Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Visiting Lucy's gravesite

On October 30th Hunter and I took all the kids to the cemetery to lay flowers at Lucy's grave.  The kids(well the 3 big ones)  haven't been there since her graveside service.  I am going to be real honest here...they did not want to go and I made them.  It was a personal decision between Hunter and me.  We felt like it would be good for them to be there...see her full name...weep over her tombstone with us...and just to talk through the different emotions we feel so strongly around her birthday and home-going day!  We were able to remind them that she is in heaven...the most perfect place of all and the home we truly long for!  It was very hard and very painful, but it felt good! She is such an important part of our family story...she changed all of us as hard as it is!  And I wanted a picture of all 5 of my children!  It's the only one I have and I cherish it so very, very much!

I have hesitated writing about visiting the cemetery but I remember for months and months after Lucy passed away I loved reading blogs of parents that had lost a child.  It gave me comfort knowing I wasn't alone and that others had walked the same path as me!  I wanted to know that joy would one day return...that grief and sadness wouldn't always linger...that I would truly laugh again one day...and I can say that joy did return...that I'm not consumed with grief and sadness daily and that I laugh often! 

As I am writing this I am looking at our Christmas tree.  I am reminded how unbelievably hard, sad and difficult the first Christmas is after a devastating loss.  I am thankful for the healing the Lord has brought to my heart and how I've been able to enjoy this Christmas season.  But, on the other hand, I hurt for all the families that are feeling the weight of their losses!  If you know someone that's hurting from a loss or just hurting right now...send them a message, give them a card, sit down and have  cup of coffee with them.  It means SO much!

And to those that read this and are hurting, I am so, so sorry! It is hard and lonely...but I encourage you to invite Jesus into your grief.  He knows every ounce of how you feel...because He is the Jesus of our grief!  True rest and comfort will only come from Him! 

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy 3rd Birthday Precious Daughter

I have been incredibly blessed with some amazing people in my life that pray with me, for me, and speak so much wisdom and truth into my life! I am completely blessed with some of the wisest and most Jesus loving women! They have been praying for my October...that I could come to love it again, that I would rest in Him as I weep and trust...and I can tell you from experience that prayer is powerful!!! As a whole this October has been full of joy! Little things that the Lord has done to make it a little easier...like my brother and sister in law just hopping in the car and heading to our neck of the woods and spending the night with us !!...my mama being able to come and spend three nights the week of Lucy's birthday!...the Lord has been so kind to me and has allowed me to realize these were gifts he was giving me! He is the giver of good gifts!!

As hard and sad Lucy's birthday is I have promises to cling to! I have precious words that dear friends have sent me to remind me of the God that loves me...words like "I'm praying for you as you weep deeply over what you've lost and then turn your eyes to all that you've gained in Jesus"..."will be lifting you up as you weep and trust in him."..."Been on my mind all week. Praying for you to feel and know His comfort this week and that you will approach the throne of grace knowing Jesus understands your pain and can carry you in and through it. Love you."...These are just a few from the many that have been sent our way! Again, these are good, precious gifts from Him!I have clung to these words from all of these dear friends as I have and will probably continue to weep deeply today and for the next several days. I will weep over my little girl that I miss so much!! But I can and will weep with hope!! And I know that the God of all comfort will comfort me!

So Happy Birthday my precious daughter! Your Daddy and I love you with all of our hearts! We are so thankful for your precious life and can't wait to spend eternity with you!!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13



Friday, September 30, 2016

It's that time of year again...

Fall is here for sure! We are enjoying crisp, cool morning air. We are grabbing jackets before we walk out the door. There is "pumpkin" something in every store and pumpkin recipes galore! I like fall...I just don't LOVE it...I used to...but you know what? A dear friend prayed over me yesterday that the Lord would redeem that! She prayed that the Lord would redeem my love for Fall...and guess what??!!... I can't but HE CAN! So, I'm standing on that truth!! I LOVE that he can make beauty from the ashes!!

Tomorrow is the first day of October. It is the beginning of the longest month in our house. My step is a little heavier and my heart hurts more. On October 27th we will celebrate Lucy's 3rd birthday. Wow!! Three years!! But it still feels like yesterday!! I'll be honest...it sucks really bad!! What would my little girl look like? Would she have blue eyes like all my babies? Would she have the tinge of red in her hair like her sister and her Mama? What would her voice sound like? Would she be following Maggie around everywhere? My questions could go on and on! So, I'm going to miss my girl like crazy...I'm going to cry when I feel it coming...I'm going to go to the cemetery and put flowers at her graveside...but more than anything I'm going to let Jesus carry me through this like he has done  since we told Lucy good bye.  Psalm 30:5 will be at the forefront of my mind. "weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning!" 

Whatever you are going through cling to this truth! He is there walking right beside you...even carrying you...and JOY does come in the morning!!

Happ Fall!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Taste and see the Lord's Goodness

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8

I need to clean out Maggie's closet.  There are clothes hanging in there that are a size 5 and 6.  She is 9! Normally I would call it procrastination...and I am SUCH  a procrastinator.  But that isn't the reason I haven't cleaned out her closet and done something with a bazillion size 5/6 dresses...I don't want to! I was saving them for Lucy! This October will be her 3rd birthday!!!! Yes, it has been almost three years and I still have them hanging!   When I found out we were having another girl, I couldn't wait to go through all the boxes of clothes that were Maggie's.  I was ecstatic about these sisters! And of course I had a lifetime of things I couldn't wait to do with another daughter! 

