1

To Laugh Again

I didn’t know how much I missed the laughter. I have a cousin who is beautiful but especially when she laughs. Her whole face turns into joy and just looking at her makes you want to join her. She doesn’t hide the liberating emotion. 

She.

Just.

Laughs.

Sometimes life gets heavy and laugher gets scarce. Circumstamaces dare you to be funny. Situations leave you tired and where’s the laughter to that? 

One can laugh without it catching their face or reaching their eyes. Laughter can be just white noise. Filling in the blank’s. Making One look OK.

My friend, Gracie, gave me this photo along with a baby gift for Ky. I stared at it and scarcely recognized myself. I was laughing. Laughing like I thought  I never would or could again. 

Laughing like I never had in my whole life. Because when laughter is stripped from your heart, the gift of its return is more precious then words and the laughter is deeper. More precious. The heart knows that not all day will be laughing days. That the hard will sometimes silence the thrill. 

But the world needs to hear this….

“Because of Jesus……

photo credits: Gracie O’Brian 

Laughter can be birthed again.” 

0

Wildflower

Newborn.


She was lovely so lovely. 

Her black hair fell straight 

Across her forehead. 

She was strong. So strong 

Her head raised steady off my shoulder.

She was feisty. So feisty.

Her bright eyes showed intense intelligence.

She was tiny. So tiny. 

She fit perfectly in his forearm.

So suddenly, and yet so gradually, things changed. 

Her eyes became clouded by seizure.

Her head dropped to her chest.

Her tiny feet did not straighten

And her smiles were infrequent. 

We cried and prayed and bounced 

Her wailing little self though the days and nights.

A mouse ran across the bedroom floor

Late one night.

And I closed my eyes, and pretended I didn’t see it.

Because I was tired. And my baby took up 

All my brain space.

The heart hurts when life changes your child.

When chromosomes stick and genetics happen. 

When Doctors have no answers and Heaven is silent.

When your child chokes and drools and seizes.

When hospital beds become comfortable. 

When Enya becomes a lifeline of music to calm the restlessness.

When you lose so much sleep, that you can’t sleep.

When life has question marks stamped all over it.

When Goodbye is the hardest word to say. 

Three years later, I thank God for allowing the pain and hard to slowly 

Morph smaller then the joy. 

The beauty of blue eyes. 

The snuggles and giggles and hand clasps.

The Kierra head turns and coos. 

My body will never forget,

But the edges of hurt are softened. 

The slash of pain less raw. 

Because while I miss her wildly….

The wonder of HER, our Wildflower Child,

 holds the trump card.

And that is enough. 

That I got to hold her. 

Kiss her. 

Love her.

 Be her Mommy.

It’s what will have to be enough. 

Until I reach Heaven. 

0

Was I ever Surprised! 

A year ago I would have laughed if you had told me I would be in Nevada with a darling baby today. Totally said “phewy. That’s not gonna happen. ”
A year ago, I was feeling physically well, but achingly purposeless. I was feeling desperate and broken. I wanted a baby, but that wasn’t an option. I wanted to help others and make a difference, but all my leads were falling through. While I enjoyed working at the hospital, I was feeling God nudging me In a different direction and it was feeling very confusing. It was increasingly hard to work in the medical world when memories of Kierra’s hospital stays kept appearing out of no where on my radar. It was hard. Really hard. 
I knew winter was coming way too fast in Montana and I’d have to go back to working night shift MUCH MORE and that alone made me want to hide under the bed. I was desperate for leading and direction and something to plug into. I felt like my whole life was on hold and no one could find the resume button. I really wanted to just fast forward and get some answers. I was searching. Praying. I wasn’t sure what it was for. 
A few months prior, I had started taking these amazing supplements that were making me feel so much more balanced and giving my health back to me. I LOVED them, BUT we were strapped financially and I had tried calling in to the company several times to cancel my membership simply because I didn’t think we could afford it anymore. 
Now this sounds crazy…literally, but I could NEVER actually speak to them. I would be put on hold for so long that I’d have to go do something more important then canceling my membership before getting through to anyone. I look back now, and Thank God! He knew exactly why I wasn’t suppose to cancel that membership. In fact, I think He was up there, smiling at my frustration, wanting to say, “Surprise! Trust me on this one, girl!” 
Last July, we went camping with friends back In The beautiful Little Belt mountains. I sat, weeping, in my friends RV, wondering when life would ever begin to make sense or start falling into place again. “Why don’t you work for this amazing supplement company?” My friend asked me. “ANYONE can do it right from their home, plus, you’re already taking their products.” 
It was that weekend that I saw a glimmer of hope again. I saw the edges of a dream. I felt something click with me and I knew this was something I couldn’t turn my back on. 
I went home and got out my computer and started working from my kitchen table. It scared me silly but I was desperate. My dreams got bigger and I started to see my purpose unfolding. 

