This is a huge week in our town. We are kicking off our local branch of Basket of Hope (

Angela Brunette, the Executive Director, arrived in Grayson yesterday from St. Louis, and I was able to spend the entire evening with her. It was wonderful! I know that God will use this ministry to encourage many children and families in Eastern Kentucky throughout the years to come as they face the news that their child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Today Angela and I, along with a friend of mine whose son just recently finished his journey with chemo, will be visiting several area hospitals to present this volunteer ministry program. Tonight we’re having our first basket-delivery and training session and tomorrow night the goal is for our community to assemble our first 100 baskets!!! Churches, a girl scout troop, and schools have collecting items for the last month, and our town is “pumped up” about making a difference to hurting families.

So why am I surprised that Tim and I are both “crushed in spirit” right now?

Why am I shocked that last night of all nights Olivia had to find a “summer picture” of herself for the school play and Tim and I walked through as she was going through all of the pictures from Nick’s Make A Wish trip to the Bahamas.

There was Nick’s precious face on the computer screen.

Smiling. Beaming. So happy at the ocean.

I found Tim later crying in the bathroom.

I found myself not being able to get to sleep.

And now, less than an hour before I leave for a full day of hospital visits and time with two precious moms whose children are thankfully cancer survivors, I am struggling with self-pity.

Why am I surprised?

The devil just can’t stand when someone is trying so desperately to turn something bad into good. He just can’t rest when God is up to something bigger than he thought possible.

So, as I read the Bible this morning, I was comforted with words like,

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
II Cor. 4:8-9

Absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Rom. 3:29 (The Message)

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
I Thess. 4:13

5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:5

So, as I cling to the only Words that have life………the Word of Life……..I am determined to step forward today with a smile on my face in spite of the anguish in my heart.

Nick may not be with me physically, but I know he is with me in my heart……

And more than that I know that he is with Our Father….who somehow loves him even more than I do!!!

Lord, I trust you with my pain and my sadness. Fill me up with Your joy and peace as You have time and time again. I am resting in Your unfailing arms. Keep the devil far from my thoughts. Help me to take every thought I have captive and make it obedient to Your Son Jesus Christ. Father, without Him I do not know where I would be today………..In His’ Precious Name, Your Son who Suffered for All of Us, Amen