FEAR IS NOT THE END RESULT

It’s been quite some time since I’ve opened this blog and tried to find a space for my rambling thoughts…… It’s late at night and that part of it hasn’t changed, for some reason the words flow best at the end of the day when the house is quiet.

Today, four years ago…… April 21, 2016. Forever etched in my mind as the worst day of my life. Little did I know that morning how completely different my future would look less than twelve hours later. I had gotten an early start that morning and by 8:00 I was tackling my to do list for that day. At the very top of the list was painting my front door. Gabriel went off to school on the bus and a few minutes later I had my paint brush in hand. It was a beautiful spring day and as I worked I left the door open and painted from inside the house. Just an arms length from where I worked sat a little dark haired boy.

That dark haired boy wasn’t thrilled that I was painting the door again. You see, I had just painted that very same door just about a week before this. I decided it was not the color for me and so I painted again. Logan loved that robin egg blue color that I had previously thought I would love on the front door.  And what else should I expect from a little boy who loved life? This one who embraced pretty much anything that came his way and looked at the world with wonder in his eyes.

This boy who sat and played next to me while I worked. And while both of us did our thing, he sang…. Something he did fairly often. Out of his mouth came the melody, “GOD’S NOT DEAD, HE’S SURELY ALIVE!” This dear child of mine was beckoning angels to take him home to Jesus……. Less than forty eight hours later he would burst through the gates of heaven thrilled to be in the presence of the Lord.

I wonder, who you’d be today if you were still with us? You were now in heaven as many years as on earth. I have no doubt you would now be a strapping eight year old with those black eyes still sparkling and dancing just looking for the next adventure.

As we spent those twenty eight hours in the hospital by your bedside, praying for a miracle, we couldn’t imagine the future without you. We have now lived that reality for four years. Your miracle was healing in heaven. And sweet boy, I am so thankful that you get to experience our hope and future that is being with Jesus in heaven.

But my goodness do we still miss you! Time has a way of healing the raw open wounds of grief,,, But time still feels like a thief in many ways.

The days became weeks, months and then years. Taking us farther and farther from those last precious memories we had with Logan. We are not the same family we were four years ago. We’ve grown in faith and family dynamics.
Our baby boys only know Logan as being in heaven with Jesus. They will only know him by how much we talk about him and keep his memory alive. One of the ways my mama heart was broken the most in the early days of grief was the realization that I would never hold my children all at once on this earth. These baby boys were a gift in our journey of grief. They each carry a part of his personality that I believe is a true gift from God. One has that bubbly irresistible personality that draws you in and compels you to love him no matter what naughty thing he has dreamed up. The other carries those deep dark eyes that I miss so much. Did these babies meet their big brother in heaven before they were born on this earth? That I don’t know for certain, but one thing I do know is that Hudson, (who is now almost three) had a very early realization of who Logan is and that he is with Jesus.

This child, who at four years old left an impact on me and many others is now with Jesus. His big brother still misses him and his little sister has lost most of her memories of her best friend. There are so many times I think of him throughout my day. When the spring flowers are in bloom like they are these days I think of him. It never failed, he made sure to always keep fresh flowers on my kitchen windowsill. The words he sang on that last beautiful spring morning are now engraved on his tombstone.

I know that Logan is dancing and singing those very words around the throne of Jesus. A dear little girl, who just weeks after Logan was with Jesus experienced death and life in a way that not many have, saw him singing at the feet of Jesus. Such great joy this brings and what a promise!

In the midst of this pandemic that we are living in at the moment my six year old said, ‘Mom, why are people so scared of the corona virus? If we die we get to go to heaven with Jesus”. Not everyone has experienced death the way that we have and our experience had drawn us closer to heaven. I myself have realized that there is more fear hidden beneath the surface than what I realized that I had. But Jesus says in His word, unless we believe like a young child we won’t enter heaven.