I could weep happy tears today …..
Because now I get all my products for free and I feel absolutely amazing. I get to offer hope to other people. I get to watch folks dreams come true. I get to have people tell me how much better they feel and how thankful they are. I get to make new friends and deepen relationships and rejoice  at changed lives. I get to see God being glorified. I get to travel to amazing places and learn how to be a better person and friend. 

I get to dream of staying home this winter with my sweet baby boy that God gifted us with when I thought it would never happen. I get to dream of spending more time with my sweet Kobe and my handsome Steve and helping others who are struggling through the pain of life in honor of my Kierra in Heaven. 
That makes me so excited I could weep. 
I’m so thankful I took a chance on something that took me out of my comfort zone. Something that was so much bigger then me. Something that is real and genuine. Something that honors God. It’s why I’m passionate about my business. Its why I am in awe of today. It’s why I want to tell you, my friend, to hang on. Dream big. Keep Believing. Because when you truly believe, nothing can stop you! You’ve got what it takes! 

Dream big! Reach high! Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and fly! 

6

Introducing…Baby Ky

April 13, 2017. 

Thursday evening.

Kyrell Von Zephyn

Entered this great big world. 

He was beautiful and perfect and I cried as I held him close on my chest for the very first time. 


In the wee morning hours, Stephen and I had packed our bags and headed to the hospital to meet our little man. Ky had pulled the breech move on me a few weeks ago and although he had stayed turned down for two days, after some assistance from the Dr, we weren’t taking chances. His brother had flipped around more times then I cared to remember and we eventually turned him and immediately did an induction in order to avoid a c-section. That was the plan with this little guy as well.

The moon was high in the sky and the fairest morning hint was in the air as we left that Thursday morning. Spring freshness hung in the air, and early robins sang through the darkness. I breathed deeply in the refreshment and shivered with excitement and a little bit of apprehension. Today. 

 Today. Was.The.Day.

The last month had been hard. Harder then I expected. I may write more on that later, but my heart felt like it had stretched way beyond its comfort zone and I was ready to have the waiting period over. To meet this little man child who we had prayed and hoped and believed for. 

14 hours later, we were holding him. And he was beautiful.

And I couldn’t stop from crying with the magnitude of it all. This was our child. The child I never thought we would have. The baby I had dreamed about, but never actually believed would come about. And here he was. All  six pounds, twelve ounces of him. All gangly legged and skinny armed with his head full of black hair. All big lunged and scrunched face and then all silent as I held him close and tears rolled down my cheek. It felt like he had found his home. Because he stilled and time  stilled and all I could see was this beautiful tiny head under my chin and he wasn’t crying and I was. 

And suddenly, I realized, HE WASNT CRYING!! And I thought there must be something wrong! I wondered why the nurses didn’t grab him from me and do their thing they always do. But they let me hold him close. Let me weep a bit and hug him and revel in his tiny face all wrinkled and new and content in my arms in this big big world. And he wasn’t crying. And I was amazed and my heart was a puddle. My Stephen was close and whispered softly to me and our eyes met and there was joy and tears and love and gratitude all mixed together.  

They took him gently then, and weighted and measured him. They put him under the warmer and he stretched and relaxed and stared around with huge new eyes. 



