Kierra’s Birthday 

It’s already August. That magical month between the glorious July of summer and the autumn tones of chilly September.

We packed our July so full I didn’t have time to catorgize all the memories but they are stored safe and sound in my heart. 

July 10. The day, 5 years ago that our Wildflower Girl looked into our eyes for the very first time and we were never the same. We celebrated her fifth birthday in our hearts and her second birthday in Heaven by traveling back to her birth town, Missoula, MT. It’s one of our favorite places in MT, full of vibrance and life and beauty. 

  
We took our camping gear, and pitched our tent in between the July drizzles. The town was full of folks from all over America for the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon. (We got to watch our good friends finish strong…more on that later;) Most of the motels were full as well as the campground. They had no actual camp sites left but they let us set up in their ‘overflow space’, so we still made out just fine! Hot showers, bathrooms, and a laundry made it very comfy and the all night rain was actually nearly as delightful music as a lullaby.

We bought a bouquet of balloons for our Princess and hiked up to the “M” on the hill that overlooks Missoula. It’s made out of huge slabs of poured concrete , painted white. It’s quite a climb with  11 switchbacks and a gain of  620 ft in elevation from the starting point to the top of the trail. It still amazes me that folks RUN up and down as part of their workout program! That’s serious stuff 🙂 

Kobe loved the climb and did better then I expected. Of course the adventure of releasing balloons at the top made it all more exciting! Every one on the trail assumed it was his birthday, so there were birthday wishes the whole way up 🙂 

We stopped and rested occasionally and Kobe rode his Daddy’s strong shoulders for awhile.

  
Yep! It’s steep! The hill behind Kobe is typical….so there’s no wonder they carved in switchbacks 🙂

We got to the top and although the skies were grey and drizzly, it was still a gorgeous view.

  
  

The journey uphill is always worth it!!

We sang Happy Birthday to Kierra and Kobe launched the balloons. 

  
They floated lazily out across the town and eventually caught an upward eddy. We could still see them an hour later when we got down to the trailhead. Just a speck way way up in the heavens. 

  
  


Kobe and I made some special things to send to Kierra’s grave. He painted rocks and made a birthday card.

“Momma, are there mailboxes in Heaven?” He asked as he poured over his little card. Oh how I wish, my son! How I wish!

  
Steve had the great suggestion of a bouquet of silk flowers for our Princess. I had fun arranging them . I can’t imagine the glorious colors and intricate blossoms she is running through today! 

   
 
Our little Wildflower Girl. We send you love!!

  
I have been listening to some amazing talks on suffering recently. One of the things that stood out to me…. Suffering WILL come to every person on earth. It’s not IF it comes….but WHEN it comes. It may look totally different in my life then it does in your life. Suffering has many faces. But one thing it has in common….it hurts like mad. It’s inevitable but it is totally NOT too much for God to handle. 

No situation is too hard and broken for His grace. No fear is too great for His assurance. No past too marred for His new beginning. Even the faintest spark of an ember will be fanned into a profound blaze by His  gentle love and nourishing. 

I am praying to God for His eyes and His heart. Eyes that look beyond the ‘outward appearance’. That look beyond the physical things like names and clothes and cars and houses and incomes….or lack of them. I beg God to give me eyes that see His seed of potential and greatness that He created in every person born. That soul that will never die. That child hiding in the deepest recesses of the buffest. 

That His grace that has ransomed me would flow through me…giving me a fresh vision, a fresh perspective and the love of God spilling out of my life to others. 

Because this life….it’s about IN HIM and THROUGH HIM and TO HIM that we exist. 

Not about my hurt or my fears. When I have the courage to face them head on and name them for what they are, their power takes a beating! When I claim HIS power that Is FAR beyond anything we can imagine….

I have HOPE. 

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, Because He has given us His Holy Spirit to fill our heart with His love. Romans 5:5

  

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