Monday, November 30, 2009
All I Can Say This Morning....
We packed our weekend full of activities, forcing ourselves to do the "normal" things like putting up our tree, hanging Christmas lights, and even putting stockings on the mantle which I dreaded most of all.
I have much to write about from the weekend, but for this morning all I can say is I am having a tough time and am trying my best to do everything "with hope."
Thank you, Janet, for sharing this song with me this morning. I needed it.
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying.
Much, much love,
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today did start pretty "black"...........the sky anyway......
But Mom, Evan, Maria, Todd, and I felt anything but darkness.
We had awoken at 3:30 a.m. and almost immediately heard the sound of mom's wind chimes ringing loudly on her back porch. This always makes me and mom smile....realizing Nick's presence is never as far from us as it so often feels.
By 4:30 a.m., we were headed for E'town.....not especially looking for "one thing" but definitely looking for a fun memory. The boys and Maria had never experienced this once-a-year phenomena and were very curious about how it really was in shopping centers in the middle of the night when prices were slashed, items were limited, and people were on a mission of madness.
Why we chose Target first, I didn't think I'd ever understand.......
The parking lot was totally full. One car actually released a passenger at a stoplight so that they could run across the parking lot and get into the store more quickly! At that point, we knew we were in trouble!
Little did we know that we would run into friends from long ago all through the store!
And then after standing in line for over an hour and visiting with the very friendly lady right in front of us, mom somehow mentioned Nick to her while I was talking to a cashier and who would have ever known that this new sweet friend of mine had also lost a child...a precious little boy who lived only 6 hours. Instantly, we shared a part of life that no one can ever take away.
I knew INSTANTLY why we had chosen Target first!
When God "aims" to bring people together, HE SHOOTS STRAIGHT at whatever "target" is necessary. I hope this new precious friend stops by this blog, because in the craziness of the early morning hours, I got her picture but not her name!!!!
Anyway, I write all of this to say this:
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS BE OPEN TO GOD'S PLAN EVEN IF IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE AT THE TIME!
HE HAS WORK TO DO, and HE GETS IT DONE.....
IN SPITE OF OUR BLACK FRIDAYS!
The only black Friday in God's eyes happened over 2000 years ago and became THE MOST GLORIOUS SUNDAY in His eyes in just three short days!
No matter what we may call today......God simply calls it "another day to draw people closer to Him!"
And Nick, you are forever changing me (and Mamaw) into the people God longs for us to be! Thank you, my brown-eyed baby boy! Oh, how I miss your grin, your voice, your conversations, your sense of humor, your laugh, your love for life! I am who I am today because of you.
Clinging to the promise of eternity in Heaven with my babies and My King,
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I haven't read this book (If You Give a Pig a Party) that is waiting for Olivia under mom's Christmas tree.....
I'll read it with Olivia when she wakes up. (Olivia loves pigs!!)
But it does make me think about some other "ifs"......
If you give a friend a hug, you show them they are loved.
If you send a friend a "Happy Thanksgiving" text, you make them smile.
If you focus on your blessings, your troubles seem to fade.
If you live with an eternal perspective, grief cannot consume you.
If you put others first, you'll forget all the things that "you" wish "you" could change about "your" life.
If you love people in spite of their imperfections, you'll receive love in spite of your own.
I wanted to send a quick note and say "Happy Thanksgiving" from my family to yours!
We're missing Nick greatly today, but my morning Bible reading was all about living with the Hope of Heaven and the GLORIES we will experience that will surpass any earthly suffering!!!
Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Thank you, Father, for Your Word and Your WIsdom and Your Hope!
Loving all of you and thanking God for you,
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Baskets of Hope......
We plan to do another delivery on Christmas Day.
Please join us if you can!
Thank you for every prayer.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
At 5:30 this evening we'll be heading to Cabell Huntington Hospital to deliver baskets to all of the children on the pediatric floor.
It's almost surreal to me that last year at this time we were in last few days of Nick's earthly life.
I still believed last year at this time that God could heal Nick. Even with all of his physical struggles, I never stopped believing that God could perform a miracle.
When God chose to take Nick from us, I'm going to be honest. I did not understand.
Many times even now I do not understand.
I know that if Nick were here, we would still deliver baskets tonight. He would be right there with us..........grinning ear to ear and being so sympathetic to every child who is dealing with IVs and shots and tests and all sorts of different medical treatments.
I have to believe that Nick will still be with us tonight.
It's the only way I can enter the hospital and wear a smile.