Kyrell Von Zephyn. We call him Ky. We actually had another name picked out for the little guy. A few days before his birth, we both scratched it from our list. While Kierra and Kobe both just happened to start with the letter “K”, we couldn’t quite break the tradition with our third child. My husband, who is great with naming our kids, said, “Kyrell. Why not Kyrell? And we can call him Ky.” Funny how many different ways there are of spelling such a short name. Eventually we settled on a spelling. 

I had been hanging onto Hope through this pregnancy. It’s been the theme word of my 2017. Von means Hope. So We named him Von. 

I had also been hanging onto the verses in Zephaniah. I had even stenciled them on the nursery wall. 


Zephaniah means “hidden or treasured by God”. We shortened it to Zephyn. And that is how Kyrell Von Zephyn got his name. Packed full of promise and hope, this little man child joined our family.

My friend, Gracie gave me the sweetest gift of all…photos of that special day. I can’t wait to share some of her amazing shots with you! Until then, you’ll have a few of this new mommy’ shots…intoxicated with baby fever and newborn love! 



Kobe came to see him that evening yet, and then again the next day. I felt like a million bucks when they both slept in my arms!


How is it possible to be so divinely blessed? So in love with my two little men? 


We looked Ky over. There were unique things about Kierra that were stamped forever on our hearts. I looked for all of them. Were his feet curved? Was his neck thicker and his head flatter in the back? I honestly couldn’t see anything that was a sure enough sign. He seemed so healthy. He sucked well. He quieted. He slept. He lay quietly and calmly. He cried when he was hungry. 

He was a good dream and I was having a hard time getting my mind around this amazing little man. We even got to take him home when he was just 24 hours old! 

There are so many hugs from God we received over the past  month, and I want to share them with you. Because one of my favorite things is bragging on our big God and how amazing  He is! For now, I’ll tell you that Ky is healthy and although he is a carrier of NCS, he is not affected by it. I am literally spending every minute I can holding  him and reveling in the miracle of a new born. 


My three guys amaze me every day. And I am so beyond thankful and blessed! 

I hope Kierra can get a glimpse of her littlest brother from Heaven. I hope she knows how much I wish she’d be here to be his big sister. I miss her every day. My beautiful wildflower daughter. I’m also so very thankful that she is enjoying the finer things. The things we only dream of. She’s actually LIVING them. Right NOW!!! 

2

Still

Tonight I cried. 

It was one of those days where you felt off kilter and emotional and tired and nauseous and irrationally irritable.

I usually love weekends but today was just plain hard and I didn’t know why and I couldn’t seem to place my finger on anything but  everything was hurting. 

Let me go back a bit. To all the little hugs from God that I have received recently. 

I’ve been fighting this ugly third trimester 

fear (ugly and crippling):

what if this little man child has NCS as well? What if he cries for hours on end like Kierra did? What if he hurts and we can’t help him? What if he won’t suck? What if I’m so tired I don’t know which way is up? What if he dies? 

and anxiety (rediculous and real) :

What if there are complications with the birth? What if my baby dies suddenly before I get to meet him? 

and preparing for two different scenarios (each could be total reality) so I’m not even sure what to tell Kobe when I prepare him for a baby in the house:

(Some of these may seem silly to you, but if you’ve had a child with special needs, you will understand how big the little things can be. I’ve had both these babies and it’s a world of difference! But the love ….aw the love is always always a mommies heart full!)

Because really, this little man child could cry all night or sleep all night.

He could drink well or have sucking/swallowing issues.

He could need to bottle feed or he may breast feed.

And as he gets a bit older…he could love to cuddle or prefer to be left alone.

He could smile and gaze at us or turn away and not focus.

His little cap could fit perfectly or it could slide off his head all the time. 

He could be a ‘pick up and go’ baby or a ‘make no plans’ baby.

He could play with toys or he could ignore them.

He could grow out of his clothes faster then you can buy them or he could stay in one size for a very long time. 

He could love to be held and played with by his big brother, or he could cry at being touched too much.

So I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. How do I prepare my 5 year old for a baby brother when I really don’t know what to expect myself? I don’t want scare him needlessly and I don’t want to expect the worst, but I DO want to be real and not sugar coat everything for him. So we talk about babies and how tiny they are and how cute they are and how he can be such a great big brother. 

