Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A very June update

Hello there!
Just dropping by for a quick update, minus pics, as I still do not know how to upload pix from my phone to this stinkin' Dell computer. I'd blog on my Apple laptop but it's on its last leg....sad.

We are in the last four weeks of anxiously (or is it eagerly) awaiting the arrival of our precious second grandson. You just can't even know how excited we are. but admittedly, nervous. I know that whatever the outcome, the Lord will be glorified. That is key. 

We will all endure crappy, hard, less than amazing situations in our lives. (and I've found that even those situations can be beautiful!!) That is a guarantee. What are you going to do with it? Did your spouse leave, or cheat, did you get treated badly somewhere? Did your child die? 

I don't disagree, those are all really freakin' hard things to live through. But I can assure you, you WILL be ok. Your story will be different than you'd imagined and any control you thought you may have had will be gone...but that's OK! I'm here to tell you that the sooner you give up control, the better. So many people around me want to KEEP control...and we just can't wait to give it up every single day. Give it up to Jesus. He is a much better writer of stories than us. Seriously. 

So use the gory parts of your story, where it just didn't end up looking like you thought it would, and give it back to Him. And if you don't believe in Him, or you're mad at Him...let me encourage you to seek Him. Jesus Christ is the same Yesterday, to day and FOREVER. 

I want to encourage you while you care for your parents, or your kids, or while you struggle through trying to get a grip on why your spouse left, or why you can't have children, or you find yourself dealing with rebellious children...whatever...to turn give it back to Him and let Him write your story and guide your days. 

ok then...I'll jump off that soap box now...I just have a hard time dealing with the idea of being mad at God when things don't go according to YOUR plans....

Will and Joy are doing really well and so so excited to meet Oliver's little brother. The Young Band hosted a home show in April, which was awesome, and Joy has been doing some traveling as a second shooter in weddings, and other amazing photographic opps for her thriving business, Joylily Photography.  She's about to welcome her very own photo subject!! Thank you for praying for them. I know they are grateful.

Ethan is a social guy, and that's been fun to see. He's loving being on his own at his beautiful apartment. We actually utilized his pool and clubhouse today. He never ceases to amaze me with his hunger to learn new things. I know he'd appreciate your prayers.

Melanie. Ahh sweet Mel. She just turned 21, the day before she sent her German friend, Kevin, back home. He was here for 18 days and we all miss him more than we thought possible. what? 
She's back at work, working on getting a passport, gearing up for these exciting adventures in life! Pray for this amazingly sweet girl, with me.

Levi is awesome and cool and helpful and I love watching him grow into the young man he is becoming. He's growing every day and so tender. He's my cheerleader. He continues to strive for his Indiana Learner's permit but it evades. Test taking is not his strong suit.

Molly....ahhh Molly. She will greet her 12th year this summer and her doggie, Ruby's, first birthday on June 9th. Hard to believe we've been dog peeps for almost a year. Moo is excited to get her ears pierced once she turns 12. Rites of passage. She's pretty spunky and cool...it's fun to watch her blossom into a lovely young lady. She's all about make up, earrings, and emotions. ahhh. 

David Young. Oh, David. you never ever ever cease to amaze me, fella. Thank you for being the picture of diligence (that i need to see soo so badly) and faithfulness. You are such a good leader, imperfect but open, redirectable, always listening to the voice of God. 

There are so many exciting things on the horizon...check back, ya know, every six months, in the off chance that I get on here to blog. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to import pix from my phone to this here computer, well, then...I'm open to hearing them. 

I have so much more I could blog about, but it's a weird place to be ya know? the mom of adults, young pre-adults, pre-teens...it's not like I can just blab about this stuff anymore, ya know?  Helping David run this business, manage a home, manage emotions and kids, encourage the adult kids...man. I'm thankful for this beautiful life and I do not take it lightly...but I can't do it without the encouragement of other fellow believers, friends that are in the so called trenches of life...and I'm ever so grateful for each of you. Any encouragement you can offer, dish out, give, is so appreciated. And we will pay it forward. Overflowing. Ever-praising God for these gifts. 

To my friends with young kids, keep pointing them to the Lord. He is in the everyday. He is in the mundane. He is in the glorious places. 

See you soon.

It has been too long...

