Past few days

The past few days around here have been full. Dave went on a business trip Wednesday through yesterday evening. Not too long, which I am grateful for. It was my first evening and night here alone with the girls. We had dinner at Kels (it was Mark's birthday) and then ventured home and I got the girls to bed and had some quiet, down time. I finally decided to try to sleep somewhere between 12 and 1, but didn't sleep much. I spent the night on our couch and I think I got around 2 hours that night, but even despite that, it was a good night. There was an evident peace in my heart the whole time...even during all those awake hours. I have to say my mind was racing with a multitude of thoughts, but I did have some good prayer time. My heart was heavy for a number of reasons, but there was peace. This was a big step for me, being home alone for a night.

Before Dave left on Wednesday, we took the kids down the street to the Littrell's house. They are a family in our church who live a few doors down from us. Their house is on about 3.5 acres and they have a killer sledding hill! It's amazing! The girls were very apprehensive and Mckenna only went down once with Dave and that was it. We couldn't get Selah to go down at all. But Dave and I had a blast going down a few times. It was great fun. I took some pictures, but had to purchase some more google storage before I can post.

The Lord continues to strengthen me day by day. Today I faced a lot of temptation to compare myself to others in terms of schedules, productivity, etc. and to evaluate if I'm doing anything well right now. Our days are so low key around here and, to be honest, I'm still sitting here on my living room floor in my sweats, which I woke up in. I'm heading off now to get a shower. It's days like today that I have to constantly remind myself that my only goal is to seek to glorify God in the simple - and that for me right now is to taking care of the girls, keeping them fed and clothed and be patient and loving toward them. May God continue to help me toward these simple goals.


I shall yet praise Him

As I sat to pray today I was tempted, as I can be, to think that it is futile to ask for anything in this season because...well, it just seems to be a season of the Lord taking. The Lord will just continue to withhold. But I quickly was reminded that this is not true...I went down the list in my mind of all the ways the Lord has and is blessing us. Ways too numerous to count. I need to think on this more and make sure I am spending adequate time giving thanks and praising God for all His benefits in my life - for they are many. Then I read this quote from Spurgeon...

"If the furnace is hot, let your faith be strong. If the burden is heavy, let your patience endure. Acknowledge that He who lends has the right to reclaim. As you bless the giving, bless the taking.

There are times when the brightest-eyed Christians can hardly brush the tears away. Strong faith and joyous hope subside into a fear that is scarcely able to keep the spark of hope and faith alive. In times of gloom, when your soul is overwhelmed, grasp the promise and rejoice in the Lord...Reason until you come to the psalmist's conclusion, 'Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him' (Ps. 42:5).

If you can believe God in the midnight of your soul, then you have ten times more cause to rejoice than to sorrow. If you can lie humbly at Jesus' feet, there are more flowers than thorns ready to spring up in your path.

Companions in tribulations, do not give up to hopeless sorrow. Salute with thankfulness the angel of hope, for you shall yet praise Him." - Spurgeon


January 26

Alivia would have been 4 months old today. This is what I wrote in my journal earlier today:

"The Lord helped me through the weekend. Dad and Patti came up and we had a good time with them. Dad is doing some work on our basement. I was pretty exhausted by last night, but rested well. I had a dream the night before that I had triplets! 2 girls and a!

Jenni had her baby on Friday. Jade Lydia Smith - 6 lbs. 7 oz. I love that size. Alivia was 6 lbs. 8 oz. when we brought her home.

Today Alivia would have been 4 months old. I have spent the day cleaning alone and there has been much grace. I have thought a lot about her as I dusted here and there, vacuumed the floors, and mopped - how big would she have been? What would she have looked like? What would I have been doing if she was still here? Would I be taking her to her 4 month check up? What percentile would have have fit into? I think she would have been on the smaller side than the other 2. I probably would not be cleaning this much of the house. How many times would I have fed her today? Would I be thinking about starting solids or would I wait another month or 2.

In many ways it all still seems so surreal. I only have cried 3 times today. I am sitting here now and the house is clean, a load of laundry almost done, the girls are napping and I am aware of grace upholding me. So many times today, as I went about my tasks, I thought about how the Lord was strengthening me. How dependent I am. And I am now grateful for this quiet moment to sit, read and rest."


