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 πŸ™‚ 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. 

4

Christmas Muse


Because tonight I’m missing Kierra. Five years ago this was us. Snowy Christmas was here  and we stayed warm by our fire and played with babies and fed bottles and changed diapers and drank coffee. I had no idea that Christmas season how life would change in the next year. I had no clue that just around the corner was looming some pretty hard, life changing events. It was a season and it’s gone. I miss it. Kobe was only 4 months old when Kierra became a ‘frequent flyer’ at the hospital. 

Now he’s five and Kierra has been in Heaven for nearly three long years. 


Call me a pushover mom. That’s what I feel like with my little Kobe sometimes. When he begs for one more candy this Christmas or one more game, I have a really hard time saying No. Its those blue eyes and the logic he always throws in . I have a really hard time setting boundaries and telling him to play by himself for awhile because I remember how I felt when my older siblings wouldn’t play with me when I was little. I remember my little girl that would be 6 and I wonder what she would like to play right now. I remember all the days I missed watching Kobe grow and all the times I missed playing lighthearted baby games and talking gibberish to him. I want to love  him and hold him and cherish him.

 Can a mother drown a child in love? 

And then I wonder if my tolerance has made him soft. For instance, while his taste buds are quite amazing and his critiques of my cooking make me laugh, there’s also a point where you eat what’s on your plate and don’t make a fuss because there is less sugar then one remembers. Take for instance, this amazing rolled pancake at Paul’s Pancake Parlor in Missoula. 


He’s still remembering it and wishing for another one πŸ˜‰ And do mine taste like that? No way …because I don’t see the point in making a sugar loaded pancake for a sweet tooth  πŸ™‚ except for on very special occassions. So when I use heavy whipping  cream and raspberries and don’t add sugar, it’s such a disappointment because it DOESNT TASTE THE SAME! lol! But now I’m way off subject. 

I find myself wanting to lavish on him partly because I can’t on Kierra. I wonder if he’s spoiled. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I get frustrated. Seriously. And then he goes through his list of questions which doesn’t always help my mood. “Mom, are you frustrated? Are you angry? Are you disappointed? Are you sad? Are you happy?” Seriously. It’s not always fun to be interrogated by a five year old when your not sure exactly how you feel yourself. But yes, I am thankful he’s talking about feelings and dealing with them πŸ˜‰ 

When he finds fault with every item I cook it’s a bit too much πŸ˜‰ sometimes.  I told him today that he didn’t like anything I made today (except candy. Lol) and he looked surprised and a bit embarrassed and promised to eat the rest of his food without a fuss. 

He came up to me and told me he has the best gift yet and he gave me a kiss on my cheek. See why I love him?  πŸ˜

Now where am I going with this? 

I rocked him to sleep tonight. Seriously. Would  I do that if I had three kids under 5? Most likely not. But I did because I could. He filled up my lap and the rocking chair and even if it wasn’t too comfy on my expanding belly, I couldn’t help myself. He was so cute and cuddly and Kobe. He was so delighted to be cuddled. His face is taking on a young boy look. His baby chin is getting square and his grin more handsome then cute. And I know in a blink he will be too big to hold. So I love him the way I know he wants to be loved. Cuddling and songs and snuggles against my soft Christmas sweater. 

I’m still trying to find the happy medium in gently pushing him a bit toward independence and still loving him as my little boy. (For example, He went to sleep on his own for years when he was younger and he still does many times. But I know time doesn’t stand still and we are not promised tomorrow night so tonight, i rocked) 

I’m not exactly sure of all the dynamics of what healthy independence looks like but I do know I am so blessed that he is ours. To have a child that I can tuck into bed at night. To be called ‘Mom’ and to be loved. 

I miss my little girl tonight. I sit and dream about holding her again. I dream about gifts for two children and hugs and snuggles with two and the happiness and joy I got to experience with two babies for three Christmas’ in a row. I’m so privileged to have another small one, nudging inside me, reminding me that what I think isn’t possible can be real and alive. 

Death cannot take our memories or our love. 

