Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is that onion I smell?

Dash is a very loving boy. He has always been huggy and emotional, walking around with his heart on his sleeve. The aforementioned sleeve, however, is beginning to SMELL!

Aggghhh! I'm not talking about stinky-outside smell but stinky-body-odor-because-I'm-growing-up smell! He's only 9 years old for crying out loud. Is it really time for that already?!

So daddy gave him a lesson on proper deodorant usage (not anti-perspirant... just deodorant).

For some reason I have an odd feeling of boo-hoo-he's-growing-up mixed with some sort of maternal-pride. How weird is that?! Anyone else feel like that sometimes?

Lest ye think that it is a sign of maturity-- trust me, it isn't! When I pointed out the body odor, he laughed and proceeded to stick his arm pit right on my nose. Yes, he definitely has his daddy's sense of humor (if that's what you want to call it)!

When God Doesn't Make Sense

One of the books I'm reading right now is Holding on to your faith even...When God Doesn't Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson.

What stood out to me today is how God's presence is not inconstant. It is our perception of Him that comes and goes. We cannot rely on our emotions, as they often change with the wind. His Word, His promises are always true and right and unfailing!

Another encouraging thought for today-- we must never forget that this separation is temporary.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Putting things away

I cleaned out the boys' closet today. I have bags of clothes that Tank outgrew and also all of Christian's clothes. I set aside a handful of shirts (okay, two handfuls) and put them in a plastic bin with some of Christian's things (his piggy bank, 2nd place trophy from the Pinewood Derby races at church, his red Converse tennis shoes that I loved, our fav knit cap, Spiderman backpack...). His blankie is under a pillow next to my nightstand-- I'll put that in the bin very soon... but not just yet.

I'm not sure what I'll do with some of the things in that bin. I know that these are just "things" and are not my littlest man. But maybe I'll make a memory quilt down the road one day... or maybe I'll open the box a couple years from now and then decide that I don't need to hold on to this or that... or maybe it'll just go in the attic and I'll never open it again. I'm just glad that I don't have to decide all of this rightthisverysecond!

Thinking about doing all of it was actually much more difficult than the actual doing of it. (Does that make sense?) As I cried some and put the things away, I kept reminding myself that "He doesn't need these things in Heaven." (Thanks for reminding me of that a few weeks ago, Lele!) And it is SO true! I am comforted by that thought... even when I miss him like crazy. Everyone says I am being strong, but if they only knew how God has been holding me close and speaking so very clearly to me (actually, I think He is speaking the same-- I am just being more receptive than before!). Then they'd know that it is He that is holding me up... I am really not doing anything at all other than just trying my best to LISTEN to Him.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." - Isaiah 41:10

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." - Psalm 18:2

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." - Ephesians 6:10 (emphasis mine)

Speaking of listening, have y'all heard of Rita Springer? My friends shared a very cool song by her called "I Have To Believe"-- let me tell ya, she sings with soul! The live version snippet on her myspace page isn't as good as the one from her CD. (Ugh... now I have to get that image of the sooouuuuul train chugging across the screen out of my head!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Extreme Devotion

I have been reading a daily devotional book from Voice of the Martyrs for the past few months. This book called Extreme Devotion is by far one of the best devotional books I have ever read (not that I've read all that many to begin with!). The stories and testimonies that I've read so far have really helped me see life with an eternal perspective-- a perspective that seems so much more real to me now than ever. God knew when I started this book months ago, that it would be an encouragement and blessing to me.

While we have noticed every Tuesday that has gone by so far, I realize that today is the 26th. One calendar month since Christian left us to be with Jesus (why is it easier to say out loud than type out?). Here is an excerpt from what I read this morning...

And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee..."
II Corinthians 12:9

Day 148

"It has been said God will never lead us where his grace cannot keep us. We must realize that sometimes his plan does not include a miraculous deliverance from illness, death or oppression. Yet his grace is sufficient, and he has not abandoned us... Sometimes his plan involves simply seeing us through an ordeal instead of delivering us from it. Have you come to a point where you are willing to entirely rely on him? You'll likely never say that God's grace is all you need until his grace is all you have."

And since I can't help but read more one day, this is from Day 149:

"...Your life will go on far after your body is destroyed. Your true future is what happens in eternity, not what happens here on earth. What fears do you have about the future? Can you entrust them to God and face the future without fear?"