Guys. I'm so sorry. I've been a horrible blogger.
I am on a Dell laptop (barf!!!) and so I have no pictures and no clue as to how to get pictures on to this stupid non-Apple laptop....

Could I be a lousier blogger? probably not.

But I CAN use the power of words and update you on a few important factors:

1. Will and Joy are expecting their second baby this summer. July 2 to be specific. Oliver will have a little brother and although Ollie is not here with us physically, we know we will find him in the little intricacies of his little brother, Lincoln (aka Link). Admittedly, I've had a hard time wrapping my head and heart around this new little person. I know once he's here, we will be soooooo excited and we won't miss a beat...but I know also that there will be tears aplenty and comparisons. Already, I imagine how Link will not get to grow up with his big brother, as Ethan got to grow up with Will. How is this even a real thing?? 

I can't even process this.  even almost two years later. ya know??

But watching my son, my firstborn, and his precious firstborn herself, wife, process this, move forward, make this whole darn process look like a cakewalk, has been cathartic and I'm completely blown away by their trust in God and sheer awesomeness.  Link is a blessed little dude to have these two as his parents.  Ethan, Mel, Levi, Molly, Amy, as his aunts and uncles and all the rest of you that will play a significant role in his life...and there will be many. 

I can't wait to meet him. I want him to be a different looking boy from his brother but in all honestly, if he's Ollie's clone, that'll be a-ok with this Lolli. I want to sniff him, nuzzle him, baby sit him, read to him, feed him fruit snacks, love him, check out his bum, all the good stuff that I've been waiting to do since June of 2017. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. A grandma made to wait to love on her grandson is just.....hard. I thank the Lord for the trial and waiting but I am so hopeful that Link will get to be the boy we lavish all this love on to..( I mean honestly, I've had to do this on a dog, and while I love Rubes, I just wanna sniff and smell, love and squeeze a human lovey.)

Can't wait to meet you, Lincoln. We are apprehensively excited. does that make sense?

Anyway, we are days away from the 8th month celebration of Ruby June Young and her inclusion into this family. I'll admit, as not a dog person, that this has been a rough transition for me....but I feel we have turned a corner and Rubes has become a valuable member of our family. She's precious, honestly, and though she requires a bit more work than I'm willing to put in, we all come together and make it work. I can't imagine life without her now and it'll only get better as she grows out of the puppy phase (when is that again???). 

Will and Joy are doing so well and I'm so excited for them to get to parent Ollie's little brother. Their musical endeavors continue to move forward, and they keep pretty busy with that and working for Young Final Finish. They're pretty awesome, if you haven't had a chance to meet them yet.

Ethan moved out of our home in Nov of 2018. It was quite an adjustment but he's doing SO well, hosts events and siblings regularly, keeps his place SO neat, and is thriving in his own environment. As much as a momma wants to keep her babies close, it's so amazing to watch them fly and thrive. 

Melanie is doing so well with her doula apprenticeship. She works with Ana at Indy Birth Services. She will be doula-ing for Will and Joy at Link's upcoming birth. Pray for this whole situation, if you think of it. 
She also has a friend coming to visit from Germany from May 13-June 1. Stay tuned. They are simply "friends" but we are excited to meet and host Kevin during his first visit to the US of A. 

Levi is a champ. that is all. I mean, seriously. he had 4 wisdom teeth pulled a few weeks ago. He made it seem so easy. No dry sockets, no splinters, he only took 1/2 of one of his pain pills...seriously kid? High pain tolerance much? He is our resident car man...keeps all of our cars clean and ready to go. He is our encourager and right hand man. He's started going on jobs with his dad more also. He is attempting to take his driving test to get his driver's permit. So far, we've taken it twice and no permit but that's ok also!!! You can't rush perfection!

