Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Mind of Ella

I do not very often wonder what Ella is thinking, because she is normally telling me very clearly and very precisely ... with a lot of words!  That girl loves to talk.  She would rather talk than eat (it's a constant battle around here), and if she has a bite of food in her mouth she will push it to her cheek in order to talk about what is on her mind.

And she does not miss a thing!

Many times she has asked us why Audrey died, and each time we have told her we don't know why but that Jesus wanted her to be with Him.  We have been very honest with her, and if we don't know the reason we tell her we don't.  The only thing we know is that "Jesus wanted her with Him," but we do not know why, and how many times have we wished we did!!!

Then those few and far between times when Ella is quiet, and the look on her face is telling us she is thinking about something, we ask her what she's thinking about. And every time the answer is the same.

Tonight we were sitting on the porch eating ice cream and Ella said to me, "Why did Tiffany's baby come out?" I told her it was because it was time for him to be born.  And her next question was,

"Why didn't Jesus want him?"

Holy Cow! This little 4-year-old of mine is asking me questions beyond what I can answer!!  She often tells me she is ready to go to heaven.  She talks about how you get there, and recently we have even gotten into the subject of hell (although it was very brief).

Please pray for her, and for the wisdom I need to tell her what she asks but not to encourage her more than she is ready.  Since Audrey's death, one of the main prayers I have had for her is that losing her sister would not make her upset with God in any way.  I am so thankful she is beginning to grasp the love that Christ has for her.

Be careful about telling your kids to be quiet and not talk, you may be missing out on some very interesting thoughts they are having! =)


Monday, September 27, 2010

Going Through the Motions

Please bear with me, I do plan to get back to what I wanted to do with this blog, and I hope to get involved somewhere where we can be used to minister to people who have gone through loss.  I do not want to overlook the heartache and grief of loss, it is already overlooked too much.

However, lately I have been going through the motions and things have been going OK most days.  I apologize for not getting on here and writing as much but I will get back to it.  Please continue to send me your prayer requests and be assured that I am still praying for you.

I have been studying more about HOPE and was encouraged by what I studied this morning.  It was about Anger.  Have you ever dealt with that?  ...oh that's right, we all have!  How about righteous anger?  I know I have, and we tend to pass it off as it being justified.  After all, we are to hate anything that goes against what pleases God, right?  Mark 3:5

But how about our motive?   Ephesians 4:26 says anger that is unselfish and based on the love of God is righteous.  BUT, it should not be allowed to fester, even righteous anger can turn to bitterness.  I will be honest, most of the time the reason things make me angry is because of how they make me feel.  I am not usually as concerned with how deeply they hurt God.

Don't let your anger be based on feelings, and do not let it stick around or "go down on thy wrath."  None of us want to become bitter.  That is why I have worked so hard at accepting what the Lord has brought into my life.  The good, the bad, and the horrible.  Some days I succeed, some days I don't.

It's another one of those things we just keep giving back to the Lord.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It is amazing how quickly things can change.  After an hour in an ultrasound, or 4 days with your precious baby, or in just a moment when life makes a complete turn in a direction you weren't expecting.
Even in small ways it is sometimes hard to keep up with changes, especially when you expected something different.  After having a "normal" life of 1st shift hours for 3 months, we are now back to the 2nd shift grind.  Another adjustment, something else to get used to.

I am thankful for Ella and for the "constant" that she brings to my life.  Whether it is constant talking and questions, constant dirt being tracked into the house, or just having her around all the time.  I am so thankful she is here with me all day, every day.

Lately, since the weather has cooled off some (in the mornings anyway!), I have been sitting on the front porch swing in the morning to have my coffee.  It is so nice and quiet, a great way to start my day.  One morning last week I was sitting out there and after just a couple of minutes Ella came out.  She sat on the swing, covered up with her blanket, and immediately started chatting away.  =)

I almost lost a beautiful moment when I started to say, "Ella will you please go inside and let me sit here for a few minutes?"
But before I said that, I quickly thought ahead a few years to dropping her off at school, then a few more years to her leaving for school on her own, and even a few years further to when she will not be living here.  All those mornings, year after year, of sitting on my porch alone, never to be interrupted by my sweet daughter.
It brings tears to my eyes that I, even for a moment, thought to ask her to leave.

We sat on that swing for a while, talking and enjoying the morning.  And how thankful I am for those moments I have to spend with Ella, because they are quickly passing me by.

I never realized how quickly it goes until I had to fit a lifetime into 4 days.



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Is Your Last Chance

It just might be!

I get caught up in life here and forget this myself.  We think earth is what we are living for even though we would never admit it.  But look at what your days are filled with, where your mind is, and what is important to you.  This was me a year ago, and I can even see how time heals and also brings you back to your earthly desires and focuses. That is why I do not want to ever stop thinking about Audrey, or remembering her with pictures, or talking about her. She helps keep my mind on what really matters.  I really should be living like I am dying!

A friend of mine has been such an encouragement to me over the past few months, and this was something she wrote that I would like to share:

"I think of you often to pray and it reminds me of the time we were praying for her. She had a way of making everyone stop and think about their own lives, what is important and what really is not. I think of her and makes me think of heaven and then the focus of praying for my family to be there one day."

I am honored that my little 2lb. 2oz. baby girl had this kind of effect on people.  It did on me, and it has helped me realize that it doesn't matter what I accomplish here unless it is helping people understand their need for Jesus.  

