Feelin' Crafty

A few weeks ago I came across this post at Little Birdie Secrets.  It looked like a quick and easy project for me to do for Teacher Appreciation Week.  It was something to keep my hands busy while the boys were at school and ached to be caring for Emilie. It also gave me a good excuse to procrastinate on doing some housework.  Here is what my finished bookmarks looked like.

Some of you may remember what I made at the end of last school year for Trent's teacher.  If your looking for another idea, try this.  The "crayon initial shadowbox" was a big hit, Trent's teacher hung it by her desk and likes to tell me about all the comments she receives on it.  Do you have any favorite homemade teacher gifts?






BASEBALL is in FULL SWING for Trent.  Drew starts later this week!


Mother's Day

We traveled up to Michigan to spend the weekend with Mike's mom.  A bittersweet day for me...wish I could hug and squeeze all 5 of my kiddos.  Thankful, still, for the blessing of being a mom.  Hopfully I can do as good of a job as both our moms did for us!  Love you, Mom!
Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life's been anything but calm
Since You called on me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose
Fitting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last weeks mail to read
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your grace
I see then, in my small one's face
That you have blessed me
All the while
And I stop to kiss
That precious smile 

Mother's Day Gift

Had to share some of the cute quotes from Drew's mother's day project  So sweet!
These were sentences started by Drew's teacher and he had to fill in the blank...

"I make my mom happy by...giving her things I make."
"My mom takes care of me by...feeding and taking care of me."
"If I could, I would buy my mom...a big jewel - as big as me!"
"The most special times with my mom are...when we go out to lunch together."
"My mom always says...Drewvy, Drewvy, Drewvy." (yes, usually shaking my head as I say it!)
"My mom cooks the best...egg sandwiches."
"My mom really loves...me and Trent."
"My mom and I like to...go to Tokens-n-Tickets."
"My mom's favorite clothes to wear are...pink shirts."
"My mom is beautiful because she...loves me and she loves my brother."


for rainy afternoons to watch Drew "work."  What a sweet little artist!


How to Pray for Grieving Parents

Many of you have asked specifically how you can pray for us...so I put a list together.  I hope this gives you some ideas.  We are so THANKFUL for your prayers!!  We know that God is pouring out His grace on our family.  He is kind and generous to meet our every need - and then some!  Thank you for helping to carry our burdens, and sit and get dirty with us in these ashes!
A friend shared a list of what she is praying for us…
  • That God would be our refuge. (unshakable trust) Ps 11:1
  • That God’s love and presence surround us day and night. Rom 8:38-39
  • That God’s strength would help us through the grieving process. Ps 27:13-14, 29:11
  • That we will accept God’s wisdom, knowledge, judgments (decisions), and ways rather than ask “why.” Rom 11:33, Prov. 3:5-6, Is. 55:8-9 (That I wouldn’t obsess with the “what if’s.” The doctors could find NO medical reason as to why Emilie died; she was perfect in every way. This is hard to understand, but I must accept the mystery and trust that God knew the exact number of her days, that He is still on “plan A”, and no matter what I think I could have done to change the outcome – this was no mistake.)
  • That we will not doubt God’s goodness or faithfulness. Rom. 8:28-29
  • That guilt and depression will not overtake us. Phil 4:8
  • That our marriage will be strengthened as we grieve uniquely. That we’d give each other the freedom to grieve differently. That communication will remain open and honest.
  • That they will balance grief with their responsibilities as parents. (purposeful and consistent in love and discipline)
  • For mom’s physical health - recovery from giving birth and restful sleep.
  • That our boys would be protected during this confusing time as mom and dad grieve, and that they might have a sense of normalcy and security.
  • That, in time, relationships with other moms (especially those who have daughters) be restored.
Some other things I thought of to pray for…

• That we would not feel alone, but sense God’s presence, and lean on the Holy Spirit as our Helper and Comforter and Truth.

• That we would experience His peace like never before, and grace sufficient for each day/minute.

• That the Lord would guard our hearts from words that hurt instead of comfort.

• For wisdom to discern “what to do next” and know “where to go from here.”

• That we could begin to see His plan…a mere glimpse of the purpose of our pain…for the third time.

• That we choose to be gracious and kind to each other instead of justifying criticism and frustration when we are hurting and sad.

• That we’ll be honest with our emotions and won’t be afraid to cry. (I wish I could just jump to the other side of the grief – been there done that, after all – but we must go THROUGH it. The process can be daunting.)

• That we would not waiver in our trust, hope, or joy in our sovereign Heavenly Father, nor would we lose our praise even through the tears.

• Even though life goes on (much more quickly for everyone else) that we know/trust God is with us right where we are. Remembering that He hears our cry and sees our tears.

• That we’d always be mindful of the hope of heaven. That we’d be eternally focused and not be comfortable to get caught up in the “stuff” of this world.

• That our family will overcome the spiritual battles; that Satan would fail in his plans to harm us because we continue (through His strength) to cling to Christ.

• That through our loss, because of our children Noah, Joanna, and Emilie, people will see the need for a personal relationship with God.

• That in time we can comfort others with the comfort that we received.

• That we would not hold tight fisted “our” children or “our” things. That we see them as gifts entrusted to our care for the time being.