It can change us but it can’t extinguish the flame of hope and peace that Jesus brings. And though ‘a spear shall pierce thine own heart’ was prophecied to Mary, so long ago, she still loved. She still gave. She still believed. 

No matter what spear has pierced your heart this year, my friend, my prayer for you is that the healing of this Christ -who became Flesh AND DWELT AMONG US… will be upon you. That it will run straight over the wounds this life has left. That it will bring mercy and grace and beauty will rise out of the broken. He came for us, you know. Us….who need a Saviour. 

Thank you, Jesus! πŸŽπŸ’žπŸ’

4

Be A ChildΒ 

It’s getting late but sleep hasn’t found me yet. I haven’t written in a long time. I know. I keep shoving it off. Thinking that eventually I will find my voice again. Call it processing life or writers block or busy holidays or laziness. Whatever it was…I’m back. Because when I can write, I feel alive. Life makes more sense. 

I have a whole huge Rubbermaid tote of journals (plus more πŸ˜‰) that I poured my heart out in as I grew up. I remember my very first tiny journal with the cute cat and the clasp lock and the purple binding. I was 8 years old and it was a dream birthday gift that I adored. I still have it. When I was eight, my journal and my rollerskates were my favorite things. I felt alive when I flew down the country road on those skates. I felt deep happiness and thrills when I stroked the gold gilted  journal pages. It was fun to be eight! 

A kid at heart. Growing up among animals and creeks and a whole farm to play on . Dreaming of fresh strawberry pie with mounds of whipped cream. Sitting in my favorite magnolia tree with the perfect y shaped branch that cradled my little self. It was there that I dreamed dreams of rescuing babies and wrote poems about nature. 

Tonight spoke deeply to my heart. Pastor Steve spoke about children. About how we place kids in a box by thinking they will eventually grow up and be the people that make a difference. Like they are on some kind of probation until they get it all together and figured out. But God told Isaiah…”Don’t say that I am just a child….you will go where I send you!” We NEVER have to figure it all out before we can bring God glory!  

You are not ‘just a child either’. In fact, Jesus said the ONLY way to get to heaven is to become as little children. Pastor Steve gave a wonderful example of this by having a whole group of kids gather at the front of the church. He asked them questions, since they are the MASTERMIND of QUESTIONS! πŸ˜„ They were so honest. So innocent. So point blank and uncomplicated in their answers. No agenda or hidden meanings. No fear of saying the wrong thing or embarresment that their favorite thing about Christmas was gifts😊 And yes, Jesus was of course mentioned as well πŸ‘

Then they sang a beautiful song for us. Now I know that every mother immediately looks for her child in a group. That her heart does this crazy little happy dance when their eyes meet. But when I saw my little Kobe up there, my heart did all these crazy jumps. Because, you see, he was our surprise child. Our miracle baby. His was the first voice I heard call me Momma. His were the first steps I watched wobble across the floor. It hurt at the same time because his older sister can’t show me the wonder of it until we get to Heaven. While she should have been the first to show me these things, God created her for a different kind of wonder and glory. Her life was a pure, living testimony of God’s love. And she was so wonderfully beautiful! She was so good at it! 

I sat there, weeping through the song. Wishing Kierra could be up there with him. Wishing he had a sister to share Christmas joy with. I wept because he could just as well have been nonverbal and held in my arms tonight. He could have never taken a step, or lifted one hand to heaven in worship. But he was singing and worshiping God with his little hands raised high as he sang. He was alive and moving and smiling and standing proudly with his friends. While part of me wept for what Kierra will never do here on earth, another part of me wept with happiness for him and the miracle I was watching right before my eyes. Our child. Was lifting his eyes to heaven and praising His Creator. 

//Come all ye faithful

See the love, see the grace

That is born unto us tonight

Come all ye broken
See the love see the hope

That restores everything that’s been lost
In the silence of the night,

All the stars bow down
Hear the angels sing?

