteers join us to help deliver these 20+ baskets to the children who are spending the week of Thanksgiving in a hospital room.
If you live in the area and would like to help, please email me at email@example.com by tomorrow afternoon around 4.
We will leave the Farmer’s Hardware parking lot at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Hope to see you then!
If you cannot make it because you have other plans or do not live nearby, please whisper a prayer for the families who will be receiving the baskets. A prayer that God will use these gifts to bring the families closer to Him.