More profitable

During this challenging season the Lord has brought a few new people to us who have served and cared for us, and in turn, have become dear friends. One of these friends sent me an email today which really blessed me. She is walking through a trial of her own and shared some things the Lord is teaching her. It was good truth for me...I love what she wrote and am including a portion of her email...

"I see how God is using this. One of the best things I've read since all this was in Trusting God where Jerry Bridges talks about 'trials making scripture more profitable for us.' I loved that! Scripture isn't more true, just more profitable. When you are reading Psalms, Job, and Romans and actually crying and actually begging for help and actually feeling heartbroken, well, it makes the Bible more amazing which ultimately makes God crazy AMAZING!...

I was reading in John 20, and there was a part I wanted to share with you. It's when the disciples were locked in a room, crippled with fear, and the resurrected Jesus came in and simply said 'Peace be with you.' Of all the things He could have said, He chose to say
'Peace.' And I just picture you on those particularly hard days and nights, where you are not locked in a room for fear, but stuck in your bed in grief - and Jesus bursting forth in all His glory, just telling you 'Peace.'

I keep praying that peace will flood you. That peace will overwhelm you. That peace will come in waves upon waves, and hit you harder and harder. There is nothing I can do to help you feel better, or be at more peace - but I KNOW God can! And because of Jesus' sacrifice, you are able to experience peace! What joy!"

I love that as well - "Scripture isn't more true, just more profitable." It is so true!


He drew me up

I had people tell me, but I didn't really want to believe it, that the hardest days often come many months after losing a little one. Well, it's true. Yesterday was one of those days. Wednesday evening I was not doing well at all. I sat in bed for over an hour and just cried as flashbacks plagued my mind. It was almost as bad as the initial night after I lost Alivia. The next morning I woke up with the awareness of reality. I felt like I was in a pit and couldn't get out. I didn't want to talk with anyone, I didn't want to read, I didn't have motivation to do anything. Dave called my sister and she came over, but I really didn't want anyone over (and that's not the norm). But I'm glad she came. Somehow she must have gotten all her kids to Elizabeth's house and then over to me...all in about 30 seconds - that's Kelly for you. She took right over for me...taking care of the girls, giving them lunch, etc. Yesterday morning is a blur to me now, but I know I went upstairs, took a long hot shower, then sat on my bed for hours. I tried to read a Psalm, but was not absorbing almost any of it. I was so exhausted I laid down...and there I stayed for over 3 hours. At one point I remember Dave coming to my side to put a blanket over me (he must have come home from work to check on me) and after that I woke up and it was after 3pm. The girls were both napping. I was then able to get a load of laundry in. That night I even made eggs and toast for the family for dinner.

Like I said, I didn't absorb much of what I read in my Bible yesterday, but someone had recently sent me Psalm 40 and I opened up and read through it. I remember reading something about a "pit" and remember crying out to the Lord to help me. This is what I read:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God. vs. 1-3

Today has been a better day. New day, new mercies.

A word of thanks to Elizabeth Stockton - I want to be like her. So often you will find her home bursting with children. She is always so willing to add any amount to the 4 she has of her own. 6 children, 8 children, no problem. She is one of those ladies who is most comfortable serving behind the scenes, cheerfully and willingly, without praise. Elizabeth, thank you for caring for so many of our children so often. You are a gift from the Lord. Thanks for serving my sister yesterday so she could serve me. I'm so grateful for you!


Recipe suggestions?

I am looking to get more recommendations, this time in the food department. I am on the look-out for a number of all-natural super easy dinner recipes that don't require much brain power. I'd like to compile a notebook of 1-2 months worth of recipes that I can just go through over and over again over the next year or more. I used to plan for 2 weeks - month at a time, choosing different recipes and being able to get creative. I would shop once a month or sometimes twice. But I know things are going to look differently now. I know it will take time to get my feet back on the ground in this area. I'm not sure how everything will look yet, so I am seeking to simplify.

If you have any recipes that you think would work for me, could you pass them on? I love crock-pot dinners, but Dave doesn't like the ones that turn out all "mussy." But besides that, I'd love some good crock-pot ones. And any others that are very easy, I'd love to try!


More grace

Last night was a challenging evening. Dave and I were sitting on the couch and he said simply, "I miss Alivia more today than I did yesterday." I looked up at the wall holding all her pictures and just cried. So often my heart can seem numb as I go about my days...I think sometimes I choose not to think too hard for fear of emotions and pain. It can only take one thought like, "she really is gone" and I'm a mess.