Hallelujah
Jesus Christ is born unto us this day
Hope has come to us tonight

Death is drowned out by His light
Hope is here and He’s alive

Takes our pain and lifts our eyes
Come all ye weary

See the peace see the joy

That’s been born unto us tonight
Come sons and daughters and rejoice in His love
For in His name the world will find its hope
In the silnece of the night,

All the stars bow down
Hear the angels sing?

Hallelujah! //-by Generation Unleashed.

I like to think Kierra listened from Heaven and even joined him. I like to think she smiled and danced and twirled in joy. If she could see me now, I think she would show me how she worships. How her pure child heart is exactly what Heaven needed. How her glory brings God glory. 

I hold this truth close to my heart. Be you. Bring glory to God in whatever way He has created you.

Be simple. Be real. Never stop asking and marveling in wonder. Be a child. 

2

Your Face Is All I See

Sometimes it blindsides you. The slightest movement or the quickest glance. You are propelled back to a specific time and a specific place. A memory that brings back floods of memories and you nearly drown in the magnitude of it. 

Something as simple as a red binder with a yellow paper sticking out of the top, tucked under a lady’s arm at Barnes and Noble. The exact color of your daughter’s ISFP binder. And the yellow paper sticking out the top…so familiar. A lady’s laughter in the coffee shop, and you see in a glance that her life is anything but typical. A man (presumably her husband since she has two kids with her) follows haltingly behind, his hand on her shoulder. The children talk and do the little childish skips and quick, carefree movements only children can do, and they are perfectly comfortable and at ease with the strange sight of their mother leading their father and the mother laughs freely. Happiness and ease exude from them. And they look like a wonderful family in a complex world and you realize that was you…happy and accustomed to the strange grunts and unperceived noises issuing from the one you loved. 

Maybe I noticed these things today because my heart was tender. This morning in church, a lovely couple found seats a few rows in front of us. Their daughter was beautiful and her hand was turned at a strange angle as they walked in. No one else (except maybe a therapist πŸ™‚ would have noticed that the hand and forearm were turned outward slightly. My heart started pounding and the music around me just faded into the background as I stared at that sweet girl. When I looked closer, she  actually wasn’t so remarkable. Just another cute little girl. To her mommy she was everything though. Just a daughter should be. As her mother turned her around to adjust her in her lap, her arm turned also and the backward looking twist disappeared. 

But that one glance was all I could see. My eyes were glued to her, although I politely tried hard not to stare. I can nearly guarantee that girl is perfectly healthy, but that one strange position took me back to another girl and another day that seemed a  life time ago. My little Kierra. 


I wanted my daughter with her underarm showing. I wanted to have to sit in the back of the sanctuary because she didn’t enjoy crowds. I wanted her wiggles in my arms and her beautiful hair falling around her face and smooth and soft under my fingers. I stood in silence through the song, tears welling up from the bottom of my heart. My eyes filled slowly. And finally, the tears leaked out and ran down my face. 

I looked at the little girl in front of us again and knew in my heart she didn’t resemble my daughter at all but some strange longing and attraction drew me. Her mommy held her close and loved her so sweetly and the little girl snuggled close and relaxed. And while I missed my own little girl so so much, a strange thing happened. I had never felt like this ever before. Not in this context. Not this strongly. Not in this way. 


My heart was bursting with thankfulness. Thankfulness to the beautiful Loving Heavenly Father who had given me Kierra to love. To call my daughter. To hold and cherish. To laugh and cry with. She taught me to be a mother. She taught me what a daughter is. She taught me the joy of color and pretty things and soft music. She taught me to love to stay at home and the wonderful gift of family. She taught me so much. She taught me what love means. Unconditional love. Love that lets go and still keeps loving and never dies. My heart was so thankful to God. So thankful for the gift He gave me when He gave Kierra. There are no words to explain the depths of how her short three years have changed me. Unraveled me. Elated me. Healed me. And loved me. And it was and still is all a gift from God. 

As I sat, with all these emotions of aching for her, and thanking God for her, and tears running down my face, the music gently changed and the beautiful words washed over me and around me as people throughout the church sang ….

Lord, your beautiful!