But little did I know the story that the Lord was weaving.  I didn't know it at the time but in April of 2013(six months before Lucy was born) a precious little girl was born to what would become a very dear, dear friend of mine.  I met Jill about a month after her son, Roan, passed away.  It was a very similar situation to Lucy.  We, of course, had an immediate bond and knew each other's deepest hurts. She instantly became very dear to my heart and a very close friend!  Several months after I met Jill Luke was born.  Luke and Roan would have been 2 months apart and I am certain they would have been the best of friends!  As would have Lucy and her daughter!  Can you see the picture he is weaving?  I don't have Lucy with me but I get to watch one of my dearest friends enjoy her daughter that is Lucy's age!  Jill doesn't have Roan with her this side of heaven but she has a special bond with Luke! 

Jill and I were at Windy Gap together with our families this past weekend.  Through a sweet conversation we had, I was reminded of the goodness and kindness of our Lord! Jill and I both miss Lucy and Roan so much, but we are both tasting the Lord's goodness through our losses...even though sometimes it is REALLY  hard!!

I love how He has taken something painful...like cleaning out a closet...and turned it into something sweet.  Because now I can clean out Maggie's closet and pass those handmade dresses on to my dear friend and watch her daughter enjoy them!  I can smile when I see SJ in a dress that was Maggie's!

So, today I am thankful that I can "taste and see that the Lord is good!"  I might even go clean out a closet now!!





Thursday, December 31, 2015

Beauty in Pain

This picture in one way represents the beauty and pain we have walked through. The pain of losing Lucy Pattison but the beauty in welcoming Luke Pattison! I took this picture on October 30, 2015. Two years to the day that we had to make the excruciating decision of letting our little girl go! A decision I never imagined in a million years I would ever have to make. The pain is in the death and loss. The beauty is in what the Lord has done through our loss. It makes me think of the line from the song "Sovereign Over Us"...(which our family calls Lucy's Song) ..."There is strength within the sorrow, there is beauty in our tears." Death, loss, grief...it is so painful...but the sorrow and tears we go through and still shed only make us stronger. They have allowed us to see and feel the Lord in such a REaL way! I miss my daughter so very, very much and would give anything for her to be here. I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that is physically painful because I miss her so bad.  I think about her in someway every day! But i am thankful for her precious life and how she has changed us...as husband and wife...as a mama and daddy...as a friend, etc...

So, I look at this picture on New Years Eve and I am thankful for the beauty in the pain. I'm thankful for Luke and that he is healthy! I am now at a point where I can say I am thankful for the 30 days we spent in Lucy's same NICU. I am thankful for what 2015 taught me. It has been one more year of healing for our family! And now i welcome 2016 with open arms.  It is my prayer that we will spend the year and every year pressing into Him in every area of our life..when we are on top of the mountain and when we are deep in the valley! Because there is beauty at the top and even at the bottom!

Happy 2016!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Positivity??!! Really??

Have you ever taken the strengths finder test?  It really is amazing how it totally nails your personality and "strengths"!  Several of my top traits have to do with my love for people and realtionships...WOO(winning others over) and includer...one of my other top strengths is positivity.  Well, my strength of being positive comes very natural!  My parents are two of the most positive people on the planet.  The glass in our house when I was growing up was ALWAYS half full!! We were always making lemonade around the Tyner house!! Well, my "positivity"  has been tested to the max since losing Lucy!  How in the world could I find anything positive about burying my daughter?  I could very easily write a page about all that we are missing out on with her...rehash the nightmare we lived in the operating room...give details of the moment we had to sit our 3 children down and tell them their sister died!  Yes, I do have to live with the knowledge of knowing all these things but instead of focusing on those things I choose to focus on the good that the Lord has shown us through her short life!  The Lord brought Hunter and me to our knees in a way that only came through deep loss and grief! and while I was on my knees, for the first time, I completely understood what it meant to rest in his sovereignty! I found...and still find...myself and my family in a situation that I cannot and will never be able to change. Lucy will never be with us this side of heaven! But God is Sovereign and ultimately he is Good!

And So, at noon today I will meet my husband at the cemetery. And this sucks really bad! But I will take my positivity with me( which for me is really the HOPE that lives in my heart) and I will lay flowers down at her "spot."  We will weep and grieve for our daughter! But we will do this all with Hope! Because of Jesus and his redeeming work on the cross I get to see my daughter again and spend eternity in the presence of our God and King...and Lucy!

For those of you that read this...I pray you have this same Hope!...that you, too, can rest in knowing that one day you will get to spend eternity in the most perfect place of all!! With the One who is absolutely perfect, loving, kind and gentle!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Dear Daughter

Today is my little girls 2nd birthday! Wow! On one side I can't believe it's been two years and on the other side it feels like forever ago! My heart hurts today! I miss her always but today it is extra painful! And actually the last few weeks have been a little heavy!  But I've said it over and over that the Lord is in the good and he is in the painful! He hurts with us and is near to us. Scripture even confirms that..."the Lord is near to the broken-hearted!"