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
-Psalm 27:1

And these words are always encouraging:

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18
But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

God's Word is always true!!! Not just some of the time, but ALL of the time. When things at times seem more than we can bear, we just have to TRUST HIM. I am so thankful that we don't have to go through this alone and that God sends an encouraging word right when we need it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's amazing how David+Me could equal three very different looking boys! Some people think Dash and Tank are twins... but I think it's just that they have similar haircuts-- buzzcut a la mommy. ;-)

PS These are pictures from our recent trip to Buffalo, NY. God truly blessed us with a wonderful family trip! I don't think I'll ever forget it... not just because it was with Christian (striking a muscley pose), but because it really was THAT FUN!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tank's Long Term Plans

I think David and I might have said "Well, when you're a grown-up one day, you can do whatever you want" a few too many times.

As my sisters Lele and Bobo were driving the boys to church the other night, 7yo Tank related this rather matter-of-factly:

I'm never gonna get married. Wanna know why?

I don't think my wife would like it very much that I went to Chuck E Cheese every single day.

And then I believe there was some under the breath comment about having to kick her out.

Yup, I'm glad my boy is thinking long-term! I know I have trained him well when at the very top of his "Things to look for in a wife" list is a love for Chuck E Cheese! LOL

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ups and downs and a goodnight song

What an emotional roller coaster these past two weeks have been. It's amazing how you can cry and laugh at the same time. Christian had such a big personality, his infectious joy (and did I mention his temper that shouldn't have been hilarious but was anyway?) would fill up an entire room. *sigh* So many things-- okay everything-- reminds me of him!

It's still hard to believe that he is gone... and yet in my heart of hearts I rejoice that he is far happier in the presence of Jesus right now than he ever could have been on our most perfect family day. I say rejoice because it does give me a measure of comfort in my grief and is a very vivid reminder to have an eternal perspective. I say rejoice because a parent always wants what is best for their child-- for them to be safe, happy, content... and right now, Christian is that and so much more!

But we miss him. A LOT. My heart and arms ache for him. Then when I feel overcome with tears and that huge pain in my chest, God comforts me. My eyes dry up and I feel better.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. Sometimes the day drags on and other times I can't believe time has passed so quickly.

I do want to throw in here that when I look at Austin and Noah (aka Dash and Tank), my heart swells with love and I realize how very BLESSED I am! While our lives and family are changed forever, we are not destroyed. I look at their faces and see that my joy in life is not over. It is so tempting to stay in bed and not get up... but then I see their faces. Thank you, Lord for blessing me with them!

Earlier today, I was looking through a hymn book with my sisters and I couldn't believe this beautiful song that I ran across (see below). I cried, I smiled, I thanked God for His encouragement!

Even the title of the song-- The Christian's Good-Night by Sarah Doudney-- WOW. It was like God was giving me a giant hug.

I'll say goodnight to y'all now. And THANK YOU again for your prayers and sweet words!


The Christian's Good-Night

Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest;
Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour's breast;
We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Calm is thy slumber as an infant's sleep;
But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep:
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until eternal glory lights the skies,
Until the dead in Jesus shall arise,
And He shall come, but not in lowly guise--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Only "Good-night", beloved-- not "Farewell!"
A little while, and all His saints shall dwell
In hallowed union indivisible--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until we meet again before His throne,
Clothed in the spotless robe He gives His own,
Until we know even as we are known--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hello my friends

Just a quick note to say THANK YOU to all of my friends-- both new and old-- y'all have been a tremendous blessing to us. Your cards, visits, phone calls and especially prayers have really ministered to us.

And Emily, thank you for the iPod... and friends, thank you for the songs! Sometimes we forget how a song can speak to and soothe our hearts. Some are familiar favorites and others are new-- all are amazing. When Rachel brought a box of cards and this gift over, I had no idea that this thing was so itty bitty! I'm glad it already had songs on it and was charged up! My sisters were laughing at me when I was quizzically looking at the package-- after I opened it. I feel like an old fogey when I looked at that thing and wondered There are songs on that?! And here I thought myself familiar with technology and all... I do have a blog, after all! LOL

I'm at the point now where there is so much to say but I don't know where to start or how to get it all out and have it make sense. I imagine I'll just do a handy-dandy bulleted post later. :-) But for now, I'd like to share this rainbow with you. My sister Bobo (okay, her real name is Debbie... just like Coco is Christine and Lele is Leah... oh and Marsha... well, it's just Marsha or Marshy). But I digress...

This beautiful rainbow is from this past Friday evening, the night of Christian's viewing. It was right behind the funeral home... hard to tell in the first picture but it's right above the roofline.

I know it sounds hokey to some or coincidental, but *I* know that this rainbow was for me and my family. This rainbow without a drop of rain (at least where we were) was God reminding me that HE IS FAITHFUL. And that HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES! And let me tell you, my dear dear friends, He really does!!!

Much love to all of you,