Where I'm at...What I'm LEARNING...Lament

Did I mention that I was reading A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card?! It has been so helpful for me to think through, process, and reconcile my emotions of grief with my faith.

I want to share some of his thoughts on Job. He addresses the questions about how Job is able to maintain his sanity and his faith through all the trials. Card says,

“By what means is he able to hold on to his hope, to his God, while the first notes of the song of this impossible completed equation begin to resonate? The answer: by means of the counterpoint of another song, the song of lament. Lament keeps the door open, keeps Job on the dance floor with God till the music is over, until the two tunes are resolved.”
The dissonance of the two converging “songs” comes from the contradiction between two different ways of thinking. Israel had this equation about how the world worked. If they kept the Torah then God would bless them, and conversely, if they broke His laws then God must punish them. Yet, at some point in history, questions arose in which this formula had no answers…i.e. Job. Even though he had been “righteous” he still suffered loss and illness. There is no simple equation like this to live by. If anybody should prosper from this equation, after all, it should be Job! Michael Card poses that idea that
“God was preparing His people for a deeper understanding of Himself and His hesed. (lovingkindness) Though they had consistently broken the covenant, God nonetheless remained faithful and loving…The reason to love [God] is not found on the other side of the equal sign of the equation. It is found in the inequitable, untranslatable hesed. Without the pain, Job might have never realized either the depth nor the dimension of this kind of relationship with God.”
Job’s “frustrated outpouring allows him to stay in the ring while everyone on the sidelines shouts at him to throw in the towel. By the end of the book, I always imagine Job and God standing with their arms around each other like a couple of weary boxers. Job’s jaw is swollen. One of his eyes is black. He must keep one arm around his Opponent in order to remain upright. But he has a grin on his bloody face that comes from the knowledge that it was never about winning the fight. It had absolutely nothing to do with being right. It was always, only about being faithful. Job has survived the prescribed number of bouts. He has finished his race. His reward? Does he get his children back? No, he gets God back.”
Card then shares about Job’s response to each of his losses. He points out verse 20 of chapter 1. Job physically made the motions of mourning, tearing his rob and shaving his head. But...
“what he does next, however, is totally unexpected, even unimaginable. What he does…seems unthinkable, almost impossible.

‘Then he fell to the ground in worship.’

Job is the sort of man who will simply not let go of God. To him, this is what worship means. He will stubbornly cry out in the groaning of this lament, which is worship, until God answers…Job stubbornly insists on maintaining the dialogue with the God who, for a while longer, remains infuriatingly silent. He continues to offer up to Him all his suffering, his suicidal groaning, his confusion and hurt, even his own deep disappointment with God. He has come to the desperate understanding that there is no other place to take them but to God.”
STAY WITH ME…I know this post is long, but THERE’S MORE GOOD STUFF…

“Today we would ask Job to leave all these negative emotions at the church door. They are not appropriate to nor do they fit inside the narrow confines of our definition of worship. And so, likewise, those of us who have nothing else to offer but our laments find the door effectively closed in our faces. It cost Job everything to teach us this lesson. It is time we learned it.

Worship is not only about good feelings, joy, and prosperity, though they are at the heart of it. While Jesus would pronounce a blessing on those who mourn we pronounce this curse. Those who ‘labor and are heavy laden’ can find no place in our comfortable churches to lay their burdens. We reason, ‘Who could possibly conceive of a God who would want to receive such worthless empty offerings?’ But Job desperately clings to such a God, one who encourages us to offer everything to Him, every joy and every sorrow. All our broken hearts. All our contrite spirits. Because He is worth it.”
I guess what I’m realizing is that what I thought was a lack of faith and trust in God (my emotions of disappointment, betrayal, and anger directed at God, who chose not to ACT when he could have saved my babies) really isn't.  It is more like a boxing match. I can duke it out, while leaning on Him to keep from falling, and when I’m weary and exhausted from the fight…I’m still standing before the prize. So, I go back to Card’s earlier point… “God was preparing His people [You and Me] for a deeper understanding of Himself and His hesed. (lovingkindness) Though they [You and Me] had consistently broken the covenant, God nonetheless remained faithful and loving…The reason to love [God] is not found on the other side of the equal sign of the equation. It is found in the inequitable, untranslatable hesed. Without the pain, Job [You and Me] might have never realized either the depth nor the dimension of this kind of relationship with God.”

So, I'm Learning...

to pour out my hurts,

my frustrations,

my brokenness,

and my disappointments before God as an offering...

He is the God who can and will...

make all things new, (Rev. 21:5)

give me a new song to sing, (Ps 40:3)

and who will give joy in the morning. (Ps 30:5b)


Beautiful Riddle

Matthew 13: 34-35

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,

I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Beautiful Riddle

Emilie Alyse, what a mystery,
You, dear child, are a beautiful riddle.

You've left us here, left us with questions,
For you, sweet girl, are a beautiful riddle.

Even your name, Industrious and Noble,
Emilie Alyse, is a beautiful riddle.

Just like the disciples, we don’t understand this parable,
We need Jesus, little one, to explain this beautiful riddle.

We miss you so dearly, while we await the final answer,
To you, Precious Babe, and your beautiful riddle.

We love you, Emilie Alyse.
We love you, Beautiful Riddle. 

~Written by Uncle Kevin ~ April 2011