Your face Is all I seek

And when your eyes are on this child,

Your grace abounds to me…”

And somehow, the words rolled into a lovely picture in my mind, the beauty of the Lord, the joy on His face as He gazes at beautiful Kierra in Heaven….

the joy and the beauty

th joy and the beauty

And the grace.

As the song ended, one of the pastors got up to speak and spoke of the loving heart of God to us…His children. How He delights in us and keeps His eye on us. How He LOVES us. I can’t remember the words, but I remember the meaning deep in my heart. He is our Father. He loves us tenderly. Gently. Completely. He would never ever allow us to be hurt without something good in mind.  He weeps through our pain with us. And He holds me. Just as He holds my daughter. 


Thankyou, my God! Thank you for the GIFT of KIERRA RAINE!

5

Trust

What do you do when God asks you to trust Him?

How can we trust a God we do not see? 

How can we trust when sad things happen…things that seem totally controllable to God? 

The definition of trust is a bit different then I realized. Websters puts it like this: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. 

Trust doesn’t mean good things are going to happen. It doesn’t mean that you will understand. The character of God can be trusted, though. His plan can be trusted. Isolating certain episodes in His plan and deciding not to trust simply because those happenings do not fit our best personal agenda is not trusting. It’s not even valuable. 

It’s not easy. This trusting. Sometimes it’s the last thing you feel. Circumstances shake your world and situations out of your control break your heart. If you can just look beyond the awful and the hard and the pain. If you can believe the next chapter may be different. If you can hope that joy will come in the morning, if you can trust in the character of God…then you have it all! 

Over the past year my trust has wavered at times. Future dreams looked worthless. I kept hoping and praying but even that was rather half hearted at times. There were doors in my heart I would close because they were too difficult to look into and see the dream. Doors that seemed would never ever open again. And when the gentle wind of thought nudged them open, I would sadly click the latch again. 

I’m still not exactly  sure how to face broken dreams, because looking into their depths can break one and sink one into the deep abyss of depression. Not acknowledging them can leave huge walls that block out the sun and so much good waiting for us to embrace.

I believe in trust. Trust in God’s goodness through the sad and happy chapters of our life. 

Giving my dreams to God has been crucial to survival in life. He created me with dreams and personal gifts and specific interests in life for a reason. Life may not fulfill those dreams the way I thought it would, but life is still beautiful. My greatest joy and fulfillment will be in Heaven when I will realize in a whole new level why I am created the way He planned. I will live in a fullness and completeness I only long for here. It’s what I was created for. 

It’s what you were created for also! 

 

We are in a wonderful new chapter right now. A tiny life is being formed and a tiny baby is  coming to join us. One of those dreams I kept gently closing the door on, has opened. It is beautiful. It is amazing. It is a miracle. Every child is a miracle. And this on is no exception. 


Kobe was beside himself with wonder and excitement when we told him he would be a big brother. “You mean I’m going to be a big brudder?” He asked incredulously. “But I never WAS a big brudder!”

And later…” I want a little sister. I want another Kierra. And I will tuck her into bed.” He is practicing on being grown up since he will be a big brudder. He talks about how the baby will sit in the back of the Jeep beside him and how he will give her (or him πŸ˜‰) a bottle. 

We don’t know what is the future any more the we know if this babe will be healthy or not. But we have peace! We have HOPE! We have an amazing awe spreading over us. It’s like we are wrapped in a cocoon of goodness and peace. 

Sometimes you come to a place in life where God seems to whisper, “Trust me.” Sometimes you think you are crazy from a sensible, logical view. But every choice to trust is always the best one. God doesn’t always ask us to do what we think He will. He doesn’t always ask us to move out in big faith making a huge ripple in the faith pool. Sometimes His trusting is learned in waiting. Sometimes His trusting is learned in the Silence of God. Sometimes His trusting is learned in loss. And sometimes it’s learned in a beautiful new life. 

There are so many variables. So many ‘what ifs’ but there is only ONE GOD . When Jesus says we can trust Him, then we can…. No matter what life brings us.