Molly Moo had FOUR teeth pulled today. Our dentist is very competent and makes this whole dental process so much more enjoyable (is that even a word to use in the same sentence as DENTAL work? yeah, it is...here, in this instance) Dr. J and his crew are the coolest. We love them all! Anyways, she has handled this extraction like a champ and we can begin to make way for her extensive dental work in the next year or two. Some of our kids have decent teeth, some of them are janky. hahahahah, Molly is blossoming into quite the lovely young lady, loves make up, her pup, soccer, which starts again this Saturday. I haven't blogged since her little "brother" Elijah was taken in a tragic car accident on November 25, 2018. Just can't even process this loss yet, I don't think. Continued prayers for Elijah's precious Momma, Taylor and precious Dad, Aaron, would be greatly appreciated.  Molly loves her little pal and the loss is great. As Taylor stated, "it seems like he's just at his dad's for the weekend..."  when will we fully process this loss...which isn't a loss for Elijah...he's more whole than ever and what a little Christ follower he was...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Time is short....

Best friends, the Babies, Molly and Nora. Love their little friendship.

The coffee "bar" has been autumn-ized. Come, have coffee with me, ok?
 I'd love to have you.

Ruby. Oh Ruby. it is a good thing you are cute...
I am not, by nature, a dog person. Animals aren't my thing. But I'm
committed to this dog. and she is SO cute. and I love watching her grow.
and someday, she will be trained...though I'm trusting God to help us in this
department because, being a non-animal person, it does not come
naturally to me...training animals, giving them "purpose" and "listening" to them.
One thing is certain..this position she lays in? adorable. except when she has just urinated...then, not so adorable.

In this pic and the next...she was waiting on the stairs for Molly.
I love how she loves Molly. and Mel. and Me.
She is a funny girl.

She looks so grown up here. She is getting close to 4 months of age!

David and I were talking as we drove home from Drum lessons today...it's true what they say...

The days are long but they years are short. It's true. Will is approaching his 24th birthday..I mean...how did that happen? Ethan is 22.5 and Mel is 20. Levi will be 16 in a little over a month from now and Molly is 11 going on 26. 

When I was in the "thick of it" (parenting and the daily rigamarole of life with youngsters), it felt like it would never end.

But it does. It ends. I don't say all of this to make you feel guilty or to be a condescending oldie...I just wish someone had really sat down with me, invested in my life and said "Hey, do you realize just how blessed you really are??? Your husband busts his bum to work (which was a thorn we had to deal with) so you can be home with your little kids, you have the rights and freedom to home educate and invest into your kids' lives...and you have the ability to invest into the lives of the people around you"

did I? Probably not like I could have or should have....

there is beauty in parenting kids in their 20's and kids that still really need you every single day. It's a weird balancing act and a world I'm not used to. I'm grateful for the input that the older 3 give to me on Levi and Moo.

I want Levi and Molly to serve and follow Christ like Will, Ethan and Melanie are...That is amazing to me. I look around at folks and their kids are heading off to college (which is great! esp if the Lord has called you to this and I am, in NO way, saying that you can't or won't serve Christ if you are called to the college route), and they've been saving for this and planning...this used to make me feel like a real idiot...

but no more...if any of our kids came to us and had a real desire  or calling from the LORD to gain this kind of FORMAL education, then we'd support them as best as we could...so far, no one has done this (and we NEVER dog this!) ...the closest we've come is Melanie and her doula training (tonight, she is attending her second birth, needed to gain her doula certification. you GO, girl!!)....we will support our kids as MUCH as we can, financially, spiritually, mentally, whatever! 

All this to say...our oldest three are actively serving and pursuing a relationship and service to Jesus Christ. They each have their own walk and talk. I'm not impressed...I'm in awe. It has not been easy or without hardship or heartbreak in EACH of their lives...and watching them EACh pursue HIM is enough. Will has his music (man, can he write songs and deliver a song like NOBODY!) and his heart is on his sleeve, Joy faithfully loves and cares for her man and the people she calls friends, and she's a mean sound person, drummer and techie. Ethan has a heart to serve other young men in their pursuit of Christ and righteous living...He wants to encourage other guys to stay fixed on Jesus....he's one of my biggest encouragers.  Melanie ...ah Mel. I always say God sent her here to care for me...and she does. I am just amazed at her every single day (not to say we don't have our tiffs and disagreements....) she is maternal and driven, but most of all, she has a heart to encourage other young girls to SEEK Christ, stay true to HIM and she has the hurts and pain, as her brothers do, that have driven her back to the feet of Jesus. I honestly believe that pain is the tool used to drive us back to the VERY ONE that made us, loves us and sings over us. 

