February 26

...was yesterday. Alivia's 5 month birthday. I can't believe she would have been 5 months....5 months old! It was just yesterday that she was 5 weeks, but at times it seems ages ago. How I miss not having her in our lives, hearing her cry, snuggling with her and enjoying her.

I'm actually glad I did not post yesterday. These hard posts on hard days always bring up wells of emotion as I consider my baby girl and remember. Yesterday was actually a very full day from start to end. Is that a good thing? I'm not sure. I gave little thought to remembering specific things about her, not purposely...it just happened that way. It seems I just went from one thing to the next. My mom took the whole day off from work and showed up around 9am with PINK roses for me. Precious! What a means of grace she was and continues to be. Thanks , mom, for your care and help, specifically with Selah's major blow-out diaper (she is recovering from the stomach virus). She even took all of Selah's gross clothes home with her to wash them for me.

Dave called shortly after that and asked me to do some more washer research (we are doing work in our basement to get it ready to rent and we need to get a new washer/dryer). So, mom took care of the girls, while I spent a good time online doing that.

After that, Mom took us out to lunch and we ran a few errands. By the time we got home, it was time to put Selah down for nap (actually way past time..she was a wreck!). Then Elizabeth Stockton showed up and we took Anne and Mckenna over to a pottery place at the Rio. They each picked out a ceramic to paint. They had a great time. Before we came home we hit Starbucks for a treat. We arrived home and shortly after Dave came home.

Date night! We had a great time out for dinner, talking, catching up and fellowshipping. I loved it. After arriving home, I spent some more time researching washers and then off to bed. That was my day. I didn't cry once, I didn't even have time to think hard about much except what I was doing next. I didn't even have any devotions yesterday. Those are usually bittersweet these days as it also is an emotional time for me.

I had the thought last night, "should I have done more to remember. Should I have made the step to go back to the cemetery....I have not even been yet and not sure when I'll be able to do that."

No, I have not forgotten my Alivia, and didn't forget her yesterday. She is in my heart and mind every waking moment. But perhaps having a day like yesterday was, in fact, a good thing. There will be plenty of days ahead full of emotion that will leave me grieving hard and feeling physically weak and frail. But I leave my days in His hands and trust Him for each one of them. And I'm giving thanks this morning for the grace that sustained me yesterday and the activities He ordained that helped me through it.


More baby steps

I write this post fully aware that over the next week I am probably going to take many steps backward. This time last month was very difficult. Nonetheless, we are making progress in resuming many simple activities of life:

*Cooking. Yes, I'm back in the kitchen whipping up meals again. Grace upon grace. And it just happens that my mom gave me the perfect gift for Valentine's day that now hangs above my sink. It's a sign/plaque that reads simply, "GRACE, it's amazing!" What a reminder to see numerous times a day.

*Running. I have started back exercising and going for runs. Elizabeth, you're the best. Thanks for being my running buddy!

*Schedule. We have resumed a more steady schedule. It still includes lots of movies for the girls, but I'm seeking to build more structure in our day...."seeking" is the key word! I have started to enjoy times with Mckenna after Selah goes down for nap. We have done some school, coloring, and simple activities. I love my big girl!

*Hawaii. Yes, you read it right. For those of you who know, we decided to go ahead and commit to going. Dave has a company "club" trip (reward for doing well the past 2 years) in about a month. Most of the trip is fully paid. We are extending it a few days and will need to pay for that portion. I'm trusting God for provision. After Alivia died, I did NOT want to go. I knew it was good for Dave to go and asked the Lord to help me and change my heart if we were supposed to go. Well, there was faith this week and our tickets are booked. We'll be going for a week the beginning of April. I would covet your prayers as this is a HUGE step for me and many areas I am anxious about. I will need an enormous amount of grace to get ready for the trip and...leave the girls.

Grace is indeed amazing! It continues to carry me day by day.


All for good

From my journal today...

"I miss my little girl so much. It all still seems very surreal. Sometimes the question just randomly pops in my mind, 'what just happened?' 'How can I attempt to live a normal life?' So few around me really understand all that is going on in my heart and how it affects every bit of life for me. And I'm sure many think that I'll soon be able to get over this. She was, after all, just 5 weeks old. But it's just not so.

It takes very little, sometimes just a thought, or seeing someone, or looking at a picture, for the tears to well up and the ache in my heart to feel like a fresh stab.

Mckenna misses Alivia so much. And she so wants another baby. It breaks my heart even more to see her grieve and miss her sister so.