We have seen the Lord use Lucy's life to draw people to him! She certainly changed our lives and our family! A lot has happened in the 2 years since we met our 2nd daughter! We miss her like crazy but we can rejoice because she is alive with Christ! I am so very thankful I have the hope of heaven! And now, 2 years later, I can rejoice over her life...with tears in my eyes...but I can rejoice! I will spend today missing my daughter deeply...but thankful for her precious life!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Overwhelmed

I love the song Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave. And that's what I'm feeling at this moment as I siT in the room with Luke waiting for him to be discharged. We have been here for 4 weeks and three days! It has been a long, exhausting and sometimes scary road. This was not the road I expected to take with this pregnancy! I thought surely since I buried my daughter I would have an easy pregnancy(as easy as it can be after suffering a devistating loss) and easy delivery. I had served my time of suffering! Well, as we all know we are not in control! The Lord saw fit for us to be thrust to our knees again! I wish I could say that's what I did but I didnt. I was too scared to. I told a dear friend of mine this. She said, "The Lord wants you to be honest with him. He can take it. This is when you rely on other people praying for you!"
And I absolutely did! And slowly over the last 4 weeks and 3 days he has been drawing me oh so near to him! He has spoken to me through dear friends, sweet messages, songs, the mountains outside the NICU window, the amazing staff and nurses and in my quiet times. And through my precious Luke!

22 months ago we walked out of this same NICU without our daughter! We left with empty arms and broken hearts! But today we leave with full arms and mended hearts! How thankful I am that the Lord has blessed us with this precious baby boy! I'm overwhelmed!

Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave
(Just a few of the verses)

I see the work of your hands
Galaxies spin in a heavenly dance oh God
All that you are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of your voice
All at once its a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that you are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in you
Captivated by Your Beauty
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

God I run into your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You

I know the power of your cross
Forgiven and free forever you'll be my God
And all that you've done is so
Overwhelming

I delight myself in you
In the Glory of your Presence
I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You






Thursday, February 26, 2015

Standing in Awe

We are reading a great book with our small group at the moment.  It is called "To Live is Christ To Die is Gain" by Matt Chandler.  Our small group leader asked a great question Sunday night as we were discussing a chapter.  She asked, "When was the last time you stood in awe of God?"  Well,  I had a quick response.  I stood in awe of our God the night of our Lucy Simpson Foundation benefit!  And I still stand in awe because of where we are today compared to a year ago.  A year ago we were going to the same benefit but it was to help us.  We were still in the depths of deep grief and up to our ears in medial bills.  We had no idea what the Lord had in store.  All we wanted then was for our daughter to be with us and the nightmare to be over.  Well, we still wish she was here but we are no longer living in deep grief and we don't feel like we live in a nightmare.  I was able to walk into the benefit this year with the biggest smile on my face.  My daughter's name was everywhere...but this time as the Lucy Simpson Foundation!  So many people showed up to support us and our new foundation.   And all of this is happening because of our daughter and the impact that she had on us and so many other people! 

For a long while I had the hardest time accepting the fact that I had to continue the rest of my life as a mom without her 4th child.  How was this going to look?  Would I ever be the same?  Will I always hurt this bad and miss her this much?  Well, my answers to these questions are very different today than they would have been a year ago.  Will I ever be the same?  NO! But I don't want to be the same!  Like James 1:3-4 tells us..."the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Living with the loss of my precious daughter has been a true test to our faith!  It has brought us to our knees over and over and continues to!  Will I always hurt this bad and miss her this much?  YES! But now I can see the beauty in hurting and missing her!  First it allows me to see Jesus much more clearly!  I understand the great love he has for us as his children!  And if I didn't miss her and hurt for her then there was no love!  But of course I love her from the depths of my soul.  I am amazed at how much indescribable love I have for my little girl that I only got to see for 3 days... and hold for just a few minutes... and only sing 2 lullabies to! 

So, here I am almost 17 months later.  I still miss her as much today as I did the day we had to let her go.  But I can also look around and see so many blessings that have come about because of my little Lucy!  I have a marriage that is stronger and deeper than ever before!  True, deep, authentic friendships have formed with some of the most amazing women!  Peace and joy are now deeply rooted!   But most importantly...I know that our Savior is Sovereign!  He is good, gracious, loving, merciful and kind!  And I know that he loves a desperate sinner like me!  And that right there is the biggest blessing of all!!

I will end with this incredible video that we showed at the benefit that my talented husband created.  The song that goes along with it is "Sovereign Over Us" by Aaron Keyes.  It was played at Lucy's celebration. It is a song that I will forever cling to!!

https://animoto.com/play/QSxgRI09jWx8J9R01txIgw

And if you haven't checked out our website please do!
http://www.lucysimpsonfoundation.com/






Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter

 It's hard to believe that a year has gone by.  When the calender page turned to October it stung! In my mind we had entered "Lucy's month."  Maybe it will always be Lucy's month to me...I don't know...and that's ok!  She made a mark on this world, and it makes her Mama very proud!  So, here we are. We made it to our little girls birthday.  We have made it through all the "firsts." I didn't know how in the world I would feel today. The last 2 weeks have been incredibly hard. (There might have been some kicking and screaming!) but today has been quite peaceful. I spent almost the entire day surrounded by friends. I know that our family was smothered in prayer.The Lord heard those prayers and filled me with peace!

I feel like my "word" for this year has been sovereign. I have clung to the sovereignty of our Lord. He is in total control and nothing he does is for harm. It is all meant for good and to further his kingdom. But why does it have to hurt so bad? Well, for me it has been in the deep pain that I have felt him so, so very near. Because as we know..."Jesus wept." He felt pain and he hurts for us! But he can also see the BIG picture. I am thankful he is so BIG!!

So, as I close this day out I end it with a thankful yet sad heart! I am thankful for my daughter that made a mark on this world! I am thankful for dear friends that have walked this hard road with us and loved us SO well! I am thankful for a husband that has loved me unconditionally! I am thankful that we have made it one year! But most of ALL I am thankful for Jesus!