The greatest gift that I, as a mother, could get is to see my children walk in truth, to seek after Christ, and to forge ahead with Him as their Captain, serving Him in their unique ways.

I just shake my head. If you're never a Fortune 500 kinda guy, mover, shaker, up and coming kinda person by the world's standards...that is A-OK with David Young and I. Jesus takes care of ALL OF THAT.

I pray that the same will be true for Levi and Molly. I appreciate your prayers, friends, family. 

With Christ, all the rest just falls into place.  (go listen to Keith Green "He'll Take Care of the Rest)

I'm in AWE.       have I mentioned this?

Hope this finds you doing well tonight. I am so grateful for you, my blog friends. 

Praying tonight for some friends from our church group. M's mom, a Romanian lady, was hit by a car and died last night...Now M and her family (which includes 4 small children) are scrambling to get Visas, Passports and all that entails, so they can head overseas and attend to this heartbreaking event. I know the V Family covets your prayers and any help that you can give. 

So many earthly hurts...but Jesus is the Peace that passes all understanding.   The Hope. 

Hang on to the HOPE, my friends.

Shellee....loved hearing from you. Tory and I were worried that you and your family may have been affected by your wild storms in Japan. We love you...we always pray for you and so appreciate your prayer letters. Love you, friend!

My encouragement to you: Read 5 Psalms a day., even if you aren't a "Christian"...they are amazing chapters and chock full of God's goodness. You'll get hungry for more of His Word.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September already?

Since I last posted on my blog....almost a year ago...we celebrated this guy's first birthday. Not at all how we envisioned it but trusting in God, always...even when things make NO sense, hurt a lot and are just plain weird.

We also celebrated this little fella's 7th birthday. Hard to believe Uncle Jack would be 7.
Miss these boys every single day of our lives.

Photo credit: Joylily Photograpy
We had the immense pleasure of singing on The Young Band's song
"Lovebird". Stay tuned because soon, they are releasing their very FIRST album.
Can't WAIT!

On August 5, 2018, we welcomed this little nugget into our family. Ruby Pearl Young (Molly chose Pearl to go with Ruby...such a gem). She is a full-breed Australian Shepherd and she was born on June 9.
We love her a ton.

This cat turned 11 on July 9th. Hard to believe this is truth.

Most everyone loves the Rubester. She's so smart and it would be good to put those smarts to good use and get completely housebroken. Thankful for concrete floors and Thieves cleaner.

But I mean, seriously. she is SO dang cute, esp when she plops down right at our busy feet.

Thought I'd show my blog some love, since I don't much anymore. Silly me...this is an amazing way to record our history and keep in touch with faraway friends and family.

There are so many good places to start and that overwhelms me so I'll just start with the most obvious bit of goodness in our lives currently...


Molly is the only kid of ours that has persistently asked/bugged/pestered for a dog...we tried the bunnies last year and that ended in murder...We've done the chicken routine but they aren't super cuddly and rather dirty...our goldfish both managed to bite it this year too..with Cracker jumping from his bowl one day while we were all away from the manor. Oops. grisly discovery for Mel...

Not too long after goldfish death, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting our friends, the Bills family, to take some free homeschool books...while there, we also met Dakota, a nearly 3 year old Australian Shepherd. Molly was in love and watching them wear each other out was a sight to behold. Such a smart breed of dog. Molly, being the last living child we have, is kind of on her own a lot, with all the older sibs doing their things and such. I shared this with David and he agreed, let's find a pup for this girl. I prayed about it because God is so much cooler with even the funniest details and what can it really hurt to ask my Heavenly Father for even a matter as small and cheesy as finding the right dog?

He did not disappoint...my cousin in NC, (Hi Tory!!) mentioned some of their TX friends having a new litter of AS pups and also mentioned that they were making a trek to MI in early August...we could meet up to get a pup. Sure enough, talked to Jackie, such a sweet, dear lady...and she sent me pix of Rubes and told me she'd hold her for us. What??? Molly did not believe me when I told her and she may have even shed a tear...

If that wasn't cool enough, thank You, Lord...we found out that the Puppy parade wouldn't actually be driving through Indy but through Champaign IL on Aug 5, and we just so happened to be heading to Illinois that very day for the Big Thorn Brewery Tree Bar debut as well as a birthday party for my mom-in-law, Judy! Huh! Seriously...God is in even the smallest, most minute of details...and He knows the desires of our hearts...We met Jackie, Bob and their grandson, Asher and got our sweet pup. 