I'm looking forward to sharing the hope and love of Jesus with families in the hospital, but I'm also kind-of dreading it.
My mind and heart swirl with so many different emotions.
If you think of us tonight, please whisper a little prayer.
But more than for us, please keep praying for the family of Snowy Hall, who died yesterday.
A Moment of Silence..........................
Our morning at school started with a moment of silence in memory of a graduate from last fall who was killed yesterday afternoon in a car accident.
As the classroom transformed from whispering and giggling to absolute stillness, I closed my eyes and thought of the student's family.
I wondered what they were doing this morning as they face a totally different Thanksgiving than they had planned.
I thought of the students who have stopped by my room this morning sobbing and wondered how they would put their lives back together without a friend who sounds like an amazing young girl.
I thought of my own grief and realized that none of us really knows when we will be forced onto this unchosen road of pain.
All we do know is that we don't have to walk this road alone.
My prayer this morning is for this sweet girl's family.........that they will be so enveloped in love and support that they will be able to face each new morning knowing that God is with them in a powerful way.
If you would like to write them a note, either post it here or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and I will print out all messages to include in a memory box that we will have delivered to them in a few weeks.
Thank you for every prayer for this hurting family.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
Monday, November 23, 2009
What Helmet am I Wearing???????
During Olivia's latest basketball tournament, my husband took one of her friends' little brother across the road from the high school we were at so that he could visit the fire station.
He had such a fun time feeling like a "real fireman!!"
I just love how kids can "transform" into whatever costume they are wearing and totally take on that costume's role!
Yes, Ian was a real fireman for a brief period of time!
A really good one at that!
I can't help but think of how Jesus says that in order to enter Heaven we have to "become like little children," and then later in the New Testament we are told that part of the armor of God is "the helmet of salvation."
Do I really wear this helmet with confidence?
Do I wear it with a smile like Ian's?
Lately, I don't think I have.
To be honest, I've been a little down.
I try so hard to stay upbeat and positive........and truthfully, if I remember what my helmet looks like (ETERNITY WITH MY SAVIOR!), then I should "rejoice always!"
I think life sometimes has a way of trying to knock off our helmet, causing us to doubt and become discouraged.
My prayer for tonight and tomorrow is that I will remember what kind of helmet I am wearing and as I remember I will
This picture makes me smile.
I hope it makes you smile too.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, Rejoice!
We haven't forgotten you, Romania........
We were able to send money to the small orphanage in India, however, we have not yet been able to work out the details of helping our sweet friends in Romania.
Believe me, I pray for you and think of you daily!
Believe me, if I could hop on a plane and deliver boxes of clothes, medical supplies, food, and cleaning supplies, I would!
I have a friend who is heading to Romania in December and I'm praying we can hook up and send a few suitcases with her!!!
Until then, I am still researching a way to send a monetary gift.
Please forgive the delay,
Basket of Hope.........
We are planning to deliver baskets to every child on the pediatric floor of a nearby hospital tomorrow evening. We would love to have a caravan of volunteers join us to help deliver these 20+ baskets to the children who are spending the week of Thanksgiving in a hospital room.
If you live in the area and would like to help, please email me at email@example.com
by tomorrow afternoon around 4.
We will leave the Farmer's Hardware parking lot at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Hope to see you then!
If you cannot make it because you have other plans or do not live nearby, please whisper a prayer for the families who will be receiving the baskets. A prayer that God will use these gifts to bring the families closer to Him.
Yet Another Crossroad.......................
This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Just wondering today how many times we come to these major "crossroads" in one lifetime?
These crossroads where we stand and look............
Asking for the ancient paths...............
Asking where the good way is..........
And then walking in it.
I'm at a crossroads.
Listening for His answer.
Trusting that He will lead in the way He longs for me to walk.
Thankful for a Father who promises to listen.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thanksgiving Dinner at Church....
I was so thankful to have all three of the boys, their girlfriends, and Olivia with us today for the Thanksgiving dinner at church.
Tim preached today on "giving thanks in all things."
He shared a photo of Nick during the sermon and talked about Nick's wonderful spirit of contentment.
It made me smile and have tears at the same time.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thankful in Spite of My Pain...............
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
As Thanksgiving draws nearer and nearer, I am struck with the beauty of the "plan" God must have had when He allowed Nick's life to end during this holiday season.
Nick was a child of thankfulness.
He said "thank you" for even the smallest things.
He was content.
He knew he was blessed.
He lived a life of thanksgiving.