Like I said, the past weeks have been a bit hard. Fear is ugly. I know there are people praying for me and I’m so grateful for every one of you! This week some amazing things happened. Last Saturday night at church, I was sitting there, before the service started, reading my Bible and enjoying a bit of peace when  a sweet lady came up and said Hello. We only had a few minutes before the service started, but somehow, I mentioned that our baby could have genetic disorder. She asked if she could pray for me and we clasped hands and she prayed such a sweet prayer for me and our son. It totally warmed my heart. Her confidence that God was in control was like a breathe of fresh air!  

A few days later, at our small group, we ladies were praying and I asked for prayers especially for my fear and uncertainty. ( sometimes I wish God would just TELL me if this baby will be healthy 🙂 but He seems to want me to simply trust and wait! ) After the prayer, one of the ladies told me that she felt she was suppose to tell me that “God’s got me!” The very next day, I received a bracelet in the mail with a note from a dear friend that said the same words…”God’s got you.” 

(Isn’t God amazing at backing His promises with promises!)

Now just listen…this gives me happy goosebumps! There was a bracelet with the note I received and  inscribed on it was “Be still and Know that I am God.” I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to wear it to work that night, but of course I couldn’t very well since I was working the floor. In the two years that I’ve worked at the hospital, I’ve never had a CNA follow me in training. That very night, a lovely helpful girl followed me around and helped me out. We made a great team and she was a fast learner since she had worked there quite some time ago and was just brushing up her skills. Before I went to a different floor for my last 8 hours, I noticed the words on her forearm….”Be still and know…” and I wanted to hug her. I was so amazed I could only tell her how much I liked those words. The rest of the night, I carried them with me.

A day later, another lovely friend (I’m SO blessed with friends! ) left a song for me on my Facebook page. I didn’t  have time to REALLY listen to it and HEAR the message in it until tonight.  I was going to sit and write and read some scripture and try to process life but something in me made reach for the memory journal of Kierra. 

I actually didn’t want to open it. It seemed too hard and emotional and I just wasn’t up for wading in those waters  tonight. But sometimes that little voice that insists you do something, doesn’t go away.

“Nope!” I told myself firmly. Tonight I will do exactly what I want to do and I leave  the journal on the shelf. 

But…. that little voice prompted me again, so I sighed BIG TIME in my mind and reluctantly pulled it down. “I just don’t want to handle more emotions right now” I thought as I flipped to the very back. There was no writing here and I looked at the pretty pink pages first. They were gilt edged and beautiful. Then I started with the last entry that was made ( my friends and family had written memories of Kierra for me) and I started to cry. 

But I kept reading. The more I read the more beauty I saw that I had never seen before. People were literally touched and blessed by her life. The brokenness I remembered. The pain and hard and tears and questions…they were beautified with hope and love and lives that will never be the same…because of that one little girl. It was so healing. And a peace washed over me… no matter what happens, it will be OK. 

This man child is also given to us for God’s glory. He will be loved and adored and I am so blessed to be his mom!! 

I listened to this song my friend had posted  and I wept and worshiped our Creator. our Father. our Friend. 

And I gave Him our son once again….

And the title of the song? 

Of course it was: 

STILL! 

HILLARY SCOTT LYRICS

“Still”

I believe that You are God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control

Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end

And all You want from me is to let go
You’re parting waters

Making a way for me

You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see

You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak

All You need for me to be is still
I bring my praise before I bring my need

Cause there’s no fear You’ve not already seen

I rest my heart on all Your promises

Cause I have seen and know Your faithfulness
You’re parting waters

Making a way for me

You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see

You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak

All You need for me to be is still
And know that You are God

Be still

And know that You, trust that You are parting waters

Lord, You whispered my name

Oh, You answered my prayer

You’re moving mountains
You’re parting waters

Making a way for me

You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see

You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak

All You need for me to be is still

Be still

0

Kierra Raine-the Three Year Old Who Changed My Life

It’s been six years, six months, and nineteen days since I held her, a beautiful tiny miracle of feisty spirit and dark hair. My life began changing in a way I would never have imaged since that day. 
It’s been three years since I held that beautiful girl. Three years since I looked into her blueberry blue eyes and lost myself in their beauty. My life has forever changed. I’ll never be the same. 