And He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.    Matthew 18:3

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be so simple. There doesn’t need to be a performance or expectation. Come to Jesus and He will make you a new person.

This world and all the fear these days is enough to suck the life right out of you. Surrender it to Jesus and He will give you a peace that only He can bring.

When I think about those twenty eight hours in the trauma unit of the hospital, where the only room on that floor that didn’t have a name at the entrance was my sons room. His sign simply read, CODE BLUE. In the moments when I think about if I would ever have to go into a hospital again under those circumstances, and it just about knocks the breath right out of me. The fear threatens to overtake me, but I fight daily to make sure that doesn’t happen. I know what I saw that Friday night in April when his heart stopped beating. The Lord allowed me to see just a tiny picture of the joy that Logan was experiencing.

In that very moment I saw two enormous golden gates swing wide open and I saw my four year old son running through those gates into the presence of my Jesus. The end result was not that cold hospital room in Delaware. We may have left that place without our son, but he was no longer there anyway. I felt his spirit pass from earth to heaven and we walked out of that hospital with a new understanding of heaven.

My flesh and my spirit contradict themselves daily. There are moments when I want nothing more than to have my family all here on earth under one roof. You see, when someone you love goes on to heaven. We didn’t stop loving Logan. Our grief and sadness is the love we can’t give him. The other moments my faith tells me that he is with Jesus. And he may have only had four years on this earth, but he’s the lucky one.

No matter the journey, pain, or how many years, my last destination will be heaven. What about yours?

If you have made it this far… Thank you for reading. If you would like prayer or direction on what it means to follow Jesus, please reach out to me……

May God bless you today and every day in the future….

-Ada

On This Day….

It was January 2, 2012. The day that he entered this world. We named him Logan Jeremiah. He weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz.  He arrived four days overdue but when he made up his mind to come there was no stopping him and he arrived VERY quickly. (like he was almost born alongside the road, pretty sure my husband never wants to get that close to delivering a baby again;)

 

What better way to start a new year than with a brand new baby boy….. We brought him home and we snuggled him and held him close. His big brother was so incredibly proud of him and was overjoyed to have a baby brother. But we very soon figured out that this kiddo was going to keep our world anything but quiet and boring. And when he was just six days young we ended up at Ephrata Community Hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe case of RSV.  Later that day we were transferred to Hershey where we would spend the next eleven days. This mama was young and scared. It was terrifying to see this precious child hooked up to all kinds of wires. It broke my mama heart to hear his cries when they wouldn’t allow him any kind of milk because the doctors feared if he would get it into his lungs it would cause pneumonia on top of the RSV.  And so we prayed for this child. Begged God to heal him so that we could love on him with all that we had. And when he came home from the hospital we kept him tucked in at home most of the winter for fear of catching all the germs and viruses that fly around at this time of the year.

 

And for four years we got to celebrate with him on this day.

But today….. today is his second birthday in heaven. The four year old boy that I hold in my heart is now six years old. And I can’t help but wonder how they celebrate birthdays in heaven?

Little did we know that that little boy who entered the world so quickly would leave such an impact on our lives, and would leave just as quickly as he arrived.

It’s been twenty months and ten days since his heart stopped beating. There are many days when I feel like I may not be able to handle never seeing those beautiful black eyes dart back and forth, absolutely shining with life and so full of mischief. This child who constantly kept me on the tips of my toes. I truly believe he opened the doors for us in so many ways and challenged us to live outside the box. I mean this was the child who I’d take to the grocery store and at a young age he would wave and talk to everyone he saw… You see.. this mama wasn’t very social at all. I’d be scared to take a poll, but fairly certain more than one person thought I was snobby. But I just didn’t have much to say to strangers and it just felt awkward when I did try. But when you have a child who is constantly talking to everyone around him you really don’t have much of a chance. And so I learned from him. And I’m still learning through what God has done in our lives by allowing us to have four years with him…..