This morning I was battling discouragement and lots of questions- "when will the exhaustion lift?", "when will my hair stop falling out?'s only getting worse," "when will I be able to think more clearly?", "will others continue to understand my limitations, forgetfulness?", "when will I be able to read well again?" "when will I be able to have a routine and schedule?" My mind started to spin as I contemplated responsibilities setting in and usual life stuff weighing on my shoulders. It's almost as if I feel this wind behind me pushing on my body, telling me to carry on and do normal stuff, but I am so not ready for it....I have no strength for it.

Jenni sent me the following quote this morning and I was so grateful for it:

He Gives More Grace - James 4:6

"Periods of weakness will occur. A great strain may be placed on us. We become exhausted or severely depressed and we imagine that we are ready to die. At times like this, God will supply strength. Our extreme distress will be His opportunity; our famine, His hour of plenty. "His strength is made perfect in weakness" (2Corinth 12:9). "He gives power to the weak to those who have no might He increases strength" (Is. 40:29).

David sung, "He satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like eagles." (Ps. 103:5). David expected this to happen always."He restores my soul" (Ps 23:3), he says. Often David's psalms start in painful depression but conclude with exultation because heavenly love has poured fresh life into his fainting soul. From much soul-sickness, Jesse's son has recovered; from many a sinking, he has been lifted in holy joy.

Expect this, believer. God will give you strength as you need it. "As your days, so shall your strength be" (Deut 33:25). "He gives more grace" (James4:6). Revel in God's smile. Find a haven in His manifested love. Have faith and be of good cheer. There are even richer mercies to come. Therefore, lift up your head." - Spurgeon


Pause button

Through this season I have gained such a greater appreciation for Mckenna and Selah. I have so enjoyed them over the past few months and they have been a great source of joy and laughter for me.

I have to admit that my girlies have been watching a lot of movies these days. More than I would like, but probably not more than necessary, if that makes sense. It's sad to say, but true that they watch more than I even read to them. So, the following conversation I had with Selah earlier today will give you a window into this. I was reading a book to them on the couch today and Selah decided that she wanted to get down and find her sippy cup:

S: "Don't start, mom!"
Me: "Don't worry, Selah, I'll wait for you."
She proceeded to say that to me that over and over again as she walked down the hallway. Right before she disappears around the corner, she put her hand out to me and loudly says:
"Put the pause button on, mom!"

I laughed.


Bob & Julie Kauflin

The Lord has used this couple in numerous ways in such a short period of time. Before last summer we really did not interact with them much at all. I worked in our church office for years before having Mckenna, so had the privilege to see Bob almost daily (he is one of the worship leaders in our church, among many other things he does to serve our church and Sovereign Grace). He and Julie came to a care group meeting at our house back in July. We had them come to share on the topic of parenting from their wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom. It was one amazing time! During that evening I happened to start chatting with Julie about "colors." We had just recently moved into our home and I was still mulling over colors. She is incredibly gifted in design and decorating. I knew what colors I wanted to use, but was not sure what to put where. It turned out that she came over about a month later to further help me decide. During that time, I briefly shared my desires for each room for the coming months. I had much more clarity when she left! As it turned out I ended up painting my kitchen the day before I went into labor with Alivia.

Fast forward 5 weeks later and we found ourselves in the midst of this trial. It was Julie who joined in and helped head up the work done on our home. How kind of the Lord that she knew many of the desires in my heart for the house and helped put many of them into reality. A few nights after Alivia passed away, Bob and Julie showed up to lead worship for everyone who was at the Lee house that night. It was a precious time, to say the least. Many had encouraging words, Bob had a prophetic song, and the songs chosen spoke truth to our hearts. In fact, one of my struggles that very day had been the fear of forgetting my little girl. Bob's song started out with, "You will never forget her."

When we arrived home about a week later, we were blown away by the house and all that had been done. By far, my favorite part was the wall in our living room. It's a wall dedicated to our little Alivia, to help us remember. Julie (and I think with the help of her daugther Megan) put the pictures together and then Julie wrote a portion from Psalm 23 on the wall..."The Lord is my Shepherd...surely His goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life and dwell in the house of the Lord forever." It's precious to us.