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

He Carries My Burdens

It is hard to believe that we are six and a half weeks away from our Lucy's first birthday. It blows my mind how fast it has gone by! It has been a long, hard year but one that has been full of lots of personal growth, growth in our marriage and in our family! The Lord has truly used our little girls life to teach us so many things! I truly understand what it means to fully rely on Him! I am not going to wake up one day and be "fixed" or "all better." I am healing by God's Grace! But healing doesn't mean I don't still hurt and miss Lucy like crazy!! The last week and half have been really hard...not sure why...maybe because her birthday is drawing near and I remember so much about this time last year!! Lots of tears have been shed over the last few days. I miss everything I won't get to do with my little girl. I miss her for Maggie! Watching my daughter miss her sister is so incredibly difficult!! My boys have talked about her a lot lately, too.  We all just miss her!

But with all these aches, pains and tears comes God's mercy.  His mercies are new every morning! Was craving his Word today and knew I needed to carve out a specific time to dig in! And oh how glad I am that I did. My bible study was about how God daily carries our burdens! Just like Psalm 68:19 says " praise be to The Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."  He is so merciful and gracious and wants to carry this heavy load that daily I am bearing! Beth Moore writes in the devotional I am reading..."He is acquainted with every burden even before the bad news. Before the sun rises, He metes out His mercy in direct proportion to your day's needs. God desires to TAKE our burdens and GIVE His mercy!"  That sure warms my hurting heart!!

So tomorrow when I wake up and live another day missing my daughter,  I am going to lay my burdens at the foot of the cross and let my Jesus pour his mercy and peace all over me! And then I am going to count all the blessings that I DO have!!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Refining

I have thought a lot lately about what the first few months were like after we said goodbye to Lucy.  I lived in such a fog.  Grief does that to you.  It gets a tight grip on you and hovers.  It is painful but it is also part of the process I think.  My arms physically ached for my little girl.  No one ever thinks that they will leave the hospital empty handed.  I sure never thought I would.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  As moms we are planners.  I had my days and nights planned in my head.  And then all of that was ripped out from under me.  There is no doubt that the Lord is doing a serious work in my  life.  He is refining me...molding and shaping me...stirring in my heart...he is giving me a hunger for his Word like never before!

It is hard to believe we are in our ninth month without Lucy!  It has been a long nine months but at the same time it has gone by so fast!  I feel like the fog is slowly lifting.  But I am a different person. I will never be the person I was before Lucy.  And I guess that is a good thing.  The Lord is doing a serious work in me.   I am not going to lie...it has been extremely painful.  The pain of losing a child is indescribable.  It is a pain that no one understands unless they have been there.  It takes you to the lowest places imaginable but in those low places Jesus is still there.  In the first few months of grief I spent every afternoon while Hunt napped on the couch crying from the depths of my soul.  A cry that is almost painful...it comes from deep down in your gut.  And I still have those deep moments of hard, hard crying. It happened a few days ago.  I fell on my knees and cried for my little girl. I miss her.  I miss her so very, very much!  And I won't ever stop missing her.  She is at the forefront of my mind everyday.  As life goes on and I go about my day doing things that a wife and mom need to do she isn't far from my mind.  But that is true love isn't it?  She is my precious daughter and I love her more than words could ever express! 

Our God is good!  He has carried me the last nine and a half months and will continue to.  I will keep lifting my hands in praise and turning my face to heaven...that is all I know to do and want to do!  I want to grow through this painful process!


  33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

AMEN!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Keeping My EYES on Jesus



22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them:“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:22-33

We can learn a lot from Peter in these few verses. What happened the minute Peter took his eyes off of Jesus? He SANK.  He saw the wind. It distracted him, and he took his eyes off of Jesus! That is so me...almost daily. I am distracted with so many things and I take my eyes off of Him. When I take my eyes off of Jesus the questions, anger, bitterness...they start to creep into my mind. But When I am focused and have my eyes turned upward I find peace, joy, and comfort. It is so easy to doubt! It is easy to doubt because I continue to live day by day without my little girl. This isn't a dream that I'm going to wake up from. I will never get to make memories with her...hear her laugh or call me mommy...I will never get to kiss her boo-boos or get her dressed for dancing. But that's where faith kicks in. I have faith that Jesus is in control. He sees the big picture and knows what is best for us. And I can cling to the verse in Ephesians that says..."20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"...so, I cling to this hope and keep my eyes on the PRIZE...my Jesus, my Savior! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Compassion goes a long way!!

I looked down at my phone yesterday and had a missed call from my brother. I quickly called him back. I looked forward to hearing his voice. It is a voice that soothes my aching heart and has always been someone that I have loved, adored and looked up to! In the weeks and months following Lucy's home going he and my sister-in-law called me EVERY single day to "check in."  They offered words of encouragement, wisdom and hope. Well, when he answered yesterday his first question to me was "hey...how are you?" My response of "I'm fine" didn't convince him.  I bursted into tears. It always feels good to cry but there is just something safe and comfortable about crying to my big brother! He listened to my heartache and had so many encouraging things to say! But most importantly he was pointing me back to the cross! I needed him reminding me to cry to Jesus and the promise I have of eternity with my Savior...and Lucy! How thankful and proud I am that my brother will speak truth into me!

When I think about our conversation the word that comes to my mind is compassion! In this self-serving world of selfies, FB statuses, instagrams,etc...compassion and selflessness is something that is fading fast! I hope my kiddos can be as compassionate, selfless, and loving as their uncle! I hope and pray they love The Lord like he does, too!!

