Friday, March 31, 2017

With Hope....always Hope.

Soo, this is the new family Bunny. We are not sure on the gender so if it's a boy, he will be named Peter and girl, Esther.  S/he is adored by every one of us. (Molly wants to name her Butt Nugget)

Various hang times at Sarah's place. love this gaggle of fine folks.

Molly and her adorable tiny friend, Elijah. He is the son of Taylor, who is a faithful member of our Vertical group.

This pic was taken in 2010, the day after Molly cut off all of her beautiful hair and curls....
She had Uncle John wrapped around her tiny fingers. No one loves Moo quite like her Aunt Sherry.

At one of Jack's Birthday celebrations. 

One of the last pics we have of Uncle John...10.24.16 on the day of Levi's surgery.  These two...they have been through so much and have encouraged our family as we've endured some "stuff". Thankful for their love for Christ and love for us.
I received a text from Aunt Sherry yesterday that she will be heading back to Seton Hospital soon and by April 10, 2017, she will be put on Comfort Care. St. Francis and her heart doctor, Dr. K, said they can no longer do anything to help her. It makes me so sad. She has been such a source of hope for me, such a prayer warrior, encourager in the Word, sending me chunks of Scripture to get me through good times and bad.

I'm just struggling with this tonight...struggling with so much and then this....gosh.

In lighter news, the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. I'm extremely grateful for that tonight and in light of the week we've just had, I will probably blog about this later, when it's not such a fresh wound (my week and the purifying of my heart before the Lord)

Tonight, dinner with David's attorney to celebrate....

Friday, March 10, 2017

...wish this was vertigo, it just feels like I'm falling slow...

Praying for this sweet lady, Aunt Sherry...she is missing her fella and wondering what the Lord has in store for her.
This pic depicts them so well. Makes me miss Uncle John a bit more. Oh Lord, give her strength.

David turned 46 on Monday. Love him.

We are all so excited to meet this little guy. #olliefrank Joylily is such a good sport. She lets us paw her tummy every single time.  They had an ultrasound today and the babester weights 2.6 pounds!! Big fella!

beautiful, slightly crazy girls
                                      Need to Breathe - "Wasteland"

Will shared the above song with me yesterday. I'm not a big Need to Breathe fan but I do appreciate some of their songs. Give this song above a listen...

All of these people I meet...
It seems like they're fine
Yeah in some ways, I hope that they're not...
And their hearts are like mine....
Yeah, it's wrong when it seems like work
to belong
All I feel is hurt

Oh, if God is on my side
Yeah, if God is on my side,
Oh, if God is on my side,
Who can be against me....

Yeah in this wasteland where I'm living
There is a crack in the door filled with light**
And it's all that I need to get by

**Which, obviously, I need more to get by than just some light through a crack in the door...but this speaks of hope to me....when you don't see much more than the light through the crack...that's ok. You will have those days, I promise, they will come, especially if you consider yourself a follower of Jesus. People will reject, turn away from Him and the things of Him...there is power in the name of Jesus Christ...very threatening. In those hard moments, keep your eyes fixed on Him. Find your strength in His word. I've made my closet into a prayer closet and it's so helpful to just sit in there, cry, lay on my face and give it all to Him.

coming to grips with the fact that people will let you down...every. day. People that you counted on, thought understood you, knew your heart, heard your cries and sadnesses, joys and victories...yes, they will turn from you, and I'm learning to find strength in the Lord...He is my Comfort. He has placed a good group of folks in my seems to get a bit smaller by the weeks and months but it's ok. Learning to TRUST HIM. It isn't as easy as it seems or as the old hymns would make it out to be...there's loss and grief and hurts so deep that you wonder how this can be good...

but then you hear the stories of His goodness that revive you, people that are actually SEEKING after Him, wanting community, accountability and discipleship....and that keeps you going.

sorry for rambling...just really having "a day" today and wanted to let it out on my blog.

Shellee, I so appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement. More than you can know. Hope the snow lets up in Japan SOON!! We are in a cold snap again, after some springlike weather this week and it makes a person....grumpy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

when it feels like surgery...

I swear that I won't let you go....I'll always be by your side...yeah...

These pictures are from our September 2015 camping trip...just some little blasts from the past.

Feeling super grateful for my lil group of people immediate group and then the people that have joined us in the past few years. Some have come, most have gone and that's ok.

My family and I are facing some pretty harrowing situations. No, no one has been kidnapped, murdered, or ejected from their home but these situations are daunting all the same. Broken relationships are the hardest and worst things, I believe, to face. Especially when they are with family members. close family members. like, mother and father family members...sibling family members.