This picture does not do it justice. But if gives you an idea...

Every time someone comes to our home, who had never seen Alivia, you can be sure that we show them our wall, followed by..."Julie Kauflin did this for us."

Thank you so much, Bob and Julie, for serving our family with your gifts. You have helped encourage our hearts, remember our Savior, and provided a way to help us remember our little girl. We are so grateful!


Continued steps

The past few weeks have continued to be very challenging... in some ways even more challenging. However, grace continues to carry me along and I continue to take baby steps forward. I sat with my dear friend Jenni tonight and recounted some of those steps...

*I held a baby. A few weeks ago, I met Piper Lowe for the first time. I had been wanting to meet her for a few weeks before I actually got to...the timing was perfect. She was the first baby that I have held since Alivia. I felt like I could have held her forever. I cuddled her and enjoyed every moment. It was very bittersweet....but I like to emphasize the "sweet!" I have fallen in love with this little one and I hope Helen does not get sick of me asking, every time I see her, "can I hold her???"

*I have gotten on "somewhat" of a schedule in cleaning my house (still with the help of others), but I'm doing it nonetheless.

*I have started to do some errands by myself.

*Dave started back to work full-time and it has been going well. I'm able to be at home with the girls all day now.

*Tonight I cooked dinner from scratch all by myself and the Smiths joined us. I know, sounds so mundane and probably for many one of the simplest tasks. But for me this was monumental...huge baby step!



I wanted to, once again, say thanks to all of you who have so generously given of your time to think about and pray for us and then to go the extra mile in emailing me (or posting a comment) to let us know. Your emails with quotes, scriptures and kind words have ministered to me in ways I could never communicate. So often, my times with the Lord consists of just reading through emails at brief intervals throughout the day. They have provided strength to my soul, encouragement to my heart and perspective to my thoughts, that I have so desperately needed. So, thanks for allowing the Lord to use you to be a means of provision for me in this season. I really am so grateful.

Each email is so well timed by the Lord. Some days I don't receive many, if at all, and then on challenging days I can get more that seem to help direct my gaze upward. There are days that I don't even know what to read, where to even sit to have a quiet time (so many rooms can actually be distracting from memories) or what to do. But I'll sit at my desk and often my inbox contains a new email with food for my soul.

Thank you!


Octavius Winslow

I am growing pretty fond of Octavius Winslow. He and Spurgeon have probably served me the most in this season. I have come across some quotes from him lately, through friends and his book, Morning Thoughts. I think it might be out of print, but there are still some copies floating around that you can purchase. You can also download it here for free. Thanks, Megan, for helping me find this resource. And thanks for directing me to the quote below.

"For every possible circumstance in which you may be placed, the fullness of Christ and the supplies of the covenant are provided. That provision is only meted out as the occasions for whose history it was provided occur...Seen through the mist, the advancing object may appear gigantic in size, and gigantic in appearance; and yet the trouble you so much dread may never come; or coming, it will assuredly bring with it the 'word spoken in due season.' In the case of every child of God, calamity never comes alone; in invariably brings Jesus with it." Octavius Winslow | morning thoughts 1/14

I love that...calamity brings Jesus with it. How true that is.


Real strength

I know the truth that in my weakness He is strong. I've heard it, I believe it, but today I was battling discouragement from the utter weakness I feel - spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I told Dave that things I used to enjoy I can't even do well many areas are now weaknesses. I added some pictures to my wall and stood back and almost cried - they looked ridiculous...I just can't even think about how to make it look right. I was thinking today that I need to begin thinking about cooking again and feeding my family. But I'm not even sure I remember how to cook well. It's very humbling, very. And the truth is that I can't do anything about it...this is who I am right now. So, what do I do? I can shrink up in self-pity and despair OR I can instead look up to the One who will help me do all the things that He wants me to and knows that I need to do. It might look differently than I want it to, but He promises to help me. Yes, it is humbling, but I know it is intended to be that way so that all glory goes to the One who is worthy of it. If I thought I was the one doing what I do, I would be temped to take the credit. So, instead I am fighting to give thanks tonight that I am so weak. Because my weakness is teaching me so much about my Savior.