This boy who would stop and talk to all the old people as we vacationed on the beaches of Siesta Key. At three and four years old he could tell his life story in a few minutes to anyone who walked by. Those last two years he was with us when we would sit in our same spot on the beach almost daily, and when the little old ladies would walk by, they’d give me that look and wag their little fingers and say, “You got your work cut out for you, mama”. Not like anyone needed to remind me, since he reminded me himself quite often. This kiddo who could not wait until he was old enough to drive a monster truck. It never failed whenever a very loud car or motorcycle passed the house, he’d give me that sneaky little grin and say, ” Someday when I’m big, I’m gonna have one just like that  Mom.” I’d tease him and tell him that he shouldn’t scare me like that and that he had quite a long time to change his mind. And that contagious giggle would stir up inside of him and just overflow spreading cheer just like he always did.

And today, if it’s possible, I miss him more than ever. I can’t help but wonder what kind of birthday cake he’d have chosen? Would his favorite shows still be Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines? Would his favorite color still be orange? He loved music and whenever him and Gabriel’s favorite song came on we had a dance party in the kitchen or in the car. He would’ve lived in the truck with his daddy if he could have. The last time that he rode with EJ they went to Vermont and he loved every minute of it. Never complained about the long ride but rather was in awe and wonder of the journey….

Do I gaze with that same wonder at the journey of my life? Do I face each new day with joy and cherish it as a gift from the Lord? Do you?

If I’m being completely honest there have been plenty of days since Logan’s been gone that I have not. I have some things that definitely need a little more effort and work. Some days the dark places of my heart feel too overwhelming to confront so I just stuff them a little while longer. Sometimes the grief is just too much to bear. And it’s exhausting. Does this mean that I just lay in bed all day? Nope, actually quite the opposite. The busier I make myself with the mundane everyday things the easier it is to stuff my grief. And sometimes it is weeks until I unpack this grief and face it again. But God is teaching me that if I confront it daily by spending time in the word and in prayer there is no need to pack it away until I feel like I have the time and energy to deal with it. Ans so this child who is no longer here on earth is still teaching me…. To live beyond the walls that I’d like to build around my heart sometimes and to live each day with spontaneous joy that could only be from Jesus.

 

And Jesus said, Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven….. Matthew 18:3

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light…. Matthew 11:28-30

 

Hold your little ones close tonight and cherish every minute, because we don’t know how much time has been given to us. Press into Jesus and allow Him to reach those deep dark places in your heart that you have kept hidden for way too long……….

In love, Ada

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When Christmas is Different

Its late, and I’m sitting and quite honestly enjoying the stillness of the dark night and my thoughts begin unraveling. The house is quiet, all the little people have been tucked in hours ago, and it’s anybody’s guess where my truck-driving hubby is at the moment. The glow of the lights on the Christmas tree reach the bedroom where I am. The gifts are wrapped and under the tree, the stockings are hung, we’ve got a few more treats to deliver, but other than that I think we’re about ready for Christmas.

I love this season, now I don’t really love wintertime and really would be ok if spring came right after Christmas was over. But as my walk with the Lord has grown over the years, and my faith has matured, each year I’m newly inspired and encouraged by the birth of our dear Savior. Of all the ways that He could have chosen to come, He chose to come as a humble little babe, completely dependent on others to care for Him. And each year I have a new resolve to celebrate the Christmas season in the ways that He meant for it to be celebrated. To really enjoy these days with my children, show someone that’s going through a hard time some extra love. Simple things like giving the greeter at Walmart a smile when she stops me after I come through the self checkout and my kids are starting to get antsy and she just wants to make sure I paid for my gallons of water. (may have been just a teensy bit annoyed;)) But you see it’s all part of being intentional about not letting little things bother me.