I have seen compassion from dear friends as well!   I got a sweet text message from a friend this morning right after I arrived at church. She said, "I am heartbroken for you and praying!" She knew that today was probably hard and wanted me to know she was thinking about me! Those few words meant so much and go a long way!! Another dear friend said that just the other day she saw a picture of something I had monogrammed for Lucy and she started crying! And then two other friends listened  the other day while I just talked about Lucy and how much I miss her! My list could go on and on of the things friends have done, said, and continue to do...my weekly walking partner that listens to me talk and cry, talk and cry...my weekly prayer group that constantly speaks truth into my life...our small group that has loved on us through all of this!!!

So I guess I can wrap this post up by just saying how thankful I am! I am so thankful for my brother and my friends...I am so thankful for their compassion and love! I am thankful they are being the light of Christ!




Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Sacred Dance of Joy and Grief

It is really hard to believe we are approaching Lucy's sixth month. This has been a tough one. Six months is such a milestone in a Mama's eyes. So much starts happening...personalities start forming...lots of babbling...etc...This journey is such a dance! It is a sacred dance between joy and grief. I am experiencing the greatest of joys...pure, sweet joy!..The joy in knowing Jesus in such an intimate way...the sweetest joy in spending time with my children...the joy of having a husband that will wrap his arms around me and pray over me...the joy of real, deep, true authentic friendships...and then there are moments when the grief will hit me...piling up with my kids in the bed and there is one missing...a tender moment with my 4 year old when he says " I miss Lucy, Mama."...sitting at her "spot" because I just want to feel close to her...but He has me dancing between joy and grief for a reason.

Psalm 126:3,5-6 says "The Lord will do great things for me, and I will be filled with joy. I will sow in tears, then I will reap with songs of joy. If I go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, I will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with me."

I can cling to the hope in knowing that my tears are planting seeds that will grow into an even deeper joy for The Lord. I just continue to cling to Him..."look full into his wonderful face"...and put my hope and trust in sweet Jesus!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thoughts from a 4 year old

Baseball and t-ball season is just about in full swing in our house.  Tyner is playing travel baseball for the Crusaders and Hunt is playing t-ball for the A's.  Both of my boys are sports fanatics...just like their daddy! He has trained them well!  Tyner knows every stat known to man.  Matter of fact just about the whole ride to Mississippi for spring break he was rattling off different stats.  "Hey Mama, did you know (enter players name here) scored (# of points) in his last basketball game.  And did you know (enter coaches name) has coached the (name of team) for 25 years!"  All I know to say is "wow! Tyner" over and over.  It brings such a smile to my face though because it shows how much they look up to their Daddy and hang on to every word he says!  So, back to the baseball season.  This is Hunt's first year of t-ball.  His first practice was last Saturday at 1:00.  At 8:00 a.m. he was dressed and ready to go!  I am sure it is pretty safe to say most little boys do that on the day of their very first practice!  Well, we have t-ball practice twice a week.  The drive to practice takes us past Lucy's "spot."  Nine times out of ten Hunt says, "Mommy, that's where Lucy is buried.  Can we go see her tomorrow?  I want to take her flowers.  Just yesterday he went on to say..."I want to lay a blanket down in the grass by her and pray.  Then the saddest part was when he said..."Lucy is dead.  We buried her and she isn't coming back."   I have to admit I am scared to death to take my sweet, innocent 4 year old to the cemetery to "see" his sister.  I am scared when we get there he will say...where is she?  I have in my head that he thinks if we go up there he will really get to see her.  And then he will start crying and I will too and it will just turn into a really sad, difficult, tough, gut-wrenching situation!  I look at him all the time and miss so bad not getting the chance to see him be a big brother to her.  Oh he would have been such a good big brother! But, my prayer for my kiddos through this has been that it would lay down a solid foundation for them in understanding the Gospel and really getting Jesus!  That we just need Jesus!   That God isn't in a box...and it isn't about just going to church on Sundays...and just saying prayers at night...or just being able to quote lots of scripture...all of that is WONDERFUL and AWESOME and we try to do all those things!...but it all comes down to knowing Jesus and wanting to know him more and more!  If we truly know and LOVE him then our lives are transformed!  We don't need all this stuff that the world offers.  We just need HIM!  And it is because of him we find true joy and know true peace!  So, as much as it hurts to have these tough conversations with my 4 year old I just do it!  And I try my best to point him back to the cross!  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Jesus

"The depth of sorrow has a way of changing the way you share your life, your heart, your God.  It makes you want to shout the name of Jesus because you realize that after all, in the very midst of it, He is real.  It isn’t just a big book.  It’s the truth, and it has changed me. He has used this season to show me an image of myself, kissing His feet while the tears slip to the ground. " (Angie Smith)

I read this on a blog written by a woman who lost her fourth child...a daughter...almost 6 years ago.  She has an amazing faith and is also a beautiful writer. Well, these few sentences speak perfectly about where my heart, my life, my everything is now! Oh how many times in the last four and a half months I have just shouted Jesus. Sometimes it was anger, and sometimes it was awe! But one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt...he loves me!! He is the reason I can continue to go on. He is the reason I can know and understand pure joy! It took my meeting the depths of sorrow to really know my Jesus in such a REAL way! I knew him before he gave me my sweet little girl...but now I can't get enough of him! He has put a deep longing in my heart that I hope and pray will forever stay! 