Tonight I came across this quote. It shed a whole new light on the scripture it references and brought a calm to my soul...indeed, it is a blessing to be weak. For in it, I know strength that I have never, no never, experienced before.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will glory all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak--then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

There is a blessing in weakness--because it nourishes dependence on God. When we are strong, or deem ourselves strong--we are really weak, since then we trust in ourselves, and do not seek Divine help. But when we are consciously weak, knowing ourselves unequal to our duties and struggles--we are strong, because then we turn to Christ, and get His strength.

Too many people think that their weakness a barrier to their usefulness; or make it an excuse for doing little with their life. Instead of this, however, if we give it to Christ--He will transform our weakness into strength. He says that His power is made perfect in weakness; that is, what is lacking in human strength--He fills and makes up with divine strength. Paul had learned this, when he said that he now gloried in his weaknesses, because on account of them--the strength of Christ rested upon him, so that, when he was weak--then he was strong--strong with Divine strength.

We need only to make sure of one thing--that we do indeed bring our weakness to Christ, and lean on Him in simple faith. This is the vital link in getting the blessing. Weakness itself is a burden; it is like chains upon our limbs. If we try to carry it alone--we shall only fail. But if we lay it on the strong Son of God--and let Him carry us and our burden, going on quietly and firmly in the way of duty--He will make our very weakness--a secret source of strength. He will not take the weakness from us--that is not His promise--but He will so fill it with His own power--that we shall be strong, more than conquerors, able to do all things through Christ, who strengthens us!

This is the blessed secret of having our burdening weakness, transformed into strength. The secret can be found only in Christ. And in Him--it can be found by every humble, trusting disciple. - J.R. Miller


Prayers from little ones

Bob and Amy Buchanan are a couple in our care group. They have supported us in numerous ways over the past months. Bob also happens to be Keenan's 3rd grade teacher...and Keenan absolutely loves him! Anyway, Dave forwarded me the following email that Bob sent him this morning. I can't say that I need the prayers more...we all do need them. But I was so blessed:

Hi Dave,

My AMAZING 3rd Graders have been praying for you guys; every day since the loss of Heather's grandmother.

As we prayed for Keenan last Friday and talked about ways to serve him in the classroom, one of my kids jumps in and says: "We really should pray for Keenan's aunt. She probably needs it more right now." These kids are amazing and have been faithful to pray.

-Bob B.


Our girlies

We told our girls tonight about Grammy. It was hard for me. It's in these moments that I realize afresh all that has happened....the surreal is actually reality.

Dave started out by just talking about Grammy. Selah said, "I yuve (love) Gammy....yea, she not give me cecktions (corrections). After Dave told them, Mckenna asked a lot of very simple questions, some over and over again, like "why did Grammy die?" I don't think it really hit them. In fact, I don't think it has all really hit me yet. I think it will sink in more for them when we go out to moms and she is not there.

When we put the girls to bed, Dave was holding Selah and had a little conversation with her:
D: "What did you love about Grammy?"
S: "Gammy kind...she give me pessents (presents)...cinrella (Cinderella). I yuve watch mooies (movies) wif Gammy..."
D: "Did she read you books?"
S: "Yea, I yuve weed books wif Gammy."

Very sweet, but oh so sad. Dave looked at me afterwards and said, "I want her to remember Grammy." How I hope she I hope she will remember little Alivia too.


The Lord knows

This weekend has been a whirlwind for me...mostly in my mind. It seems that the past two days has been spent trying to process a bazillion thoughts, decisions, circumstances that have been thrown at me. I'm exhausted mentally (and physically as well). It takes all my energy to think through the very basics of life, so to do or think outside of that can leave me utterly exhausted. I didn't make it through our church service today, but at least we came and stayed a short while. After being home for a few hours afterwards, I went to run a few errands and give my my mind a break. However, I went into a store and immediately saw a display of ducks...Grammy loved ducks - emotional break down. I turned around in the next store to a mom walking a stroller up the aisle with her heart sank. How I miss my sweet girl! There are just no words for all that goes on in my heart at those moments. It's hard to explain and a I think few understand and know. The reality of that can leave me feeling very lonely. Then a dear friend sent me the following quote. It deeply ministered to me:

"We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15.