And if I’m quite honest I haven’t been doing a very good job at that lately. The thoughts in my head have been running a hundred miles an hour and they begin to undo me a little. I’ve been more impatient with my kids lately than they deserve, my amazing husband has been the brunt of a lot of unwarranted criticism. The people I love the most in the whole wide world. The ones who are my world. And the bottom line is, I have not been spending as much time on a daily basis with Jesus as I should.

You see, it’s Christmas and I wonder how much time Satan spent strategically planning all the little things he’d send my way? I allowed myself to get caught up in expectations that I had for myself and my family. I  knew that this season was going to be hard, because somehow I know that as long as we live here on this earth, Christmas, for our family will never be the same as it was two years ago and the years before that. That just below the surface of all the season’s plannings, there. is. still. grief. There is that one person that I’m not buying a gift for, there is one less holiday outfit to prepare. There is one less set of hands digging into the cookie dough or sneaking another treat.

As I was preparing little treat bags for Gabriel to pass out to his teachers at school, I thought about that kindergarten teacher. The one who doesn’t even know what she’s missing out on. Alongside all of her other little people in the classroom, there should be a little dark haired, black eyed boy. A boy who would be so excited to be there. He would be so excited and proud to walk into school tomorrow morning with a Christmas gift just for his teacher. Every time I walk by that classroom I find myself trying to catch a glimpse of what’s taking place…. I try to imagine what Logan would be doing in that scenario, who his best friends would be, and the things he would be so excited to tell me at the end of the day. Maybe I should stop and introduce myself to the teacher but I just haven’t been able to. But I can’t help but wonder if she knows what she’s missing?

So how do I carry on through this second Christmas with this grief? When it’s hard to get into the spirit? When I’m just not as motivated as I used to be to get the decorations and the lights up? I’ve always said I don’t want this grief to put a damper on Christmas for my other children, so I carry on most days. Somewhere I find the courage and strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My Christmas music playlist is mostly made up of songs about Christmas in heaven, and as I decorate and clean the house, wrap gifts for others, make yummy treats, the tears fall silently many times. And so Logan’s spirit lives on in us. Because of his life that my walk with the Lord and my faith has grown. I have said this before but I’ll say it again… I shudder to think where we would be without Jesus. This journey is so incredibly hard, but we have a hope and faith, and believe without a shadow of a doubt that we will see our sweet boy again.

 

I know there are many, many people out there who are missing their loved ones, family and friends. If you know someone who is walking this way, let me just encourage you to let them know you care. Maybe just a small gesture or even just a hug. Use words if you must.

(Get ready for some real hard and honest words)

Many times we don’t want to hear the cliche phrases like…. “But think about how beautiful Christmas in heaven is” or something in that line. Personally I know because of my faith that Christmas in heaven will be better than any earthly Christmas I’ll ever have but I haven’t yet experienced that. But I have experienced a time when our family circle was not broken, and it’s heart wrenching when that’s what you’re really longing for. Some sweet day…. I cannot wait for Jesus to return! If your life isn’t right with the Lord, you’d better get it right because He’s coming back! Find yourself a church. This weekend is a great time to start. If you’re local to Lancaster, PA, Worship Center is a great place and their Christmas eve services are always amazing. Come on out, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Well, I believe that’s the end of my late night rambling…. Thanks for listening.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Ada

 

today is the day

I had a pair of black and red shoes picked out for Gabriel. But when I presented those to him he had already found something else and they were these orange and black ones.

TODAY IS THE DAY……..

The day that Logan would’ve got on the bus with Gabriel for the first time. He should be starting kindergarten today. Ever since the day that Gabriel started kindergarten the boys had talked about the day they would go to school together. I experienced numerous meltdowns because of Logan insisting he was going to school, too. And this would subside for a while and then the issue would come back up again. Time and time again he’d beg to go to school. Finally he could grasp the fact that he had to wait until he was 5 and he could not wait for this day! Him and Gabriel would talk excitedly about the small details that would take place. Like big brothers do Gabriel would tell Logan how things are done at school. And he knew all of Gabriel’s friends and teachers by name.