She is the cutest little punk, though I'd be most glad to get her completely housebroken (do I sound like a broken record??). We crate her at night and she does SO well with that..she's growing like a weed and she's already met her new vet. We've begun some dog training and look forward to more of that, so as to properly care for her, use her skills and give this bundle of energy stuff to do to keep her mentally engaged. We hear that Aussie's need "jobs" so I'm hoping we can train her to do dishes and pick up sticks in the yard...redirect the in-house pooping and peeing. haha.

So that's Ruby for ya.

We are just coming down, literally just 12 hours ago, from a big job we were on all week long at the NCAA in downtown Indy...10 hour shifts each night 5-3...David, Will, Joy, Ethan, Mel, even Levi and I...as well as David's right hand man, Tom, my brother. Wow....Molly and Ruby stayed with Sarah, who carved out some time this week to help us out! Thank you, so much, friend!

Today, we are resting, catching up and I picked this day to be sick so that's cool. We are celebrating such good work and the provision of God for our family. He is so good!

Ok, I'm done for now...hopefully to be back here very very soooooon.

thank you, faithful friends who have given up on this blog...come back!!!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Welcome December!

The canal in downtown Indy.

The Nissan Titan that we bought from David's friend, Larry.

Levi's tree house!

These pictures were taken by Levi. He really enjoys taking pictures and
using his Prisma app to get cool filters. This pic immediately above is the White River, which runs along
trail that just opened up by our house. We have used it so much already and we are so glad
to have it!
Hello friends!
Just wanted to get on here to update. I am so thankful that Levi's pictures automatically upload to my computer so I'd have some photographic delights for you to partake in. Not that I'm not taking pics, because I am...but I just rarely attach my phone to this blasted laptop!

December is here. I have vowed to be a joyful, not getting dragged down in the mire of society kinda gal this year...in spite of the year we've all just endured, and continue to ...

Endure. That sounds snobby.....and in reality, we are all trying to live each day to it's fullest..which is hard when you work the 3rd shift....which I've been doing with David roughly two nights a week. If he's at work late, I am home staying up late...our schedule is way outta whack. We are night owls anyways but this is ridiculous...it's taking a toll on my (almost) 45 year old body.  We will make it.

The reason we are all up so late is because Young Final Finish is at work on floor restoration at a 1946 bank in downtown Indy.  It's called the National now, and will be an event center. It is simply amazing....and being in there is like walking into an old movie or something....you can almost hear the history! The old terrazzo and vaults, green marble, detailed concrete outside is not something you see much anymore. I'll be sure to post pics (haha. don't laugh. I will!) This job has been David's main work focus for over a month now...

Endure....we made it through Thanksgiving with grateful tears and hearts. Sweet little Joylily and Will...my heart breaks for them. I know this loss will never make "sense" this side of heaven...it won't. Life moves on and they are left to wonder where their son is...I mean, they don't really wonder, but God? why? the hurt runs deep....

Working through the emotions attached to grief are so weird. being the parent vs being the grandparent....watching our son and his new wife ENDURE this...wanting to take it from them but knowing that, through this time, the Lord is shaping them and molding them.

We appreciate your continued prayer and support for Will, Joy, the rest of us...and when you mention Oliver's name, Jack's name....you thrill our souls. We WANT to talk about them. So thank you...thank you for being awesome.

Speaking of being awesome....I can't wait to send out our 2017 Christmas card. My SIL Natalie is pretty much a rockstar. We ventured out to Young Manor I last weekend and she snapped a few pics for us...I cannot wait to share it here and with y'all via USPS. It's pure delightfulness and I'm grateful for it.

Today we begin our Advent time...I've wrapped up 24 books that we will read each night...(gotta keep the Lolli practice going...) and we will be doing a Jesse tree with whoever wants to join us! The time leading up to the celebration of Christ's birth is such a special time.

Take this time to dwell with the Lord...you won't be disappointed.

Immanuel...God with Us.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This season of sorrow


I don't even know where to begin, I may never feel like a competent blogger again...

