Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Finally Some Pictures

I know it has taken me a long time to get David's birth pictures up. They are beautiful. Our precious birth photographer captured every moment and I am so thankful for the hundreds of photos that help us remember each detail. Looking at them brings every emotion we felt that day back. And that's a good thing, but it is hard. Here are a few pictures from the end of David's labor and the very first pictures of his sweet face.














Friday, August 18, 2017

All Tribes and Peoples and Languages

The Gent and I were in New York City for a long weekend this summer. As we do whenever we get the chance, we worshiped at a local church that Sunday morning. It is always so encouraging for me to remember that all over the world, Christians are gathering together in the name of Jesus. Even in the darkest places, His light finds a way to break through and darkness has to flee. In the presence of light, the darkness cannot exist. I enjoy worshiping in a tradition different from my own, a reminder of these verses below that heaven will be filled with people from all tribes and peoples and languages. What a beautiful sight that will be!

As we've continued to walk this path of grief and joy with David, we've been blessed by many churches who've prayed over us and filled our mailboxes with cards and precious handmade blankets and prayer shawls. The prayers of the saints being lifted up on our behalf is beautiful to behold. My heart is encouraged by my Catholic friends who requested masses said in David's memory. I love that when my Orthodox neighbor sits in the Divine Liturgy, the stained glass before her is of King David, and it reminds her to pray for our family each week. For all who love and believe in Jesus our Savior, He calls us His children.

Revelation 7:9-10
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

And yet, as my Bible Study Fellowship teacher wisely said, "All roads lead to God. But not all roads lead to heaven." When Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, every knee will bow and acknowledge Him. But only those who have trusted in Him for salvation will enter into His heavenly kingdom. May you rest in the assurance of His great love for you today. "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Words for Today

Been processing a lot lately, and reading, traveling, cleaning, prepping for school. I'll be back to writing soon, I promise. In the meantime, reminders for today:

Colossians 3:1-2
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lately

I'll get back to my regular posting schedule (usually Tuesdays and Fridays) soon. We've just had a lot going on lately. May was family time, June was easing into summer, and July was full-on summer. We have done several short trips and spent lots of time with friends and had many summer adventures. But now that August is here we are slowing down just a bit and getting ourselves back in order before we start school. Nora and I are going to finish her potty-training (she's been mostly potty-trained since May, we just haven't been home more than two days in a row to finish it) and all four children and Mama are working together on a return to instant obedience and cheerful hearts. Time to turn Jacob's response of "oh man" to "yes ma'am." ;)

I sat down last week and made a list of what's working and what's not. Where do we need more structure, where do we need a better system, where do we need to say no to a few things to make our lives more enjoyable and less hectic. I have some ideas for the fall so we will see how it goes as I set about implementing them. One thing the kids and I have already started (and they love) is afternoon tea-time. After rest time, we sit around the table and have a little snack together and I read a few poems aloud. Friday we had iced herbal tea and a chocolate chip cookie, today we are having banana "milkshakes" (banana, spinach, plain Greek yogurt, and milk with a few ice cubes). Usually our snack is fruit or nuts, but I'm trying to get out of the rut a little while still keeping it (mostly) healthy.

We framed and hung pictures of David last week and marked his three month day. I am glad to have the pictures up, even though it was difficult to look through them and decide what to have printed. I am thankful we have so many beautiful images. I'll share some here . . . eventually. Little bits at a time.

Yesterday, I sang with our church worship team for the first time since we got David's diagnosis. We sang Your Grace is Enough, It is Well with My Soul, and Sovereign Over Us. Beautiful songs. Hard to sing because those are the truths I am living now. But it was good to do. More healing, more moving forward. Thankful for family and friends who continue to pray us through.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Praise You in This Storm

I'd forgotten about this song until I heard it on the radio yesterday. Beautiful words to remember when difficult things come.

Praise You in This Storm, by Casting Crowns

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Here Comes the Sun



Do you know this old song by the Beatles? I remember listening to it while I sat on the deck at the Hotel del Coronado last fall, watching the waves of the Pacific and reading C.S. Lewis and drinking some fancy $12 lemonade. A little reminder from God that the sun will come out and life will go on . . . and someday, eternity. Love this quote I read in Frederick Buechner last week (from his novel Godric): "What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup."

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It's all right, it's all right

Friday, July 21, 2017

Remembrances

Dear friends and family have given us so many thoughtful gifts in remembrance of David. This week I did a bit of pre-school-begins cleaning: organized the kids' rooms, ordered new photos to print, and found places for the beautiful things we've been given. Several people have asked what they can do to help others as they are grieving...everyone is different, but really if you say something and show up (more Nancy Guthrie advice) that's all you need to do. I think a lot of people are scared to bring up David, but it is more painful if you don't acknowledge the hurt at all. Grieving people need to know you haven't forgotten. I promise, even though it may seem like a person has processed their grief and moved on, the sorrow is still there. While the intense emotions may lessen over time, I don't expect the pain to every go away. However, along with saying something and showing up, these thoughtful gifts (and others I'm now realizing I've forgotten to photograph, like the Forget Me Not cup I drink my coffee from most mornings) are loved and appreciated, too. Find ways to acknowledge the hurt and the joy and the life.

Our church community group made this book for us. It is full of letters they wrote and Scriptures to hold on to.

My dresser top




The children each have a blanket that was made for David. We ended up with five. We buried one with David and gave each of his siblings one to keep.


Sweet mother and child heartbeat necklace


This necklace has a birthstone for all my babies, including my three diamonds in heaven


The David toeprint charm added to my Faithful necklace. Zion and Noel's names are on the other side. I wear one of my necklaces most days.








This blue jar is a thankful jar, filled with words of encouragement from so many who love us. Their words wouldn't all fit in this jar. I have a drawer filled with more!








My desk. My mom has had this picture for years and gave it to me recently. The Blessings sign I found for $2 at TJ Maxx years ago. The cross was made by my Papaw. The mother figure was a gift from a friend.


I blogged about this little cube a few weeks ago.



Before David was born, we made a "David Bear" together at Build-a-Bear. His heartbeat is recorded and we all love to play it. Each child has a stuffed animal or lovey of David's and they trade them around.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Holding Fast


Psalm 145:13b-21
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Superheroes and Princesses Birthday Party

This party was over six weeks ago and I am finally getting around to posting the pictures. Jacob (6) and Sophie (4) celebrated their birthdays together with a superheroes and princesses party. I went simple this year--ordered pizza and just made cupcakes instead of decorating cakes for each of them. They didn't seem to mind...too much. I did get several questions about what kind of cake I was making them but in the end the cupcakes were a hit. I did have to make three different flavors to appease them. ;) The kids played on the playground, practiced their web-making skills with silly string, squirted pictures of villains with water guns, went on a glass slipper hunt, and built Frozen's Olaf out of marshmallows. We all had a great time celebrating Jacob and Sophie and enjoying time with family and friends. Thanks to all who joined us to party!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

At the Lake

We had a family reunion at the lake a few weeks ago. The kids had the best time fishing, driving the boat, and eating s'mores, as these photos will attest. Happy summer!