But he’s not here. And my heart aches for the things we never got to experience with him. For the milestones that never came. And today I miss him a little more.

And his big brother is wearing orange and black shoes in memory of him. I was honestly surprised when Gabriel didn’t want the red shoes, but his reply was that he wanted these because orange was Logan’s favorite color. And so the memories live on. These are some of the little details that help us cope with this grief.

In a few days it marks 16 months since we laid his body in the ground and we started this journey of grief. Not a minute goes by that I don’t grieve our loss.

I wonder who he would be today?

What his interests would be?

What kind of backpack or shoes he would’ve picked out?

Would his favorite color still be orange?

Most likely he would have changed his looks a little by now. He would be a couple inches taller. When I’m clothes shopping for my kids I can’t help but look at the clothes that would be his size.

But in the place where Logan is none of that matters. He is in the presence of the KING! And for all the excitement he had for school I am sure that he is a million times more excited about heaven. He is having a blast in heaven! There is no doubt in my mind. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it still breaks my heart each and every day. I don’t know where I would be without the promise of heaven. This grief that we have would be unbearable without Jesus.

 

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders and the earth melts! The Lord of Heavens Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress…..     PSALM 46:1-7

Logan’s death was like an earthquake in our lives, the life that we had known was like a mountain crumbled into the sea…. Yes, we would rise from these shattered pieces of our broken hearts but we would never be the same again. And it’s only by the grace of God that we have been able to put one foot in front of the other every single day. God has allowed us to live on His strength. Our is nothing compared to His. I would not survive a single day on my own strength.

So today, my friends I hope that this encourages you, and if you’re trying to face the earthquakes and storms of life on your own, would you just surrender your own strength to the Lord and live on His strength instead? Just as this grief has become my cross to bear and I don’t want it to be wasted.

The cross that Jesus bore was so much bigger! Don’t allow it be wasted in your life. Jesus died for everyone! There is not a single soul in this world who is worthy of redemption but Jesus made you worthy! When you lay your sins and your burdens at the foot of the cross they are nothing. The enemy will be defeated and can have no hold on your life.

I am excited about the hope and the promise of what is to come. HEAVEN! Oh what a day, glorious day that will be!

 

                                                    Peace & love to all…..

 

 

It’s April Again….

As I sit here on this rainy spring day the weather seems to match my emotions. The month that I dreaded for weeks is now upon us. We’re so very close to that one year mark of when Logan grew his angel wings. It feels like every day is just another reminder of all that once was…..

April has always been one of my favorite months out of the year. I don’t necessarily love when the weather flip flops back & forth between forty and seventy degree days. But rather the way that everything outside becomes so alive and full of life again. On a beautiful spring day the sky is blue, the birds are singing and the spring flowers are blooming.

It’s the little things that get me excited, like the first blooms on those beautiful flowering trees or being able to open my windows and let that fresh country air into my house. The way the grass always turn green after being dead and brown through a long cold winter, it always reminds me of Easter and what Jesus did on the cross. His death and resurrection has brought life to us when once we were dead and ugly too.

But this year is different…. Yes, I can still rejoice in the little things, but it feels like everywhere I turn I’m reminded of what was. I keep going back to last year this time and the last days and moments we had with Logan. I cant help but think ” what would we have done differently if we’d known what was to come?” I don’t know what we would’ve done or even why this thought crosses my mind so often. Maybe it’s rather a simple reminder that every single day I need to surrender my emotions at the foot of the cross. And I pick up God’s grace and love and mercy that He so freely gives to all who will receive.  And I have to remind myself to praise and worship the One who makes all things new.

And I look at some of the last pictures we have of Logan it feels like we’re almost forsaking him, as time takes us further and further away from those moments. But once again I need to shift my perspective and think of it as another day closer to heaven. This doesn’t make it easy all the time and many, many times I fail. But I’m so glad I accepted Gods gift of salvation long before we started this journey. I’m so thankful that God extends His grace so freely when I can do absolutely nothing to earn it….