It's in these moments that I need to remind myself, 'all for good.' In my life, in Dave's life, in Mckenna's and Selah's, all this hurt will be for our good. One day, somehow...it's God's promise (Romans 8:28). I must hold on to it, however long the pain lingers and my heart hurts. He will redeem this for our good."


Do not fear

God continues to meet me over and over and over again. Last night I was wrestling with a number of fears...so many thoughts were racing through my mind that left me mentally exhausted and feeling hopeless. I woke up this morning carrying those same fears and anxieties.

Then, I came downstairs to an email from my sister. The truth it contained spoke to my anxious heart and brought it back to where my focus needs to be.

Kelly wrote,

"As I was playing Sudoku last night, sometime after 9...felt a burden to pray for you which I did.

I also read this last week and have been meaning to send it to you from Beside Still Waters

'Do not fear.'
'What? Not even a little?'
'No, do not fear.'
'Surely I may show some measure of fear?'
'No, do not fear.'

Tie this knot tight around the throat of unbelief: 'Do not fear.' 'Do not fear' today. 'Do not fear' tomorrow. 'Do not fear' any day of your life. When fear comes, drive it away and give it no space.
When the weather is rough, passengers on a ship can be comforted by the captain's calm behavior. One simple-minded soul said, 'I am sure there is no cause to fear, for I heard the captain whistling.' Surely if the captain is at ease, the passengers can be at peace. If the Lord Jesus is at the helm singing, do not fear. 'Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.' (Ps 37:7). 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.' (Is 35:4)

love you


Bed head

It's fairly common for Selah to wake up from her naps unhappy and cranky. However, one day this past week she didn't wake up screaming, but cheerful. I went in to get her and she was all smiles and had the best bed head ever, pig tail sticking straight up in the air!


Faithful friends

I have found it pretty amazing how the Lord has used others in our lives these past number of months. I have grown in my appreciation and affection for the body of Christ. There are a few particular friends who have been incredibly faithful to send me regular emails since the onset of this trial.

Esther, thanks for so regularly, even daily at times, sending me applicable and timely Scripture to feed my soul.
Kel, thanks for sending me Scripture that you are praying through for me...and for telling me that you are doing so.
Megan R., thanks for not just the quotes you have sent me, but for always faithfully posting truth on your own blog...the Lord has used it to greatly minister to me.
Kelly (Cooley), thank you for ALL of the emails you have and continue to send, telling me you are thinking of me and praying. Thanks for the quotes, Scriptures and words of care.
Charisa, thanks for the quotes and encouraging words.
Debbie P., thanks for remembering the difficult days.
Kristen S., thanks for your amazing, detailed, extensive emails that have communicated care beyond words.

Thank you, friends. Only the Lord knows how timely your emails and prayers have been. They remind me of the nearness of my Savior and of how amazing grace really is!

Today, Megan, sent this quote...

“Faith is His, unbelief ours.
No process of reasoning can soothe a mother’s empty, aching heart,
or bring Christ into it to fill up all that great waste room.
But faith can.
And faith is His gift; a gift to be won by prayer ---
Prayer persistent, patient, determined;
Prayer that will take no denial;
Prayer that if it goes away one day unsatisfied, keeps on saying,
‘Well, there’s tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow;
God may wait to be gracious, and I can wait to receive,
But receive I must and will!”...
This is all heart, not head work.
Do I know what I am talking about? Yes, I do.
But my intellect is of no use when my heart is breaking.
I must get down on my knees and own that I am less than nothing,
Seek God, not joy;
Consent to suffer, not cry for relief.
And how transcendently good He is when He brings me down to that low place
And there shows me that that self-renouncing, self-despairing spot
is just the one where He will stoop to meet me!”
Elizabeth Prentiss

Trav, thanks for the song!



Yesterday Dave and I had a date night. I think it was the first time we have been out to dinner alone since last fall. I love being with my best friend!

I shared with him many things that I have been wrestling with. He listened well and brought good, yet sometimes hard truth where needed. Thanks, Dave, for reminding me of Psalm 84:11 last night, "No
good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Although hard, thanks for pointing out that not having a baby in my arms right now is, in the mystery of Providence, a part of God's plan to bring me good.

It seems that the Lord is causing me to surrender so many things to him lately - my desires, my will, my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my reasoning, my longings, my weaknesses, my future, my life.

This quote, from a friend's blog, sums it up well...