And it is so true that the depths of sorrow can truly change the way you share and view life. Sorrow and grief can take you to a place that is very dark and lonely...but not in a bad or scary way. It is a place where I saw my Jesus face to face! He is the ONLY person that knew my deep ache and sat there with me. He took me in all my brokenness, anger, and fear. He sat there and let me pour out my heart and soul and then poured peace over me day after day. And he continues to! 

Ultimately, I have to remember that this isn't my home. Our life here is temporary! I get to spend eternity in the presence of my savior...and Lucy! Wow! I can't wait!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where's God...There's God

 As we were on the 10 hour drive to Mississippi on Monday I was listening to a sermon entitled "Where's God, There's God"  After it was over  I was able to reflect on the last four and a half months where there have been numerous Where's God? There's God moments.  During my pregnancy Hunter's company chopped off their sales department which forced/allowed him to start a new company with some of this sales team.  This was an exciting journey to begin but also a little nerve racking.  We went from really good company insurance to really expensive Cobra.  Two weeks before Lucy unexpectedly arrived we received an email from Cobra stating that we did not have coverage.  Of course panic set in and some of the Where's God questions.  We immediately started an appeals process.  We gathered all of the information we needed and sent in our first appeal and prayed really hard that they would accept it.  The day after Lucy was delivered we received a phone call while still in the hospital that they had denied our appeal.  "Where's God?"  So, we went through the appeals process for the second time.  This time we even had a friend helping us that works in the health insurance industry.  I just knew they were going to accept our 2nd appeal.  The week after Lucy passed away we got a phone call.  They had denied our second appeal! "God, where are you?"  About this time all the bills started piling in.  So, we were staring at the biggest mound of bills and no daughter!  Oh, the grief, sadness, sickening feeling was overwhelming!  "Where's God?"  The minute we decided to go forward with fundraising so many people stepped up to help us without blinking an eye.  Friends planning a fundraiser...helping with the giveforward site...sending out mass emails!  THERE'S GOD.   Daily we watched the giveforward site grow and grow.  The generosity of people near and far was overwhelming!  THERE'S GOD.  Lucy's story provided us with an opportunity to share the Gospel on T.V. THERE'S GOD!   I got a random call from the hospital that carried the largest bill telling me they had cut the amount by almost 70%.  THERE'S GOD.  Then there was the Valentine benefit dance.  We all thought it would raise around $4,000.  By the end of the night we had raised almost $10,000.  THERE'S GOD!  Because of the generosity of 100's of people we were able to settle on all of the bills.  The last check has been mailed in.  THERE'S GOD!  THERE'S GOD!  THERE'S GOD!!!


Had Cobra accepted our appeal we would have never been able to see all of these "There's God" moments.  We needed a tangible reminder of His Goodness since we don't have Lucy in our arms.  We ALL need tangible reminders of his goodness!  Again, I want to say thank you to every single person that helped us during the MOST difficult time in our lives!  We are forever grateful!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why God Doesn't Fully Explain Pain

Why God Doesn't Fully Explain Pain
By: John Piper
One of the reasons God rarely gives micro reasons for his painful providences, but regularly gives magnificent macro reasons, is that there are too many micro reasons for us to manage, namely, millions and millions and millions and millions and millions.
God says things like:
  • These bad things happened to you because I intend to work it together for your good (Romans 8).
  • These happened so that you would rely more on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1).
  • This happened so that the gold and silver of your faith would be refined (1 Peter 1).
  • This thorn is so that the power of Christ would be magnified in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12).
But we can always object that there are other easier ways for God to accomplish those things. We want to know more specifics: Why now? Why this much? Why this often? Why this way? Why these people?
The problem is, we would have to be God to grasp all that God is doing in our problems. In fact, pushing too hard for more detailed explanations from God is a kind of demand that we be God.

Think of this, you are a blacksmith making horseshoes. You are hammering on a white hot shoe and it ricochets off and hits you in the leg and burns you. In your haste to tend to your leg you let the shoe alone unfinished. You wonder why God let this happen. You were singing a hymn and doing his will.
Your helper, not knowing the horseshoe was unfinished gathered it up and put it with the others.
Later there was an invasion of your country by a hostile army with a powerful cavalry. They came through your town and demanded that you supply them with food and with shoes for their horses. You comply.
Their commander has his horse shoed by his own smith using the stolen horseshoes, and the unfinished shoe with the thin weak spot is put on the commander’s horse.
In the decisive battle against the loyal troops defending your homeland the enemy commander is leading the final charge. The weak shoe snaps and catches on a root and causes his horse to fall. He crashes to the ground and his own soldiers, galloping at full speed, trample him to death.
This causes such a confusion that the defenders are able to rout the enemy and the country is saved.
Now you might say, well, it would sure help me trust God if he informed me of these events so that I would know why the horseshoe ricocheted and burned my leg. Well maybe it would help you. Maybe not.

God cannot make plain all he is doing, because there are millions and millions and millions and millions of effects of every event in your life, the good and the bad. God guides them all. They all have micro purposes and macro purposes. He cannot tell you all of them because your brain can’t hold all of them.


Trust does not demand more than God has told us. And he has given us immeasurably precious promises that he is in control of all things and only does good to his children. And he has given us a very thick book where we can read story after story after story about how he rules for the good of his people.
Let’s trust him and not ask for what our brains cannot contain.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Humbled to Say the Least

To look back over the last several months and see the Lord's hand in all of this is awesome to say the least! We received our first bill from Lucy the day after we buried her , and they continued to pour in. When we sat down and stared at the mound we weren't sure how we were going to tackle them. After much discussion and prayer we felt like The Lord was telling us to go forward and try and raise the money.