Have you accepted that grace?

I see so many people around me struggling through life. Burdened down with so many different things. They try to be good enough, do all the right things, etc. I wish I could tell them how I once was there to. Dealing with the pain of rejection and the way the enemy made me believe for years that I was the only one who felt this way.

Friends, take it to Jesus as we rejoice in this season of resurrection and life!

Lay it at the foot of the cross and let Him take care of it for you. Stop putting people around you on a pedestal, expecting them to do for you what only Jesus can. Allow HIM into your heart to see the good, the bad and the ugly.

And so it seems that the month of April will now symbolize a month of death and life for us as a family. Because if I truly believe in the work of the cross then I must surely believe that Logan is more alive than ever. The worst day of my life was very easily the best day of Logan’s… A day when death invaded our family, but because of Jesus we believe in the life that is to come. A day when we will all be in His glory and the beauty of heaven.

Ecclesiastes 7:1  The day you die is better than the day you were born…..

Its hard to apply this to our situation and to Logan’s life. As I think of this new life that will join our family in a few weeks my mind can”t hardly wrap itself around this verse. The pure joy that comes with a brand new baby is almost indescribable, but if we know Jesus the day we go home is even better. This is what Gods word says and I will choose to believe it even if its the hardest thing I’ve ever done….

May you be blessed in this springtime season!

Fingerprints

What is a fingerprint?    It is the impression that the tips of our fingers leave when touching something. They are also a big deal in the world of forensic science. They can help to make or break a crime…. But here’s the amazing thing! With a world population of more than 7.5 billion no two people can have the same fingerprint. If you’ve ever doubted that you are created and designed to be uniquely you, think about this. The same God who knows the number of the hair on your head has also made each of your ten fingerprints your very own….

Fingerprints….. how do they affect my daily life? As a mom of young children there are always fingerprints somewhere. On the windows and doors, in the kitchen and bathrooms, pretty much everywhere. I decided a long time ago that I will clean my house once a week and that’s it. If you happen to come by on a Wednesday that could mean that it may look a little rough since I normally do my weekly cleaning on a Friday. On the flip side of wanting a clean house I have learned that I’d better accept fingerprints as part of my life.

So my project last week consisted of painting the boys bedroom. (Yes, in my mind it’s still the boys room even though there is only one boy who sleeps in it.) And as I spent many hours painting my thoughts wandered far and wide. I thought about the many nights my boys slept in this room and how these walls could probably tell stories about the giggles I used to hear after everyone was tucked in. I wondered what they could tell me about Logan that I never knew……

Our family is in a time of transformation. One year ago it looked completely different than it does today. And as we prepare for baby #4 I feel like the front cover of our life has completely changed from what I thought it would look like. And as I painted those light green walls to make them a pale pink, transforming the room from the boys to make it Nevaeh’s I thought about the fingerprints I was covering up. Some were actual fingerprints that I couldn’t see, others were Logan’s very own marks on the wall. I saw the faint outline of pencil marks, crayons, and markers. I felt the spot in the carpet where he dumped crazy glue and remembered how I didn’t notice until days, maybe even weeks later. Because this kid kept me on the tips of my toes all the time! What should have been an easy everyday project turned emotional for me. I really didn’t want to cover up his signature marks on the walls. It took me back to the time very soon after his death when I’d struggle to do my weekly cleaning because I knew that somewhere in the house I was probably wiping away fingerprints that had been left behind. And somehow my mind thinks that if we leave everything just how it was on the day that he left it’ll be ok. But it doesn’t change anything and I really don’t want to live in the past. I think we all know someone who is stuck in the past. They may have allowed certain circumstances to make them bitter and pessimistic. An optimistic person is so much more fun to be around. They have dreams and a hope for the future. And I want to be that person. I believe God is asking us to believe in our dreams of today and the future. Jeremiah 29:11 says He knows the plans He has for us. Logan is still gone and we are still here on earth waiting for that blissful day when our family gets to be together again. It may be months and it may be years… When I think of forty or fifty years going by before I see Logan again it takes my breath away. Only God knows the number of our days just like He knows the number of hair on my head. He is surprised by nothing that comes our way.