For over four months now, I've had so many thoughts and emotions rolling around in my head. I want to honor this season of grief and sadness because that was such a healing part of our journey with Jack and continues to be...now with the death of our first grandchild, Oliver Franklin Young....I will do the same.

It's so freakin' hard. As we approach what should be Ollie's FIRST Thanksgiving and Christmas and Jack's 6th, the wound has been reopened. The practical scab and wanna be scar is always there...

I feel like I tamp emotions down and try to put my head in the game, to "get things done", to "look presentable", to "not make people uncomfortable with death talk"....blah blah blah...

This week, I'm not tamping...I'm crying. I'm tired of it down here...it hurts. People hurt, news hurts, hearing of church shootings, momma's shielding their babies and dying, liberal news media telling us to "shove our prayers up our a**" and how to make sense of all the sheer madness going on around us...even in good ol' Greenwood, Indiana...where everyone is "Christian" but no one is.

"Faith that can't be SEEN is worth NOTHING at all" (so many American "churches")....that stuff will drive a person bonkers....If people can't observe my faith actions, then i'm not doing it...warped. Pharisaical.

Anyways, what was I saying....being a bereaved parent and now grandparent.....shouldn't they send people to classes for this?? It'd be nice to know how to navigate these waters because I don't know how. The only way I know anything is because I find myself at the feet of my Savior every day. Dwelling...getting direction....crying out to Him and He alone is the comfort I need and the truth and mercy I seek. The chastening, the selfless love, perpetual learning is a gift I am so grateful for.

Yes, this year (from Dec 2016 to now even) has been one of the very hardest of my life on earth from family breakdown (not my husband or kids) to Oliver's death, to the departure from our church, the death of John and Sherry, stuff in my own life that I'm being held accountable for regularly, and the list goes on.....and I wouldn't change any of it....I've met some pretty amazing folks along the way...folks that aren't afraid to walk over to me during our worship service and hug me tightly...fellow momma's who know the deep pit of loss...and just watching Joy and Will has been......whew! mind-blowing, to say the least.

I'm trying so hard to make sense of it all and I just don't think I will ever be able to on this side of heaven....learning to lay that down and cherish the people in my life, the ones that stay,  even the ones that eventually leave, the ones that are open to encouragement and dwelling and seek/talk of the very most important part of my life...JESUS CHRIST and what He's done for us. thankful for the seasons of life.

If you read this and you think I am holier than thou or judgmental, don't even. no. I welcome you to come spend time with my family and I. We are a guts on the table, goofy, open to receive accountability, as well as give it kinda group....We are so far from complete...any completion we may seem to have is only because of the Lord and the time we've all spent dwelling with Him.

Keep your eyes heavenward, friends. I so appreciate your thoughts and kind words...I know Will, Joy and the rest of the family do as well. I've decided to do a Christmas card pic this year and will probably write a letter....

Thanks for visiting and thanks for understanding my jumbled thoughts....thanks for praying, loving, caring enough to share, read and pray. We are all eternally grateful.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick....

On August 19, Molly discovered that some type of local wildlife (dogs, foxes, we aren't sure but we think roaming dogs) broke into the bunny shed (former chicken shed) and took our bunnies. We found Esther in the yard, deceased...such sadness. These were her pals...she mothered them extra good after Oliver died....This poor girl.

Our firstborn son with his firstborn son.

I'm seriously still in such awe of how amazingly these two have coped. That is not to say that they don't have bad days, tears or anger...cuz they do. But there is a maturity and a trust deeply rooted in Will and in Joy that is not of this world. Watching them walk this road has been such a gift. Does that make sense?
I hope so.

Four generations of Franklin. L to R: Carl Franklin Young, David Franklin Young,
Will Franklin Young, Oliver Franklin Young
This is a punch to the gut.

no appropriate words
only tears.

a little casket in a big hearse. 

My pictures of the graveside service would not load and then I realized that they were videos...so here we have Joy's dad, Tom, saying a few words and praying. Each grandpa said some words and Oliver's Great-Grandpa Pete even spoke. Our pastor, Matt, spoke and our worship pastors, Jay and Abby led us in some beautiful worship. I'll try to get some of those pix up but they may not be in order.

So thankful for Aunt Mel. This was at the dinner at our house, that my amazing friend, Melissa and sisters from Southland provided for us. Simply amazing.

