Monday, August 29, 2011

Blessed are Those who Mourn

There's a subtle change in the sounds, the shadows, the air of August.
It sneaks in without my notice most years. Before I realize what is happening, I change too.

It's inevitable. 

I grieve.

But it's okay.  I'm okay.

Dare I say... it's even good?

Yes, it's hard,
but just when I think I can't carry on,
the phone rings, the letter arrives, the card is given,
the reader comments, the children laugh,
the friend hugs, and the husband holds.
And all these little things are big evidence of this:
God loves.

You, my friends and family, are living, breathing, tangible proof that
God loves through people. 
I believe it more and more all the time.

Being on the receiving end of all this love has
reminded me all over again how important it is to give His love away.

Even the simplest thing, done with love and compassion, might be remembered for a lifetime...

 ~ ~ ~

I wore a bright, flowered dress that day,
the one my mom always liked best.
For some reason, wearing that dress was important to me...
but the rest of that day became a painful blur.
There is not much that I remember clearly.

Not the service.
Not the sermon.
Not the music.
Not who was there.
Not what was said.

I do remember how someone silently reached over and
pulled a single flower off a casket as it was lowered into the ground.
Without a word, he handed it to me.

He gave me something beautiful to hold onto.

A wordless gesture of kindness from a person I hardly knew 
became a sweet and beautiful moment in the brokenness of that day.
That person probably has no idea the impact he had on a young girl's broken heart.

I will never forget.

~ ~ ~

Often times, it's the little things that are big.

Listen to those little inner nudges to reach out in love wherever God puts you
and with whomever He puts in your path.

You know what I'm talking about. You probably know who I'm talking about.

Somebody needs His love.

Somebody will never forget.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." ~ Matthew 5:4

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Slide: For my Family

Awwwww...look at that perfect 70's family!!!.

Jeff and Joel have a distinctly Amish groove going on.

Lori and Sue could totally be friends with Marcia Brady.

I sure hope mom put some shorts under my tiny dress. I look so little next to my big sisters!

Anybody know where we are?

Can't wait to hear from you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Difficult Subject. Difficult Day.


We are not adopting Levi.

I'd like to tell you all about it in a neat little package that explains everything and makes perfect sense. But I can't. I'd like write with hope... and faith... and trust... and claim the promise to "prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  But I can't. I believe the words in my head, but they haven't quite reached my heart yet.

Don't get me wrong.  We have peace in the decision. But we still mourn.

So please forgive me if I seem a little silent on the subject for a while.


Since we are already on a difficult subject, can I tell you something else? 

Maybe someday I'll write about it. But for now, I'm just going to keep it simple. Very simple. 

Today is the day my parents died. 

I was 18 the summer of the accident.

Next Saturday is my 40th birthday.

It's also the day of the funeral--the day my parents were buried.

You can probably imagine how much I love my birthday.


You still need your mom and dad when you're 18...maybe more than ever.

You still miss them when you are 40...maybe more than ever. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Losing It

It should have been one simple routine visit to the Dr.'s office.

But first I forgot the paperwork. Then I forgot my wallet.

Yes, I went back and forth between my house and the Dr.'s office three times.

The next day I needed to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy,

but I drove my van to the library.

On a morning run, a song made me cry. I cried hard.

FYI--it is difficult to breathe when you run and cry at the same time.

(Not to mention a little weird.)

My nerves are shot.

I can't tell you how many times this week I've reached for a cup in the cupboard
and the whole stack came crashing to the floor.
After the last cup crash, somebody asked,

"Mom, why are you counting to ten?"

In an effort to feel some sense of control in my life,
I have purged and re-organized my bedroom closet,
spontaneously  hacked down two overgrown bushes,
 and purchased a three month subscription for an online menu planner.
(too many 4:30 grocery runs this week)

I know what you're thinking.

This is not normal.

If you have seen me or had a conversation with me this week,
please take into consideration that I am not in my right state of mind
and forgive me if I didn't carry on a coherent conversation.

It's also entirely possible that I forgot something important--
like deodorant or brushing my teeth.

I'm sorry this post is so random.
My thought process is under extreme duress.

My sister has seen our vacation pictures. She thinks Todd and I look a little "off."

Um. yeah. You could say that.

Funny thing is we thought we were hiding it so well...
until we ended up in an Ohio emergency room because Todd
was having chest pains on our way home to Michigan.

(everything checked out okay after three hours in the ER)

I'd like to think that even under stress and heartache, I've got it all together.

Obviously not.

I'd like to think I can understand what's going on.

I cannot.

This fork in the road has taken me by complete surprise and
I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

And the sad thing is,

I know better.

God gave me a timely reminder this morning from Psalm 46:

"Be still, and know that I am God..."

Maybe its time to live like I believe it.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, O Lord, for I have put my trust in you. 
 Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."  Psalm 143:8

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chapter 10 : I Lift up my Eyes to the Hills...Psalm 121

 I hardly know where to begin.

How do you explain what you can't understand?

We have been given new information.  

The kind of information that puts an unexpected fork in the road.

And we don't know which way to go.

Last week we were on vacation visiting my sister's family in South Carolina.

While there, our case worker left messages to call her back.

We called back, never expecting what we would hear--a new diagnosis.

Levi has been diagnosed with this rare genetic disorder.

It is a complex syndrome affecting both his body and his mind.

There is no cure.

We have been asked by our agency to pray

 and reconsider whether adopting him is the right thing for our family.

How do you make a decision like this?


I hate this heart wrenching place we are in,

but God is here with us,

and God is good.

Though we don't understand it,

we believe there is a purpose to His plan.

We almost didn't go on this vacation. 

 It didn't seem like the right thing to do.

It didn't seem like the right time.

But now I see that God wanted us there.


I don't have a mother's shoulder to cry on.

I have sisters.

And my South Carolina sister is a pediatrician.

She knows the medical future Levi and our family could potentially face.

My South Carolina sister and her husband also have their own adoption journey.

They know this kind of heartbreak.

Being there with them at this time was providence.

God provided a week away from work and other responsibilities to process this news.

God provided the comfort of His Word.

God provided hours of conversation and wise council

that we could not have had over the phone at home .

Photo credit goes to Josie!

~ ~ ~

We are back home now with a difficult new reality to face
and an unexpected decision to make.

 We need your prayers.
Levi needs your prayers.

 May God's good and perfect will be done.