Fingerprints…. our own signature little marks that we leave wherever we go.

How do they affect those we come in contact with? I know since Logan is gone my eyes have been opened to the impact that our children can have on those around them. It doesn’t matter if they are only four years old they can leave a lasting impression on someone’s life. It may be their little people friends or the cashier at the grocery store. Logan had many friends and I pray that they may remember this sad time as a time of knowing who Jesus is. That it would plant something inside them that would point them to the cross for the rest of their own lives. As I think of Gabriel and Nevaeh using this traumatic experience and turning it into something positive for the life, it looks hard and long. Gabriel just shared with me yesterday that his biggest fear is that someone else in our family will be hurt or would die. Because of the results of living in a sinful and fallen I can’t assure him that this will never happen. When I hear his prayers at night and he asks God that daddy would come home safely and that no one would be hurt. It breaks my heart a little more each time because no eight year old should have to know what it means when one day not everyone makes it home safely. These are the prayers of a child who’s life has been drastically changed.  As his momma I need to help him overcome that fear and quite honestly it looks like quite the daunting task when my own trust has been shaken to the very core. But once again in this moment I’m so thankful for the grace that God extends to us. He doesn’t expect us not to be afraid. He doesn’t expect us to be always be ok. But He does ask that we have faith in who He is…..  For when we allow fear to manifest we aren’t living in the freedom that God intended for us. And as I once again read Psalm 91 last week a part of it really stuck out to me.

The Lord says, I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation. (14-16)

This is one of the many promises I live on each and every day as I face it with trust and faith that can only be restored by God…. Blessings to all!

 

 

Reflections

What was meant to be a New Year’s post has ended up being about a month late, but hey, at least it’s still January 😉 As the new year began I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on what the year 2016 meant for our family. And I went back to the beginning of 2016 and thought about how part of our New Years resolution as a couple was to carve more time out of our busy schedule to purposely set aside time to spend as a family. We started it off by celebrating Logan’s 4th birthday and watching a movie in theater with the kids. Yes, all 3 of them. I remember kinda feeling anxious before we went. Because that’s what moms do, right? I thought of every worst case scenario, especially since Nevaeh was only 2. But they all ended up loving the experience. It wasn’t perfect, but it was worth it.

 And we went on to take two trips before April. One very last minute trip to Sarasota, FL in February and the second one to Guatemala just a month later. Both of these trips were absolutely exhausting but we made some amazing memories. Words cant describe how thankful I am for these memories. Days and moments that were numbered for us as a family but little did we know. Sometimes I wonder what we would have done differently had we known what was coming just a month after returning from Guatemala. I do know that we have no regrets about the money we spent to go on our first international trip as a family or the time that was taken off of work.

Now I know trips like this may not be financially possible of all of us, but I want to encourage my friends who are parents of small children. Get out and make memories with your kiddos. It can be simple things like community activities and here in Lancaster county we have so many things at our fingertips. Sometimes for us it just as simple as making the extra effort to take time for things like this. I know too many times I have heard someone say, “we don’t have time to do things like that,” or “we can’t afford it.” And quite honestly it has kinda broke my heart, because I honestly believe the time that we spend with our children is far more precious than any riches of this world.