While part of me goes back and feels the pain of that night all over again, it can’t find any beauty in her actual death. It was hard and not pretty and heatbreaking and helpless. And yet, there were metaphors of beauty surrounding us that awfully dark night and I choose to cling to them. Because that is where Hope lies and that is where in the deep, dark, ugly place, the seed began to push upward toward the sun. 

She laid in her Daddy’s strong arms, the only place she felt like she could truly relax that night, her little head snuggled against her Daddy’s strong heart, feeling safe and secure and so loved. (Just like our Jesus Daddy loves us and holds us close.)  I laid my hand over her heart, and I felt that steady beat, like the steady tiptoe of angel wings, brushing in rhythme and my body relaxed just the slightest, because there was a steadiness I was hanging onto in that dim room of grief, and though her breath slowed down, her rythme stayed the same. 

Until it stopped. No shuddering. No agonizing prolonged warning. It simply STOPPED. 

And I whispered, “Run! Run to Jesus!”

And you, my Darling Kierra, You Ran! 

There was nothing beautiful about your death, my dear. But there was so much beautiful about your life. The life you embraced HERE. And the life you embraced when you RAN.

And though  my core still  feels empty, washed out and lonely without you here to care for, talk to, and love up, and even the birds outside my window make me miss you, and I don’t know why, ….You RAN my darling! you ran and that is enough for me. Because you ran straight to Jesus! 

This three year old, she changed my life. And even as I type this, I know that GOD really changed it, but He used a fair skinned, snuggle cheeked, Princess Wildflower Warrior to do it. 


You taught me that true patience does not always count the minutes or the hours but it is a fragrance that blossoms in beauty in a world of time…knowing that nothing lasts forever. That holding on one more minute is all that we need. 

You taught me that true bravery sometimes suffers silently in lonely places instead of boldly standing on the front lines.

That true love is unconditional and expects no returns. One can  never repay the magnitude of it all. Love reaches past convenience and expectations. It loves fully and wholly and at exactly the place we are in life at this very moment. 

You taught me that solitude is golden. That beautiful music, seclusion , and rest, are sometimes exactly what the heart needs most. 

That every day is a special occasion when you have your family around you. That  life is meant to be lived NOW in exactly the time and place you find yourself in. 

You taught me about God, Kierra. New pathways of my heart opened to Him and His love. 

His acceptance of me became overwhelmingly beautiful. That my performance will never win me Heaven or favor. That we are divinely  loved and cherished and that there is so much more to life then living in fear of failure and not getting it right. That He brings freedom and life and hope. That He invites us to walk in that amazing place of beauty.

Being. Just being. That’s all I wanted from you, my little Kierra child. 

And I hear the words echo back into my heart.

Be. Just be. 

Be genuine. Be alive. Be the light. Be the one who runs to Runs to Jesus. Just Be! 

When you don’t know where to start or how to be, then you are at a wonderful place my friend. It’s a place to simply believe that God will show you how to BE. He is good like that. He created your heart and knows it intimately, even when you don’t know it yourself. 

I’m on a journey of the heart. A journey of Hope. A journey of understanding more of the person God created me to be. A journey of Running  to Jesus. 

6

My Hope – 2017

Last year, I had the word REST circling through my mind. I felt like I had so much to learn. I have lived  a rather driven life. Performance was huge. Fear of coming up short or missing a key point in life kept me second guessing myself and scrambling to stay on top and upright. 

Having my life turned upside down and inside out and shaken around like crazy had me in a whole new location in life. I needed to REST. It wasn’t that easy. In fact, some of the resting was more of a tug of war between my heart and God’s Will. He won 😊 He’s patient like that, loving me when I’ve worn myself out of options and logic. I’m still learning to rest, but I had an amazing thing happen last year….one of my biggest struggles and tug of wars was answered in an amazing way when I RESTED in God and let Him take control. It leads straight into 2017. 