The circle stone is Oliver's spot...the blue flowers is Jack's spot. Though neither kid being here was a part of OUR plans, it does bring a measure of comfort to know they are so "close" to each other. 

Oliver is such a beautiful combination of his adorable parents.
He'd be 3.5 months old now and it is so comforting to imagine what he'd be doing,
what he'd look like, and all that fun baby stuff. I wish he was here...
but then I read a silly or heart breaking news story and I thank the Lord
that he missed this whole old nasty world. still.....
Hi blog visitors....

Remember when I said I'd blog more often? yeah, I'm sorry about that...somehow it just hurts to visit it...It's not like Facebook where you can just dive in and dive out, leaving your friends with only snippets of life....I feel like I owe this sacred space some time and good recording....

I'm gearing up to blog again....so I'll leave this post as is and move on.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'm still here...

I find great pix on my phone and in my photos...I had to share this with you! it has nothing to do with my ramblings below, only a diversion, a cause for belly laughter. so thankful for life.

I'm in the process of stealing  borrowing pictures from Joylily's camera from June 25, 2017 as well as the pix I have from Oliver's funeral. I realize it's taken me a long time to get back to blogging.

I'll be right back...it just takes a lot of energy, tears and the like to download the pictures from that day and the days following.

It's been almost 7 weeks since Oliver Franklin was born. It seems like 7 years ago and then it seems like just yesterday. The ache is still present...and very well may always be...it does get a bit more dull...but a piece of our hearts will always be missing. Right above my desk, where I'm sitting, is a great pic of Will holding Ollie...and it's so precious and adorable, and so hard to look at without the burning sting of tears and accompanying stomach ache.

I'm just mad/sad. He'd be starting to smile and stay awake more...I just want that little guy here.

I'll stop....miss you, little guy. but you may very well know that....(I don't know how much we "know" of earthly life once we reach the other side) Wish you were here.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Joylily's mentor/friend and my new friend, Beth, shared this song with me today.

I've just discovered a new artist to put on repeat on Spotify...

thank you, Beth.

Your moments were a charity...they gave me more than I could lose.

This boy made me a Lolli. 

shock. utter shock.

such precious piggies.

Looking at a tiny version of herself. oh Lord.

a familiar pain...oh God.

We were going to get into so much fun together.

Pops taking him in...

Uncle E...such a tender guy

his hair. his aunt...oh God.

This was the first time Aunt Mo got to hold him...you couldn't go back to the postpartum
rooms if you
were under the age of 14. 

UncVi...I was so glad he wanted to hold him.

surreal moments, seared into our minds eye. a most perfect and wanted little boy.

We wake up (who am I kidding? we don't sleep well). We brew the coffee. We sit at the table. We read our Bibles, write down prayer requests, pray in our rooms. We make our daily lists...we keep going....

Funny how we go through the motions of everyday life....hang on tight. forgive me ahead of time for the all over the place-ed-ness of this post.

Jack died 6 years ago. My world was rocked to the core. I found out what my foundation was and it wasn't completely Jesus. It only "looked" like Jesus. I found my identity in being a mom and a child bearer...

Since June 30, 2011, my family and I have been on a quest. A hunt for good, a hunt for LIFE, and we have found a Savior.

These 2,216 days since have not necessarily gotten "easier". In fact, by the world's standards, they've only gotten harder, scarier and grittier. We should've bailed on this "Jesus" long ago. He is NOT to be trusted.

oh, but they (the world, the skeptics, the unbelievers, and even some believers) are wrong. He is the only One to trust.

I must add - so many good and amazing situations have taken place...

-Will and Joylily's Sept 2016 marriage.
-Our marriage has continued to survive and thrive. It has not been without bumps and bruises but that is the beautiful part of it...
-We are all seeking the LORD daily, actively pursuing a life lived for Him and thriving in SO many ways.
-you get the picture....

Walking around with a broken heart isn't a bad thing. I consider it an honor and privilege. It's what you do with your broken heart....that's a blog post for another day, I believe.

As of this day, July 24, 2017....we all seem to be "making it"...and we are.

God is with us and we know it. EMMANUEL. He has called us to take these risks (i.e. living in community, being around people, having kids, being open, being accountable)...