I’m not sure how I started rambling off on this subject but maybe someone needed to hear it today 🙂

On another subject, it’s been 9 months since Logan grew his angel wings. 9 months ago on a beautiful spring morning there were tears rolling down my face before I was even fully awake. As we had fallen into bed about 2 am that Saturday morning the blissful sleep that came for three hours was the results of sheer exhaustion and the prayers of many. And as we awoke and held each other and the tears flowed, we knew the daunting task that was before us for that day. The one thing that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The task of planning your 4 year old son’s funeral. The child who just 36 hours before that was alive and as full of life as I’d ever seen him.

In the blink of an eye our lives changed, never to be the same again. In the blink of an eye, this line literally became very real in our lives. And as our day began, family and friends surrounded us. Our church family sprang into action and the thoughts and requests that we had for the service were made happen. I have never ever before in my life been so thankful for the body of Christ (as his people). I cannot tell you how many times since that fateful day I’ve thought, “how do people get through this without Jesus in their lives?” It makes me shudder to think about it. The bitterness and anger that is bound to set in. How do I know this? Because even with Christ in my life the devil tries to throw these things my way. I’ve experienced and its very real and not pretty at all.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…. Phillipians 4:13

This verse became very real in our lives. On the hardest days when we wondered how we’d get through… or on the better days when we felt this indescribable strength. This was and still is how we get through each and every day. It really is that simple. Yes, the pain isn’t quite as sharp and we as a family have began to heal. But on each one of there is this scar. We will never be the same person who awoke that Thursday morning when everything was still good and right in our lives. As a mom who now has a child in heaven, my life changed forever. My family will never again be complete on this earth.

I have seen my husband and remaining children grieve until the tears ran dry and their bodies ached. My heart feels like its been torn open and part of it now lives in heaven. I have seen the devil try to tear my marriage apart. But every single day I’m so thankful for a husband who spoke against that immediately. And through that we have the power to defeat him! Does that mean it has been easy? Absolutely not….. BUT GOD IS SO FAITHFUL…

I have shook my fist at the devil when he went for my children. To see their little hearts so broken, angry, and confused hurts my momma heart. I have prayed over and for my children more in the last 9 months than probably their whole lives together before. It makes me almost ashamed to say that, because why did I wait until tragedy struck? But its the simple truth. And to live on the power of prayer is amazing. It does a work in your life like nothing else can. To be real and honest with God when you don’t know how you’re going to make it through the next hour, let alone the next day, week or month. My prayers are full of many different emotions. Some days they are nothing but pain-filled angry prayers. But you know what? MY GOD CAN HANDLE IT. He’s not surprised when I don’t have all the right words or when I have no words at all and the tears flow like a raging angry river.

Grief is anything but beautiful. It ebbs and flows. There are days when I’m just trying to keep my head above the water and then there are days and maybe even weeks when I’m ok with a new normal. But I have believed from the beginning that God has a plan. A plan for my family and at this point I have no idea what it looks like. And I’m ok with that. Because I believe He’s refining me and we still have a purpose here. Logan’s purpose was fulfilled in only four short years and he’s so lucky. Yes, lucky… because he’s already where all of our hearts are longing to go. And I know I said this before, but I truly believe if we could see what he is experiencing we wouldn’t wish him back. But I can’t see it, and some days my human flesh wants him back. And I want my world to be all good and right again.

This got really long and maybe that’s why I was putting it off for so long because somehow I knew it would. But I just want to say thank-you to everyone that has prayed for our family. Right here in Lancaster county and around the world. You have interceded for us on the worst days of our lives and those prayers have carried us through so many hard days and moments.

Until next time…… Love you all!

new year, new blog

I have decided to try and start a blog 🙂 We’ll see how it goes…. I’m sure I wont post on any kind of regular schedule but mostly whenever the words just come or when God lays something on my heart. It’s been on my heart for a while to start writing, something that I didn’t realize I actually enjoyed until after Logan was gone. So hopefully now y’all don’t have to scroll past my long posts on facebook, you can just hop over here to see what’s on my heart…  You will have to excuse me though while I figure this out one step at a time. I have never been a very techy person so I’ll be learning in baby steps 🙂