So, today as I hear football games coming from the family room and living room and as I smell candles burning with the scents of the holiday season, I have to take a minute to say "thank you" to a Father who knew that this time of year symbolizes Nick perfectly and Who chose to allow us to embrace this time of Thanksgiving in Nick's memory in such a powerful way.
Just as Adrienne's sweet little earthly life blossomed in the spring and then, like a flower petal slipping from its flower, ended so quickly and yet with such grace and beauty, Nick's courageous and thanksgiving-filled life blossomed in the spring and then ended in the crisp, football-filled season of thanks.
Overcome with grief and yet oh, so thankful to be the mother of both Adrienne and Nick.
Missing them both so deeply today and anxious to share Eternity with them,
Friday, November 20, 2009
Heaven is the Face
A friend texted me this morning to see if I had heard this new
Steven Curtis Chapman song.
I think he read my mind.
Thank you, Steven, for putting to music my heart's desire.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thankful for a God who SEES....
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Thank you, Lord, for seeing my unformed body.
Thank you for seeing the unformed bodies of all mankind,
and for doing something very special while we were still being made.
Your Word says that while we were being "knit together," You were busy ordaining all of our days - before even one of them came to be.
I believe this and I cling to this, because it gives me courage and hope.
When I lean on this passage just as the little girl above leans on a tall and towering tree, I feel your strength. I feel your protection knowing that nothing in this world can change Your Almighty Ways!
I can rest, Lord, knowing that NO MATTER WHAT I face or my family faces or my friends face, You are there. You're not surprised, not rattled, not shaken, not confused.
I can hide in Your sheltering wings, because I have never been hidden from Your presence...ever.
Lord, there are so many things in this world that make us want to run and hide.
Thank you for being with us even in those hiding places.
And, Lord, for me right now as the one-year anniversary of temporarily saying "good bye" to Nick approaches, I find great comfort in knowing that you ordained every single one of Nick's precious days.
You were not surprised when he had to leave us here.
It is almost as if I can hear you whispering to him when he was still deep within me, "You've got thirteen and a half years, Nick. Live them strong! Live them for Me!"
And Nick did!
Lord, help me to remember that my days also are numbered and ordained.
I want to live them all for You in a mighty way.
If it is eighty years or if it is just forty-four, help me, Lord, to live them strong and live them for You and You alone!
In Your Son's Precious Name,
I knew that it would be very unkind of me NOT to share this warning with all of you.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so keep this in mind while planning your menu.
I emailed my mom and suggested that maybe this year we go with pecan pie. :)
Smiles and Love to all of You.
I will write more later,
Monday, November 16, 2009
Nick Nook Delivery Day!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm leaving town tomorrow and heading to Columbus, Ohio, to spend the weekend with the wonderful women at the Genoa Baptist Church!
As I pull together my last-minute preparations, my heart keeps drifting to all of you, my friends, who gather here from time to time to spend a few minutes hopefully drawing just a little closer to God. I think of all of you as a group, and I think of you as individuals:
You who are waiting for packages in Romania.
You who are entering the holidays in a season of deep grief just like I am.
You who are striving to live for Him in the midst of busy schedules.
You who are dealing with HUGE issues in your personal lives (marriage situations, parenting trials, financial concerns, aging parents, health issues, and so much more).
I just want you to know this:
I will pray for you while I am gone. I will not wait "until Monday."
I will have my phone with me if a crisis worsens. You do not have to wait "until Monday."
I will be asking God to walk right beside you in every step of your nights and days......all of those moments "until Monday" and then beyond.
I'm thankful that God has made the world a little smaller through the use of technology, but in this "smallness" that we sometimes feel, I pray that we we don't forget the HUGENESS of our Creator, Sustainer, Comforter, Friend, Provider, Father, and Omnipotent King.
Oh, and for my Sunday school sisters...I will be back in town for Sunday! I just won't be online "until Monday." :)
Praying and loving you all,
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Cancer Can't Take the Holidays.....
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
I received a call this morning from a friend of mine who directs our area Relay for Life organization. She wondered if I could talk tomorrow night at a regional meeting for about 10 minutes on the topic, "Cancer Can't Take the Holidays."
I decided to jot down a few notes here before I left for our Nick Nook Delivery day, and I'm hoping that any of you who have walked the road of cancer either personally or with a family member might take a minute to share something about what the holidays mean to you and any memory you might have an extra-special Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The verse above popped into my head, because I think that any time we get into a situation where we feel "robbed" of something (joy, life, friends, family, a job...), we can trace our pain right back to the "thief." He comes to steal.