It is not an easy thing to have to ask for help...especially if it involves asking for money. But through fundraising Hunter and I have had many opportunities to share Lucy's story and most importantly the Gospel. It was so humbling to see how many people wanted to help us! We received donations in the mail, through our give forward page, and the silent auction/Valentine dance. We truly were able to see the body of Christ surround us in so many ways. Friends I haven't seen in years gave to help us out!

Hunter and I want to say thank you! Thank you for helping us, praying for us and loving on us! We have some of the most amazing friends that are truly walking alongside us during the most difficult time in our lives! All the sweet people that have sent me messages, called, written notes...thank you!
Galatians 6:2 says "bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."   You have answered that call and we are forever grateful!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Praying for the wisdom of God

O Lord God, infinite in wisdom and knowledge, as I consider your purpose and plans, grant that I might live in total awe and reverence for you, feast daily upon your Word, ask for your wisdom in every situation , and trust you completely when life doesn't make sense. Let me know your will and help me to follow it wholeheartedly, remembering that you already know every ripple of every action throughout history , now and forever. Because of your wisdom, you freely offer your best in every situation, and you provide it to all who ask. So today , I ask. In Jesus's name , Amen.

God as He Longs for You to See Him by Chip Ingram

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Trust



Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.
Psalm 3:5-6

I will be honest I have really been struggling with trust lately. What is trust exactly? One way of defining it is  " a person on which one relies...God is my trust." When I truly sit here and think about my trusting him...do I? Yes, I trust him. I know he knows the future and therefore, he knew what was best for our family...and Lucy. I can fully rely and depend on him. He will not lead me astray. This work that The Lord is doing in us is for our good. He is refining us and transforming us. He is doing a serious work on my heart! It is trials and difficulties that bring us to our knees and make us fully rely and TRUST in Him. 

I love the song Oceans.  This is one of the last verses and it really spoke to me this morning at church!!

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Lord, continue to lead us where our TRUST has absolutely no borders!!!

Enjoy the youtube video of Oceans by Hillsong
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw

Monday, February 10, 2014

Joy

I am learning about what it means to have true JOY. The kind we sing about in the song that goes like this...
     "I've got joy down in my heart
       Deep, deep down in my heart
       J-O-Y down in my heart
       Deep, deep down in my heart
       Jesus put it there
       And nothing can destroy...stroy....stroy...HU!!!"
Our losing Lucy is not something to be happy about.  Tears fall often and there are moments that sadness and sorrow overwhelm me!  But I am learning a lot about true JOY. Not joy because of what I have...a nice car, a big house, a closet full of stuff, etc...this is JOy that is deep! deep down in my heart. This joy comes because I have a savior that loves me so much!!! A savior that knows the number of hairs on my head...a savior that knows my faults but loves me anyway...unconditionally! Ahhh...pure, sweet J-O-Y!

Does this deep, deep joy mean it makes losing Lucy easier? Nope...but in my moments of deep grief I look in the face of our Father and find peace...and then the joy returns!

"he sees Gods face and shouts for joy;"...Job 33:26

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Even more on God's Goodness

" ultimately, God isn't good because he does good things for us. And God isn't good because of something in us. God is good because of something in him.  He can be nothing else. Both God and his choices remain good, even when they may not feel or look particularly good to you. His intrinsic eternal nature, in all of his attributes, is good. God is, in Tozer's language, "Cordial, benevolent,...open, frank, and friendly...he takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people." In his wisdom and sovereignty, he decides the perfect times to respond to your cries of distress, to deliver you, and to display his greatness. God doesn't have to respond at all, nor every time, nor even in the same way every time. He acts because he is merciful and because he is good. He longs for you to get to know him and trust him in a way that causes you to turn to him when you crash. Why? Because God is for you. He wants to bless you- generously.  Once you start keeping track of God's goodness, you will find you can't keep up. His blessings through nature are countless(Psalm 145); his rescues are continuous (Psalm 107). There is no safer person to go to in the universe. There is no surer source of deliverance or blessing than God's goodness. And yet, beyond all this evidence, the apex of God's revelation of his goodness is in his Son."

Taken from...
God as He Longs For You to See Him by Chip Ingram

More thoughts on His Goodness!

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! Psalm 31:19

I was walking with a friend today and started verbalizing all the ways the Lord has shown his goodness to me. I decided it would be a good idea for me to write them down as a reminder, and I also wanted to share them!

I have seen his goodness in
-dear friends that are walking this road with me
-our church body surrounding us in countless ways
-pure joy i find in being in the presence of my children
-the fact that i am not walking around bitter and miserable
-the peace he washes over me daily
-providing me with a weekly prayer group that is amazing!
-my strong husband

I know I will think of many, many more.  I will add to them as he brings them to mind!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

God's Goodness

The last couple of weeks my emotions have been all over the place...shocker!! I know!! I went through several days of just being angry! I tried to sit down and read a book about the goodness of a God! Well, I slammed it shut. I wanted to scream at him... "Your not good! You took my little girl!" Once again, I sobbed...really, really hard! I begged and pleaded for him to wrap his arms around me. Again, he picked me up off the floor and washed a peace over me. And there were moments that followed where he reminded me that he is Good!

Well, several days later we were in church. Sundays tend to be hard days and this particular Sunday was very hard. Don't know why but it was. It was nearing the end of the service and we were singing. Hunter put his arm around me and I broke down. I buried my head in his chest and wept. But as I stood there sobbing I could physically feel the Holy Spirit hovering over me. The music got extra loud and it was as if I was the only person in the room. The floor was shaking from how loud our worship music was! It was absolutely one of the most amazing moments! It was like he was simply telling me, "I love you my precious child!" It was such a wonderful moment where I was reminded that he is GOOD!