Lately: I believe the shock and numbness is slowly wearing off and leaving behind tear-soaked, smiling, grateful souls who just want to point EVERYONE to the HEALER.

I won't lie...I've been pretty angry about Oliver's death. Angry in different ways and aware that the Creator can handle my anger...

Angry like "How God?", "Really???", "Why do these other mothers/fathers get to keep their babies...these teens, these rejectors and people that don't serve You, Lord? these druggies, loose people...whatever. Why God?" To which there is no answer and I'm sure I wouldn't even want to know really...This is just where my head and heart is lately....my thoughts can take me to some pretty sad, dark places but I don't stay there long. I have an ongoing discussion with Him - and we're good - but I run up against Him on these points often. Flailing, crying big ugly tears and saying words to Him that I know He can handle. This loss will never make any sense this side of heaven...

Where are You in my broken heart? Everything seems to fall apart...tell me that You're there...

and He does. Since Jack's death, I've felt the Lord's presence in ways I hadn't before. Since Oliver's death, even more, if that's even possible. I used to say "I don't think my heart could be any more broken...."

I don't say that anymore. I know it could be.

Oliver Franklin Young was the high point of our year. He was born exactly 5 years and 51 weeks after his Uncle Jack. forever one on top of the other on our calendars. Two most wanted boys...

Facing extended family struggles (not to be vague but...),  Levi's healing from major spinal surgery, work stress of folks not paying us etc, the loss of John and Sherry, misunderstandings and eventual departure from our church...we were all keeping our noses above the water...just barely.

When Ollie made it here on Friday morning, June 23, 2017 at 4:27 am, we were all ecstatic, breathing big sighs of relief. He was beautiful, chubby at 8 lbs, 13 oz and such a lovely mixture of his momma and daddy. We could hardly believe it and we praised God that Joy was such a tough, loving little momma. She endured a long labor with an eventual c-section after dilation stalling at 5 cm...Will was such a comforter to Joy and to Ollie (and to Mel and I) and it was so beautiful to observe him with his son in Oliver's first moments. Lots of tears and admiration...we couldn't get enough.

On Sunday, June 25, 2017, the day we were all going to drive down to Bloomington to pick up the new little family, I got a call right before 7 am. It was Will - instant panic - couldn't get out of my sheets fast enough..."Mom! please pray. Something is wrong with Oliver...he isn't breathing and he's gray!!" Click....



Oh God no....

I can hardly type this without hyperventilating and weeping as I was that Sunday morning. Pleading with God on my bathroom floor to let Oliver stay with us.

No please..Oh God, please

no no no....

Will called back. I threw the phone to David because I couldn't take it...head in hands. Utter disbelief.

"Please get here as soon as possible. He didn't make it...."

oh no. oh God. Why are You asking us to walk this road again...why Will and Joy? they honored You in every step of their courtship, their marriage....they are SO young and this baby was to bring such redemption for his uncle, who he was a namesake for...Oh Lord. How could this happen....

We all traveled down to Bloomington...listened to Jon Foreman's "All of God's Children"...wailing, tears dripping off our chins, sneaking down our shirts. Struggling, singing, praising God...disbelieving..

Oliver Franklin Young. so perfect. Such a glorious blend of Bogle and Young. 49 hours old.

Please pray for Will and Joy. Grief is such a weird roller coaster. One minute you are ok...maybe even laughing and then out of nowhere, you are side swiped. You get through those first hellish days, milk coming in, incisions healing, people visiting, asking "what happened...", meals coming in at a furious pace...a spectacle so to speak...

then a few weeks out...people still check on you, but as expected, life goes on, novelty wears off...and Joy is left sitting there..."ok, that was hell...where's my baby??"

We are so grateful for the people that visited...the meals and food that were brought to us, and to Will and Joy once they got back home...We are so grateful for the prayers and cards, keep them coming...please know that if you haven't gotten a thank you back yet, it's coming...the fog is lifting. Making sense of life is taking time...

I will be back to blog more about the beautiful service that Will and Joy had for Ollie at Forest Lawn and how amazing it is that Ollie is buried right next to his Uncle Jack...Joy also posted her pics from Ollie's last day, on Facebook, last night and I will have to share those here also...they are amazing.

God with us.