When you realize that the loved ones aren't on the same path as you...the path leading toward JESUS CHRIST like you thought they were....and they walk away....etc etc etc

Aside from that, when, because of those situations, directly or indirectly, other relationships of the non-family but still supposedly "family of Christ" take a serious hit....and you find yourself dealing with serious beasts....

And if that wasn't horrific enough....then family members on the other side begin to lash out at you...

I am not coming here for sympathy or anything of that sort...simply to record a time in my life of deep hurt. This hurt is deeper than when Jack died. Why? Because, yes, that was a defining moment in my life (and the life of each member of the fam) and one that hurt to our very cores, still does on occasion...but I know where our boy is and how the Lord has worked it for our good...but this? What am I supposed to do with this?

That's when I listen to reminders like this, from Switchfoot, posted at the bottom of this post..this song is about trusting God, letting go of doubt. The song is called "I Won't Let You Go"....

When it feels like surgery
And it burns like third degree
And you wonder what is it worth?
When your insides breaking in
And you feel that ache again
And you wonder
What's giving birth?

If you could let the pain of the past go
of your soul
None of this is in your control

If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust Me somehow
I swear that I won't let you go
If you could only let go doubts
If you could just believe in Me now
I swear that I won't let you go
I won't let you go....

When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace
But there's war in your head
Maybe that's where life is born
When our facades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead

I'll always be by your side

I won't let you go....

There ain't no darkness strong enough
That could tear you out from my heart
There ain't no strength strong enough
that could tear this love apart...

No, I won't let you go...

And can I say this? (Yes, I guess I can since this is my blog) light of all of these family and I (David, Will, Joylily, our future grand babe, Ethan, Mel, Levi, Molly, even Sarah, our adopted daughter of sorts) are thriving...dealing with our own issues, leaning on the Lord, growing in so many areas and ways...and keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Him. it's true...the things of this earth, this life, do fade away in the light of His glory and His grace. It's hard to explain but even though these are hard and challenging days, the kinda days where you just don't wanna get out of bed, once we DO get out of bed, we are all doing really well. Hope is kindled because of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.

Will and Joy continue to grow an adorable baby (I'm sure of it. As my grandma used to say, "I'm the grandma and I said so!") and she's had a couple visits with MH, our wonderful midwife for Jack, who we all adore. Will is also recording a lot of his songs, with Joy's djembe help and engineering expertise. They really are a precious couple. Thankful for their love and commitment to our gang. Prayers for comfort for Joylily would be appreciated, as she's a small gal and her baby is getting big. (I felt him move the other day too....ahhhhhh!)
Ethan is a student of the Word of God like not many people I've ever met (his dad and older bro). His exuberance for the history and truth of God's Word is kinda spectacular. He's loving working for YFF and for our Chimney friend, Michael Baun. Thankful for the way he helps me to shape and mold the younger sibs, as I've often worried that, because I'm not as young as I used to be, they won't end up as amazing as their older three sibs. He's helping me see that they will end up above par!
Melanie is continuing to read up on her doula work, recording with Young Band, working with Charlene's Angels, YFF and helping me to maintain our household. She's pretty incredible. She has a wisdom that goes beyond her 18+  years. Thankful that she freely speaks truth into my life, every day.
Levi has some tests on his cardiovascular system tomorrow. His BP is different in each arm, just at a point where it needs to be he will have ultrasounds and blood pressure readings. He is really such a tough guy. Tender but tough. He's thriving in so many ways but still our young teenaged challenge. He's reading better, still struggling with math, wants to know what car we will be driving on this day, and if it's going to storm. Love that big dude. He has mended well from his spinal surgery.
Molly is ...... well, Molly. She reminds me a lot of me but also not. She's scared of a lot of the same things that I was as a young girl. She keeps reminding me that when she turns 10 this summer, a lot will change for her...not sure what, besides being a double digit gal, but I'm enjoying the changes already. She is very helpful with a little guy named Elijah that comes to our Vertical's neat to see her interact with him (he's 3) and it makes me thoughtful of how she'd have been with Jack and also what a good AUNT MO she will be. She signs all of her papers, notes, whatever, Aunt Mo. Love her zesty spirit. She loves unicorns, mermaids and fairy gardens. She is also excited that we are looking for a dog for our fam...preferably a Goldendoodle.

David is doing really well, in spite of set backs here and there...thank you for your prayers for him. He turned 46 on the 6th. He seriously amazes me. drives me crazy too...but man, God was seriously taking such excellent care of me when He gave him to me over 23 years ago.

Good day to you...thanks to my faithful blog friends, Shellee, Tory...for always sending such encouraging comments. I'm so thankful for you friends!