I'm not saying to live like you were dying so you go out and do all the things you wanted to do in life.  I am saying to live like that person you just talked to will be stepping into eternity the moment you walk away and do you want to answer to the Lord for why you did not share Jesus with them?  (I am talking to myself too.  This is so much easier to write than to do.)  How about in your own life, are you living as a child of the King (If you really are one)?  Are you truly ready for Him to return knowing without a doubt that He is coming for you too?

Do you feel lonely, sad, and homesick after the trials you have gone through?  You should!  We should never get to the point where we are comfortable in this life.  Happiness, Joy, Peace, contentment ... YES!  
But comfort ... NO.  

Max Lucado said, "You have an eternal address fixed in your mind.  God has 'set eternity in the hearts of men' (Ecc 3:11).  Down deep you know you are not home yet.  
So be careful not to act like you are."

Jesus has knocked on the door of my life and I asked Him to come in.  "Now the door will open again.  Only this time, it won't be Jesus who walks into our house, it will be we who walk into His." (Lucado)

Audrey knows what it is like to walk into the house of the Lord!
Am I ready to know?  Are you?


Friday, September 10, 2010

"I have written your name on my hand"

Isaiah 49:16
One part of "Safe in the Shepherd's Arms" (Lucado) that I read earlier this week spoke of how God knows us all by name.
When we see a flock of sheep they all look the same to us.  But the shepherd knows them each by name!  And the same is true of us and our Shepherd.  Think about the number of people on this earth, even how it looks when you see a crowd of people.

Yet God knows us each by name.

Do you like seeing your name on the degree you earned?  Even on the trophy you earned in high school or at a competition?  Not long ago I was going through some things in the attic and trying to get rid of some of it.  I came across trophies from my Talent's for Christ competitions, Band awards, and Teens involved.  I also came across commendations from my service in the Air Force.  I saw my name next to "Baghdad, Iraq."  (which seems so strange now!)  Those were all things I put back in the box to keep. My name is on them, it has helped define who I have become.  Those things that I did have meaning to me.

But my name is also on God's hand and is spoken by His lips!  WOW--that really defines who I am!
I am His child.  I really am.  1 John 3:1 says "The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God.  And we really are his children."

I don't very often get to use Audrey's name.  But I love to see it, speak it, and hear it.  I also like to hear others say her name and ask about her.
And I can only imagine how much more God loves my name - I am His child.

Audrey's name is on her birth certificate, on her blanket, forever on my heart, often on Ella's lips, on her death certificate, her social security card, on medical claims...

... and finally on her grave.

We were glad to hear that it was placed today, the 4-month anniversary of Audrey meeting Jesus.

Till we meet. Till we meet. Till we meet at Jesus feet!
God be with you, till we meet again.

I think about that day constantly! When I am reunited with my daughter, it will be at Jesus' feet.
She already knows what that is like, and I cannot imagine it.  I can't wait.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I realize I have not written in a while, I have not had any great thoughts to write down.  A lot of the past month seems to be a blur, and it has definitely been a struggle.  This was the first I have had nothing going on, and nothing to anticipate; it was when I thought I would just get back into my routine.

That is far from what has happened.  Suddenly the idea of a routine brought the reality of what is missing.  I have time to get lots done but I haven't been able to do any of them.  I cannot remember things or stay focused on what needs to get done.  I go to bed, wake up in the middle of the night and stay up for an hour, maybe two, then go back to bed and can't get up early enough to get done what I want to get done.  Normally I am a person of lists, crossing off projects as I finish them.  Lately, my list has consisted of the necessities and by the time they are done I am exhausted.

I am excited to get out and do things, and when I get there it is all I can do to be around all those people.  I read this week about a woman who loved being in church but the happy camaraderie around her, in the midst of her deep sorrow for the one she so desperately missed, was almost more than she could bear.
I can relate.

I keep hearing people talk about wanting time to themselves, away from their kids.  How absurd.

I wake up feeling OK, sometimes even good, and partway through the day I am tired, frustrated, irritated, or just scatterbrained and the day seems to be wasted.
The one thing I can focus on is studying the Bible, and that is a good thing.  I am learning more about God and more about trusting His ways and not mine.  But sometimes I want so badly for my life to get back to a routine, something expected, to get my mind on to new joys of life.  So often, no matter how hard I try, I am reminded of that sweet little girl who would have been 4 months old yesterday, but the baby carrier I see does not have her in it.

Ella had her 4-year pictures taken last week.  Sitting there I realized they would have been getting pictures taken together.

I guess this is what they call grief.  I do not mean to complain, for some reason God has brought this to me so that I can move closer to Him.  He has given me this gigantic trial so He can teach me something, so I can help someone else, so I can learn to trust Him more.
Yes, I know all that.  But it will never take away the sorrow or the pain of a daughter for whom I had so many hopes and dreams.  Where she lives is simply amazing and uncomprehendable.   Yes, that is just it....I cannot comprehend it.  And to try to understand God and His ways is like trying to .... well it is impossible.

I guess that is where it ends, just quit trying to understand.  I apologize for the scatterbrained writing tonight.
Thank you for reading!


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Thank you for praying for my friend, Marcy, and her baby boy Brendon.

Brendon arrived at 2:12 a.m Thursday, September 2, 2010. He weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long. We are both doing well.