See Him bearing our sicknesses and our sorrows; more than this, carrying our iniquities and our sins. Think not that your path is a isolated one. The incarnate God has trodden it before you, and He can give you the clear eye of faith to see His footprint in every step. Jesus can say, and He does say to you, "I know your sorrow; I know what that cross is, for I have carried it. You have not a burden that I did not bear, nor a sorrow that I did not feel, nor a pain that I did not endure, nor a path that I did not tread, nor a tear that did not bedew my eye, nor a cloud that did not shade my spirit, before you, and for you. Is it bodily weakness? I once walked forty miles, to carry the living water to a poor sinner at Samaria. Is it the sorrow of bereavement? I wept at the grave of my friend, although I knew that I was about to recall the loved one back again to life. Is it the frailty and the fickleness of human friendship? I stood by and heard my person denied by lips that once spoke kindly to me; lips now renouncing me with an oath that once vowed affection unto death. Is it straitness of circumstance, the galling sense of dependence? I was no stranger to poverty, and was often nourished and sustained by the charity of others. Is it that you are houseless and friendless? So was I. The foxes have their shelter, and the birds their nests; but I, though Lord of all, had nowhere to lay my head; and often day after day passed away, and no soothing accents of friendship fell upon my ear. Is it the burden of sin? Even that I bore in its accumulated and tremendous weight when I hung accursed upon the tree." - Octavius Winslow


It's warm by the fire

We have a wonderful wood stove in our living room. Our house can tend to be on the chilly side, so I love the fact that there is at least one place I can go where I can get warm. My desk and computer is in a corner of our family room, the total opposite end of the house from the wood stove. Last night, after sitting at the computer for awhile, my feet and hands were freezing. I went into the living room and sat in front of the fire, took time to think about the events of this week, and then thought, "it's so warm by the fire." At that point, I felt the Lord comfort me with the analogy that proceeded to come to mind. I started to think about all the fiery trials that are in our lives right now and how they are warming our hearts to the gospel and revealing more of the Lord to us. Fiery trials can be used to take a cold heart and make it warm...put yourself in front of the fire and you will get warm...sometimes even too warm, so that it's uncomfortable. But, the great promise of God is that we will not be burned or consumed. They will remove the dross and purify our hearts... and as I like to think, warm our hearts, by making them more tender toward the Lord and more willing to trust Him in all His ways, as mysterious as they may be. This is something that I can be grateful for. The Lord is doing a work in us, in me. He has us very near the the fire right now...even in it. Yes, it's uncomfortable, but I love how it is warming my heart to God's truths and revealing more of Himself to me through it.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you...Fear not, for I am with you." Isaiah 43:2, 5


Continued storms

Just when I begin to hope that the wind will die down a bit and the storm will begin to clear, it seems to pick up and increase in intensity. I am sitting here listening to the song on my blog, "Bring the Rain." The Lord definitely has brought rain to our lives...we are being sustained, but these days have been the hardest of my life.

Adding to the grief of losing my grandmother, we got word tonight that Dave's grandmother (married to Dave's grandfather who passed away in December, right after Alivia) was diagnosed with lung cancer today. She was just recovering from surgery to remove cancer from her bladder, so it looks like it has spread. My heart is so very heavy tonight. My mind is racing with thoughts, fears, unknowns, etc. It's in these moments that I know I need truth...desperately. So, I am telling myself: "Yes, God is good. Yes, He is sovereign. Yes, He is in control of ALL things...and His ways and timing are perfect. Yes, He is the one orchestrating all these events, for our good and for His glory." If these be true, and I believe they are, than Jesus bring the rain. I trust He will continue to sustain me. May He be glorified through our lives and through these trials, as hard as they may be.

How I long for the day when, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore..." Rev. 21:4


My Grammy

I awoke this morning to find out that my beloved Grammy died last night. She was my mom's mom and lived with my mom. We were all very close to her and my girlies loved her dearly. It came very unexpected and as of right now, I am not sure what happened. Dave found out right as I fell asleep last night and everyone decided to not tell me until I awoke today...I am grateful. I could not even pull myself out of bed until after 11 today. Dave took off and is helping with the girls. All I could do was lay in bed as I tried to process all that is going on in my world right now. I cried some, but mostly was numb. As I closed my eyes I kept seeing flashbacks of my Grammy over this past year...we got to live with my mom and her over the spring as we waited for our house...that was a sweet time. My girls loved her so much and Selah would love to go in to Grammy's room and read books together. I can still hear Grammy's voice reading to her. And it seems like just yesterday that she was sitting in our living room back in October, holding my sweet Alivia, as she met her for the first time. I can still picture her sitting beside me at the Lee's house, the day after we lost Alivia. She grieved with us. Grammy sat right across the aisle from us at Alivia's memorial service...vivid memories.