And The Lord said, " I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, The Lord, in your presence." Exodus 33:19


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How does a Mom go on?

I feel like this is a good question to address.   Pretty early in my pregnancy I remember hearing about a girl who delivered her stillborn child at 39 weeks.  I also remember thinking to myself how in the world would I ever make it through something like that? I can remember exactly where I was when I heard this news! Anyway, here I am! I am making it...I'll be honest and say that some days I feel like I am barely making it! But I am! For me the physical act of being on my knees with my face in the floor has helped me feel so close to The Lord! In those moments I cry out from the depths of my soul! I ask him To wash peace over me...fill me with joy...give me comfort.  And you know what...He does! I realize I am being very open with this journey we are on but in the first couple of weeks after we lost Lucy I found 2 blogs written by moms that had been in similar situations. They poured their hearts out and it gave me such comfort. So, I write all these things in hopes that it will encourage anyone that is walking through the depths of despair! Our God loves us so much! He hurts when his children hurt, but He is waiting there with arms wide open ready to wrap us up in his peaceful presence!

Hunter and I are seeing the most incredible counselor.  He said something during one of our sessions that has really helped me.  I made the comment that I am sad I won't get to take Lucy to her first day of preschool, her first day of kindergarten, etc... He said, " let me tweak that for you a bit.  Lucy is good. She is safe and happy in our Father's arms.   Instead of focusing on what you won't get to do with Lucy, remember what you have been able to do with Tyner, Maggie and Hunt.  Be thankful that you were able to take each one of them to their first day of preschool and kindergarten and so on"  This has really helped me in my day to day thought process.  It has helped me focus on the goodness of God and pay attention to the blessings that are coming from our loss.

"Now may The Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thess. 3:16

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Roller Coaster

I have not a shadow of a doubt that The Lord has us walking down this hard, sad, difficult road for a reason. This was part of his plan for our lives.  BUT that doesn't make it any easier. This road of grief is very unpredictable.  I don't like how unpredictable my days are. I never know when I wake up if it's going to be a good day or a hard day.  Grief is like a roller coaster. I can be "o.k." For a few days...connecting with the outside world...laughing with friends...then it hits me like a crashing wave.  The good in this...it is causing me to stay in constant conversation with The Lord. I am totally dependent on him!

It has almost been 3 months since I held Lucy. Oh what I would give to hold her again! Some days I wake up and it almost feels like a dream.  I can't believe I carried her for 8 months...felt her kick, flip, and hiccup constantly. I just knew she was going to be one spunky little girl by the way she danced in my tummy! And then having the unexpected happen! We just aren't ever prepared for something like this! I will be honest that Today has been one of my sad days! I just miss her. I miss her like crazy!! I want to hold her, smell her, cuddle with her, and tell her how much I love her.   Although I can't now...I will one day and I CANNOT WAIT!!

I would never make it through this without dear friends that have surrounded us! I call them my "safe" friends! They have entered into this grief with me and are walking beside me.   They laugh with me, cry with me, and allow me to let my guard down and be real.  They are taking time out of their days to help me establish a "new routine." They take the time to really ask how I am doing. I am so incredibly blessed by these friends.

http://mollypiper.com/2008/03/

The above link is the blog written by Molly Piper(daughter in law to John Piper). Her 2nd child, a
girl, was stillborn at 39 weeks. It has been several years but she wrote some great posts about how to deal with grieving friends. If you know of someone going through a difficult loss take time to read some of these articles, they could help you in dealing with a grieving friend!





Sunday, January 19, 2014

Yahweh! Yahweh! We Love to Shout Your Name Oh Lord!

For years I have been praying that the Lord would do something big in my life, Hunter's life and our marriage.  Well, he answered that prayer by taking our sweet Lucy.  What we have learned through this about our God, each other and our marriage is amazing.  Hunter and I were asked to speak in church today.   I gave a brief background on what has happened in our life over the last three months.  Hunter spoke about how we have seen the Lord's strength in our weakness. And how He has stripped us down to the core so we will look fully into His face.  We are completely dependent on him!   I was able to listen to my husband speak about the ache of losing his little girl, but how he has seen and felt the Lord in such a mighty way.  I am still amazed at his strength and so thankful that the Lord gave me this man!  But I am most thankful that our God loves us so much! It is because of Him that we are able to make it through this.  He is carrying us when we cannot walk!

We sang the song At Your Name this morning.  I love that song!  I want to SCREAM the chorus! 

Lord of all the earth
We shout Your name, shout Your name
Filling up the skies
With endless praise, endless praise
Yahweh, Yahweh
We love to shout Your name, oh Lord


I leave you with the video of this song! Shout his name!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il-bJjeiOhY

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good News

Friday afternoon we got a phone call that was an answered prayer! The provider that holds the largest bill has agreed to a large discount allowing us to reduce our total campaign amount. I cried when he told me because it was such a relief. Hunter and I, along with many other people, have prayed so hard that God would show up in a big way and do something with all these bills. Our small group circled around us last Sunday and prayed over us. The original amount we thought we owed was so huge it was completely overwhelming.   Well, he heard our prayers, and we feel like our new goal is something that is attainable!  We are hoping to raise close to $45,000.

We have been completely humbled by all the generous donations we have received so far. Thanks to everyone who has helped us in so many different ways as we walk down this difficult road. We would never be making it through this without such amazing family and friends!