October 15th

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

For those of you who are wondering about all the candle pics popping up, today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - No, we Don't need one day to Remember…we remember them EVERY day! But I am thankful this is becoming less taboo to talk about!

I'll be thinking about and praying for the moms tonight who, like me, have loved and lost. We all light candles tonight as we remember. We create a #waveoflight. It's nice to be able to feel we are NOT alone on this journey. We gather. We honor. We remember.

My heart aches for the day I get to see my children again. I saw a quote that went something like, "I miss you with all of the pieces of my heart." Yep, a heart once shattered has begun to heal.

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn't bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

Author unknown


One of those days...

...and its only 8:15am...

I woke up early, early this am to Anna's whimpers of "daa daa daa." I grabbed her out of her crib, fed her, and promptly tucked her in and back to sleep. Ahh...another hour and a half till my alarm goes off...

Enter Trent...

"Mom, it's 7:30, aren't we supposed to leave for school now? You have to hurry cuz I need snacks and stuff for my read-in." (As a reward, students get to bring blankets/pillows, electronic readers, and snacks out to the hallway and read for the afternoon. Yes, fun stuff for 4th graders!)

I hop out of bed, throw on yesterdays clothes...take out my retainers and swish with water.

"Hurry, hurry! We are gonna be late, boys. Trent why didn't you wake me sooner?"

"I didn't realized what time it was." (yeah, because he was playing minecraft, no doubt)

We tear through laundry baskets to find Drew some socks and he says, "But, mom I have to do announcements this morning!"

"Oh great...well we've really got to book it now!"

We throw bagels in the toaster and amazingly both boys are dressed.

It's 7:45 and I snatch a sleeping Anna from her crib and bounce down the stairs to get her buckled into her car seat.

Everyone is loaded up...check.

Everything we need is loaded up...check.

"Oh good, Drew, we are gonna make it in time for you to do the announcements...wait, I can't find my keys!"


Just minutes before, I grabbed my purse from the unlit living room. It still sat by the computer from the wonderful duty of balancing the checkbook the day before. I begin to dig for my key chain...that's weird, can't find it.

I throw out the tic tacs, the notepad, the hand lotion...they have to be here...where else would they be!?! Seriously, I'm very good about keeping keys "in the right spot" you know, so I can find them when I need them...that's what I tell my boys almost on a daily basis, right!?!

Nope. Not there.

I dig in my coat pockets. Nope.

I call Mike. Maybe he saw them...no answer...I call about 5 more times in a row...

Boys are "looking" in the car, but at least they are ready. School starts at 7:50.

I look on end tables and counters...finally, I go back to the unlit living room and there, ON THE FLOOR, probably right beside my purse, lay my keys.

So we jump in the car...it's 7:52.

I plug in my cell phone, which had been beeping all morning to let me know it was about dead!

I call the school and let them know Drew is coming, but we are 7 minutes away, and that he is scheduled to do announcements.

"Drew I think they might wait for you, but I'm not sure."

He hangs his head in disappointment.

We sit through two red different lights...

"I can't believe I didn't see those keys when I grabbed my purse, we could've probably made it just after the bell rang. We would've at least been close."

Drew so sweetly says, "Yeah, maybe I should've gone in to look, cuz, you know, I eat LOTS of carrots!" He peeks his head around the back of the headrest and smiles at Anna.  "Anna, you didn't laugh!?! BUT that was funny."

"Thanks, Drew, for making me smile too."

I park the van and we run to the front door (well, poor Anna bounces). The secretary buzzes us in and I see the principal watching for us from behind the counter.  I smile and mouth "Thank You!"

He says, "We are ready for you Drew." I pat Drew on the shoulder and he disappears down the hall.

I sign them in, the clock reads exactly 8:00.

I exit the office and sit down on the bench outside.

I hear a sweet, sweet voice...

"Good Morning.  This is Drew K and ____ with the announcements for Friday, March 15th...where we practice the life goal of "treat people right and do the right thing."....Lunch today...Now, let's take a moment of silence before we start the day..."

Yes, Thanks Lord, for THIS day. For giving me opportunities to show grace and peace to my kids when I really just want to yell and throw the silly tic-tacs because things aren't going my way.  Thanks that Drew can read the announcements in front of the whole school...when, because of me, he almost missed his opportunity. Maybe he'll get to share and show his friends Your grace and peace today. I pray that we ALL do it more.