Jesus came so that "we could have life to the full!"
That means that even in my deep grief throughout this holiday season, I have to look to Jesus to fill me back up with all that I am missing.
He promises to do that!
The devil may try to destroy our lives, but he can't!
He hasn't destroyed our family members who have been taken Home..he has only allowed them to enter the Presence of God earlier than us.
He hasn't destroyed our lives as we may be facing chemo or radiation..he has given us the opportunity to share God's love with nurses and doctors...and he's given our churches and communities and friends and family an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
See, God has a way of taking every one of the devil's oh-so-evil schemes and turning it around for His glory.........
So, yes, our holidays are going to be tough. I'm not going to lie.
But I want to look straight at the devil and say, "You can't take away our holiday."
Don't allow him to take yours away either!
Jesus stands waiting to offer LIFE! ABUNDANT LIFE!
That's the offer I don't want to miss. Nick would expect nothing less from me as he cheers me on in the great cloud of witnesses!!!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Needing a "face" lift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had to literally "lift" myself out of the world of Facebook today for a season..
For the holiday season..and maybe even longer!!
Not that in and of itself I think Facebook is a bad thing, it's just that overall it's not a "good" thing for me right now.
I find myself logging on and then before I know it an hour has passed...
an hour of checking in on friends-many of whom I run into around town...
or making trivial little comments here and there on friends' posts that may or may not even be read.....
or hearing what friends from 20 years ago are having for dinner or doing for the weekend.......
and then trying to think of something to say for my "status" that fits who I am and attempts to sound somewhat more exciting than "helping Olivia with her homework" while holding to my Christian values in a way that hopefully encourages my "online friends" to feel a little closer to God.
By the time I do all of this, I am worn out!
And truthfully, I'm not sure how much closer I feel to anyone.
So, I've made a little pact with myself.
NO MORE FACEBOOK for me until at least January.
I want to have coffee with friends. I want to take walks with friends.
I want to catch up with old friends on the phone (without even texting), so I can hear voices with laughter and tears.
I want to bake cookies with my kids and play board games.
So, I'll blog once a day unless time just does not permit..
And then I'll live.
I'll live without feeling the pressure to share that I'm living which is what I started to feel as soon as I logged on to Facebook and saw that my status still said what I had been doing three days ago!!!! :)
I admire people who can juggle it all, but I am fessin' up,
"I'm not one of those people who can."
Thanks for loving me within the safety of my blog.
Trying to put down "Just One More Thing"
Monday, November 9, 2009
Gnome Sweet Gnome!
Mom repainted my gnomes and placed them under one of my trees before leaving last weekend! I just love them!
But, I had to laugh when I got home a few days ago and found that "Mr. Music-Playing Gnome" had fallen over on his back!
Sometimes, we just have to rest, don't we?????
Even if we're a gnome! I feel a little like this gnome tonight.........
Still praising Him...just needing some time to simply look up!
Sleep well, my blogging friends!
Looking Up and Resting in Him,
I just received an email from a brain tumor support group I belong to online.
The subject was "Ependymomas and Chuck Norris" with a link to watch a video.
I couldn't believe it when I discovered that it was the story about Nick and Chuck Norris (click on Chuck's name to go to the story and video)!!
The video is just a small clip of what they made for Nick as a gift. Nick was able to watch it a month before he passed away several times!!! We played it in his funeral!
Chuck's book has been released with a story about Nick in it! He even shares Nick's favorite Scripture..JOSHUA 1:9!!
I am amazed at how God works!
Thankful to be Nick's Mom (eternally!),
So close...and yet so far away
"We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel."
Can you imagine saying these words to Jesus Himself??
That's what happened to Cleopas and his friend as they sadly walked to Emmaus one day feeling as if their Savior wasn't really who had claimed to be. Suddenly, they were joined by none other than the resurrected Messiah but they did not know who he was.
When Jesus joined them and asked what they were "discussing so intently," they thought he must be the only person in Jerusalem who hadn't heard the news of the last few days.
Thankfully, Jesus was able to share the truth with them, and I'd say their lives were never, ever the same.
Can you imagine hearing their testimony in a church service?
Do you have a testimony?
Have you ever been at a place in your life where what you "hoped" would happen didn't and then somehow Jesus walked along side you through a friend or a song or a sermon or a Scripture and suddenly your eyes were opened to the truth????
I hope so!
If not, I'm praying that very thing for you this week!
Have a wonderful week!