Oh these waves of grief that seem to just take my breath away and sap my strength. Wave upon wave...

Please continue to pray for us over the next week or two. Please pray for my mom. We will probably be having many out of town relatives, services to attend and much more grieving ahead. I am very aware of my need for sustaining grace right now.

A friend sent me this poem yesterday and as I laid in bed this morning, I was reminded of it:

When thou passest through the waters
Deep the waves may be and cold,
But Jehovah is our refuge,
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself hath said it,
He, the faithful God and true:
"When thou comest to the waters
Thou shalt not go down, BUT THROUGH."

Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain
They shall never overflow us
For we know His word is true;
All His waves and all His billows
He will lead us safely through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt's insidious undertow,
Shall not sink us, shall not drag us
Out to ocean depths of woe;
For His promise shall sustain us,
Praise the Lord, whose Word is true!
We shall not go down, or under,
For He saith, "Thou passest THROUGH."
--Annie Johnson Flint

Based on Isaiah 43:2 --

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.



For the past number of days, I have been thinking much about the word, "hope." That word means so much to me and I should probably study it more as it has already brought comfort and help to me, a grieving parent. I first started to think on it when I found out, through her blog, that Helen had bought a Christmas ornament with the word "hope" on it because of all that word meant for her this past year...a very trying year.

Then, last night I got the following email from a friend who has also lost a child. She mentioned that the Lord laid Dave and I on her heart the previous night as she was in bed...and she prayed for us. It was that very night, and perhaps that moment, that I was crying as I laid in bed, remembering my little girl, missing holding her and hearing her breath against my chest as she would sleep. But I am convinced that it was the fruit of Kriscinda's prayers that I was able to fall asleep that night. Thank you, friend! Thanks for encouraging me to continue to hope. Thanks also for wanting to get pink crocs for you and CC. That blessed me!

Here is her email to me:

Dear Heather
You are often in my thoughts. As I think of my Mikes, I can't help but think of Chase and your Alivia and of course their mommies. I day dream of the wonderful sights they behold and the joy they must experience each moment. Luke bought girlie and I fuzzy pink crocs! We love them. CC calls them her fancy crocs!
~Last night as I was laying in bed I was praying for you and Dave. Praying for comfort and strength for the days.
As I have been thinking of you guys , the thought keeps coming to me, Hold on to Hope. I am sure your heart at many moments feels as if it can't carry on and probably at times there is little desire to do so. At least that has been for me. The journey isn't an easy one - there is still much to be learned, a long road to travel. Yet God in his goodness and kindness has not only kept our hearts but brought them to a pleasant place. I know this may be hard to see now in the midst of such pain and loss yet I am confident in time you to with say with the Psalmist " The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." Ps 16:5-6- In the midst of your sorrow I know your Saviour is greater and he will grow greater each day as he holds you close. I hope this thought hasn't brought more trouble to your heart. May God hold you close, until that wonderful day! Hold on to Hope, friend, hold onto Hope.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning Ps 30:5
~Hope for Heaven and Home~
All our Love and many Prayers!

Kriscinda Davis


Music suggestions?

I have mentioned before how much music has served me in this season. I am on the lookout for some new songs/albums. A dear friend blessed me just the other day with an iTunes gift card (thank you, Helen!). So, if anyone has any songs running around in their mind that you think would serve me and my family, could you let me know?

Thank you, Michelle, for coming over for the billionth time today to serve me. Thanks for helping me clean, thanks for bringing lunch, thanks for chatting and fellowshipping. I love you tons!


Jon and Jenni Smith

Our paths have crossed numerous times with this couple over the last 6 years. We were both married on the same day of the same exact year... August 17, 2002. We share the same anniversary.

After that I worked right beside Jenni in our church office until I had Mckenna. We quickly became great friends and share some wonderful memories from that time.

Back in the beginning of 2006, Dave and Jon went on an E-team together with a group from our church to India. They went to serve a church there, furthering the gospel in many ways. Dave and Jon share many memories from that trip.