We are having a baby. In three short months, we could be looking into the eyes of our littlest son. I’ve been using the word HOPE a lot these last 6 months. 


We HOPE for a healthy baby. 

We HOPE he doesn’t have NCS.

We HOPE he can enjoy Life. 

HOPE. It’s what I hang onto. 

It’s also one of those words that roll off people’s tongues like ‘Love’  or Have a good one’ or ‘See you later’. It’s simplified and the value of it doesn’t always pack the punch it has. 

Hope: 

:to cherish a desire with anticipation :

: trust : 

:to expect with confidence:

There is is much hanging on HOPE. So much emotion and sorrow and joy and anticipation and all around the edge is the dusky shade of unknown.

 It’s an anchor of a word. 

A ‘hang on’. A ‘don’t give up’.  A ‘do or die’.

While part of me hangs onto that glorious word, and other part of my heart still cringes just a bit. My mind still does these crazy little games when I hear myself saying, ‘we hope for a healthy baby,’ because if we HOPE for health and he isn’t healthy, is it worth hoping? Did that hope not mean anything? Would we have been better off to avoid the highs of hope, the dreams of hope, and simply turn off our hope monitor? Shut it down? Stifle it? Because if he isn’t healthy….then will he have heard us say ‘we hope he’s healthy?’ Will he somehow feel like he is a disappointment? Are we being unfair to Kierra’s memory to hope for a healthy child like Kobe instead of fighting all the challenges that she did? It makes you feel like a bad parent because you want to embrace both your children’s lives the same, but you can’t wish for the quality of life Kierra had over Kobe’s healthy life.

It’s hard to put into words. Really. I’m not getting this across properly, I don’t believe. And I’m nearly laughing out loud because it sounds so outrageous. I mean, of COURSE theres nothing wrong in hoping for health for your child. You see, I just loved Kierra so much and she was just so ‘Kierra’ and I miss her so much. She was perfect…in her own wildflower child way. Just like Kobe is perfect in his own unique way 😊

It’s complicated. While I loved Kierra wildly, I also Hope for a healthy baby. For their sake and ours. Totally natural, I know. 

BUT. I still feel like if this little guy has NCS, I need to quickly swallow all my ‘ hope for health’ words for fear he’ll feel like he’s a disappointment. For fear that others will look at me with pitying eyes and wonder if my hope has been totally misplaced and broken. 

I feel silly even admitting this. I also see I’ve used the word Fear. That word doesn’t even belong anywhere near the same sentence of Hope. Naming fear for what it is takes its power away though, I’ve found. So fear…..here I come! You better get ready to tremble in your shoes and sceedaddle out of here. There’s just no room for you. 


Hope and fear don’t go hand in hand. 

Hope is gorgeous. Hope is full of life and expectation. It spreads radiance everywhere. 

Fear is dark. It’s binding. It grips like a vise. It doesn’t let go and it hides in the smallest most innocent looking places. 

Fear holds you back. Hope embraces with  welcoming arms.

Fear paralyzes. Hope releases and sets free. 


I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will love our little baby…no matter what. I know we will live like there’s no tomorrow. 

I also know that nothing in life is a guarantee. That health and life are a gift from God. That every life has a purpose and that sometimes Gods glory shines the brightest in the hardest. So while I continue to HOPE I also pray. I pray that this baby would bring GLORY to God. That above all else….that God would be glorified. It’s scary. Because I feel like I’m opening our lives to pain. I also know that Gods Glory is revealed through joy and miracles and amazing health and gifts. 

I know that the only way I can face the future is by RESTING in HOPE. Diagnoses will not win. Hope will not be broken. It is born in Heaven and resides in Heaven and will be filled in Heaven. That’s eternity! 

These verses from Hebrews are a life line for me…

  ” So God had given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the HOPE that lies before us. 

That HOPE  we have as an anchor of the soul, an anchor that can neither break nor drag. It passes in behind the veil. Jesus has already gone in their before us.”

And you know, if Jesus has already gone in there before us, we have no reason to fear and Hope is all we have left. 

Pure, joyous, accepting HOPE. 

God’s Glory and Hope.