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.


A Prayer Today...

The sun is shining today and I'm loving it!  Although I must admit I went back to bed after I got Trent on the bus!  I'm tired...emotionally.  I've had some heavy things weighing me down the last few weeks and I want to share what encouraged me this morning...a prayer.

I've been going through a ladies bible study at church that has been very challenging, but VERY GOOD!  I Really Want to Change...so, Help Me God.  It is written by James MacDonald.  This morning I was looking at his website and found a prayer he posted on his blog on March 15th, 2010.

"This prayer stands the test of time for me. I trust it will meet you where you are in your walk with Christ on this Monday. . . [This] prayer I pray in some way almost every single day. When I don’t, I wish I had. Pray with me today . . .

Ephesians 5:18, “Be filled with the Spirit.”

Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. I can’t fix yesterday, and tomorrow seems a long way off.

Today, Lord: Cleanse my heart from the fleshly residue of yesterday’s fallen humanity.

Today, Lord: Scrub my thoughts and motives till they shine with singularity – wanting Your glory alone.

Today, Lord: Wash me and I will be whiter than snow, purposed afresh to follow Your footsteps.

Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. The tasks ahead are too much. If I must go alone, I cannot go at all.

Today, Lord: I’m not smart enough to know what is best, and not strong enough to choose what is righteous.

Today, Lord: My wife, my family, my friends, my church . . . I am not sufficient for these things, and I know it.

Today, Lord: Or what unfolds in the hours ahead will fade into the abyss of worthless, wasted time.

Lord, fill me with Your Spirit right now. Come, make these 24 hours all You created them to be.

Now, Lord: You know how to ‘give good gifts’ and I am so thankful to be called Your child.

Now, Lord: By faith, I receive the Presence You’ve promised, and delight to know that Your Word is true.

Now, Lord: You are filling my life with peace and purpose and freeing my soul to sing.

Galatians 5:16, 22, Walk then in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of your flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control.”

Friends, I hope you are encouraged, your day is filled with sunshine, and your soul is free to sing!


Urgency of Prayer

Friday Mike stayed home to see Trent off to school for his first time on the bus. (It was only later that he told me the manager at work told him it was a good idea because I would probably be a mess considering this was my first child.) So, we all walked to the end of the road to wait for the bus to come. There were about five other kids waiting. When the bus pulled up I told Trent to stand in front of the bus so I could get his picture. All the other kids got on, and Trent was finding a seat so I popped my head in to say Hi to the bus driver I've never seen or met but will be responsible for my child. I said, "This is Trent, he's in kindergarten." She looked at me with no emotion, and almost as if shrugging her shoulders replies, "Oh, OK." I guess I was hoping for, "Don't worry, I'll take good care of him. OR He'll be just fine, mom." She shut the doors, and I stretched up on my tip toes to see if Trent found a seat alright. And he was off - out of sight - and in the care of a complete stranger with several other children. So many things going through my head...Who will he sit with? What kind of conversations will he have? Who will greet him when he gets to school? Will he remember how to get to his classroom? and so on. I hoped that the things we have tried to instill in his heart and mind would guide him as he's "on his own." The lump in my throat grew. I walked back to the house behind Mike and Drew, blinking back the tears that were about to flood over. "Lord, please watch over Trent today." That urgency to pray for him was great. I began to think of specific ways I could pray for him and that began a hunt (on the internet) for any "words of wisdom" I could find from other moms who I was sure had felt that same feeling in their gut as they watched their child ride away into this big bad world.

I decided to try and be organized about it. I printed out some great resources, put them in pocket protectors and inside a 3-ring binder designated as my new prayer journal. Back when we lived in MI and I worked with Sparks, my leader gave me a really neat note card with "31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids." I copied it so I have one hanging on my fridge and one I keep in my bible. These are great, I just correspond the day it is with one of the virtues and usually as I'm preparing a meal I also pray that for my boys. Click here to print off your own copy. I came across another really neat way to pray for my kids. Praying Head to Toe uses "scriptur[e] to pray for my children...using the Bible to ask God's blessing on various aspects of their lives. This method works for all children, no matter how old they are or what they're going through." So don't be afraid to ask me how I'm doing as I seek to faithfully lift up my kids to my Heavenly Father - who loves and cares for them even more than I could.

And now for some pictures...