Almost exactly a year ago, Jon and Jenni bought our previous home. I loved my townhouse and did not really want to move. I loved it and was completely content. However, the Lord started to direct us to pray about a move right about the time the Smith's approached us about their desire to buy our house, in the event we ever wanted to move. We went to settlement at the end of January, just 4 days after I found out I was pregnant with Alivia. We moved out of our townhouse in March and the Smith's moved in. We then lived with my mom until we found our current home and moved in on May 31. And I am still blown away by the wonderful home the Lord has blessed us with.

It was sometime toward the end of April (I think) that Jenni found out she was we shared part of last year being pregnant together.

Backing up a bit, on November 6, 2006, Jon and Jenni had their second baby, a boy. However, on that same day their son, Chase, went to be with Jesus. It is a day I personally will never forget. And we still greive with them, the loss of their precious boy.

So, this past November 2, a Sunday, they were getting ready to embark on a difficult week, as that Thursday marked 2 years since they lost their son. That evening someone must have called them with the news of our tragic loss. They selflessly dropped everything and showed up at the hospital to be with us. And during the following 2 weeks we saw them almost daily, as they showed up at the Lees to be with us, counsel us, comfort us, cry with us, and share in our grief with us. They put aside many of their plans, often found a sitter for their son, Carson, and would spend hours with us at a time. We found such comfort in this couple, as they have walked the same hard road of losing a baby. We shared many conversations with them and they helped us process our thoughts, make decisions, prepare us for what was ahead, and shared truth we desperately needed to hear. Jon has helped Dave countless times in leading me and our family through this time. Jenni has been by my side and has served me in so many ways. On the day of Alivia's memorial service, they drove with us in the Lee's van and were with us through all the events of that day. Jon even spoke at the grave site for us, as he faced the spot where his dear Chase is buried, just a stone's throw away from where Alivia was placed. Our glory babies are buried very close to each other, but more importantly, are sharing the Savior's arms, as he holds them until the day we can.

Now, Jon and Jenni are looking forward to January 24th, when their 3rd baby, a precious little girl, is due. I can't wait to meet her!

Jon and Jenni, we count it a privilege to have walked through so many events in this life with you. And we count it a privilege to call you friends. Thank you for caring for us, for crying with us and for grieving with us over the past few months. Thanks for being so available, amidst a busy schedule, to serve us. We only can imagine what our glory babies are up to right now...perhaps Chase is still telling Alivia all the wonderful things he has learned about our Savior. How we share with you in longing for heaven!


Palest Ink

I have one small New Year's resolution this year. There probably won't be any big goals for me in the upcoming months. I was just telling a friend yesterday that a good day for me used to be getting up early, accomplishing my to-do list, staying on schedule, and having the satisfaction of getting much done. However, a good day has become keeping my family fed and clothed, loving my husband and girlies, reading a short bit, and remembering truth. Pretty simple, huh? But it's all part of the humbling process of the Lord showing me what is really important in life. There is not much more than I can do right now.

To add to that short list, my resolution is to start a blessings journal this year. I got the idea sometime in November from a friend. Initially it was too hard to write with pen and paper, but I want to try again. I was freshly motivated by a little saying I read on the back of a tea bag the other day. On these chilly days I stay warm by sipping tea all day long. And ya know how many tea companies are now putting little sayings on the back of their tea bags? Some are pretty pathetic, others are actually good. So, the other day I came across this one...

"The palest ink is better than the best memory." Wise saying from the Orient.

My memory is worthless right now, so all the more reason to be writing to remember. So here is what I want my resolution to look like: Every evening before I get in bed, I want to jot down the things the Lord did that day to reveal Himself to me...just a few sentences will do. Along with this blog, I want use these tools to help me remember and to build my faith. I realize I can only blog so much and there are so many other countless ways the Lord is providing for me and helping me each and every day. Even if my ink is pale, my journal is covered in tear marks, and my handwriting is poor from a tired hand, may I do it to remember knowing my memory won't be able to.

And may this serve my soul in cultivating a grateful heart for all the abundant blessings in my life...for they are many.


2 months...

...And I miss her more than ever.


Dave posting...

(Dave posting)

I am always reticent to post here because to me this is 'Heather's blog', though she assures me it is our "family blog," and I am welcome to it. Well, I trust this post will resonate with those who read and have followed this blog with their prayers.

Continue to read here...


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