"How happy are they who can resign all to Him,
see His hand in every dispensation,
and believe that He chooses better for them
then they could possibly could for themselves!"
John Newton



As of late, my mind has been inundated with questions. Some on the lighter side, others that can take my breath away. Some have easy answers, while others have no answers...

*When will I have a regular schedule again for my day?
*When will I be able to get up early again?
*Will my girls always watch so many movies? When do I cut back, how do I cut back?
*What kinds of activities should I plan and do with them?
*Are these heavy feelings of guilt for my lack of mothering/training good or bad?
*Will my girls remember this time as a boring season with not much to do and how will they remember me during this season?
*Do I spend too much time on my computer and do I spend enough time with them?
*Will I always keep my blog pink with a picture of Alivia? When would be the appropriate time to change it if I do?
*Will I always keep my wall of her pictures?
*When should I put her room back in order? It's so hard sometimes to walk by it's closed door...should I open it?
*Will I ever be able to look at her clothes? Should I save them?
*How long will the memories and flashbacks plague my mind?
*Will I forget her? I feel like I can barely remember her sweet baby smell...will I remember all the wonderful things about her?
*Will I ever have another baby?
*Will life always continue to be so hard?

On and on the questions come. I'm grateful for my husband and dear friends who often help me think through hard questions with the gospel in mind. The GOSPEL...I find it brings fresh perspective and calms my fears, anxieties and guilt with the knowledge of God's grace and mercy toward me, an undeserved sinner.


Truth about heaven

Today was a full day...a wonderfully full day. I spend a majority of it helping a dear friend pack up her house. They are moving in just a few short days. This family has lived in this home for many, many years. I have a number of fond memories in this home with this dear family and friends. As I was packing boxes, I realized that it was this time last year that I was packing up my home. I was pregnant with Alivia and preparing to move out of our townhouse. How time has flown by. Never would I have known what this past year would hold for us.

Despite the urgency of many things to pack up and children all around, we still managed a good bit of fellowship. We talked of suffering, fighting for faith and heaven. Heaven...how that word is sweeter to me than ever before.

I came home and remembered something I read a few days ago. The truth it contained helped put my suffering in perspective and give me greater longing for heaven. It's long, but worth the time to read...

"Perhaps you're burdened, discouraged, depressed, or even traumatized. Perhaps you've lost a loved one. Perhaps your dreams - your family, career, or lifelong ambitions - have crumbled. Perhaps you've become cynical or have lost hope. A biblical understanding of the truth about Heaven can change all that.

Secular optimists are merely wishful thinkers. Having discovered the present payoffs of optimism, they conduct seminars and write books about positive thinking. Sometimes they capitalize on optimism by becoming rich and famous. But then what happens? They eventually get old or sick, and when they die, they are unprepared to meet God. Their optimism is ultimately an illusion, for it fails to take eternity into account.

The only proper foundation for optimism is the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. If we build our lives on the sold foundation, we should all be optimists. Why? Because even our most painful experiences in life are but temporary setbacks. Our pain and suffering may or may not be relieved in this life, but they will certainly be relieved in the life to come. That is Christ's promise - no more pain or death; he will wipe away all our tears. He took our sufferings on himself so that one day he might remove all suffering form the world. That is the biblical foundation for our optimism. Any other foundation is like sand, not rock. It will not bear the weight of our eternity.

No Christian should be pessimistic. We should be true realists - focused on the reality that we serve a sovereign and gracious God. Because of the reality of Christ's atoning sacrifice and his promises, biblical realism is optimism.

By meditating on Heaven and learning to look forward to it, we don't eliminate our pain, but we can alleviate it and put it in perspective. We're reminded that suffering and death are only temporary conditions.

Jesus came to deliver us from the fear of death, 'so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.' (Hebrews 2:14-15).

In light of the coming resurrection of the dead, the apostle Paul asks, 'Where of death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' (1 Corinthians 15:55).

When should not romanticize death. But those who know Jesus should realize that death is a gateway to never-ending joy.

Grasping what the Bible teaches about Heaven will shift our center of gravity and radically alter our perspective on life. It will give us hope, a word that the apostle Paul uses six times in Romans 8;20-25, where he explains that all creation longs for our resurrection and the world's coming redemption.

Don't place your hope in favorable life circumstances - they cannot and will not last. Instead, place your hope in Jesus Christ and his promises. One day he will return, and those who have placed their faith in him will be resurrected to life on the New Earth. They will behold God's face and joyfully serve him forever." - Randy Alcorn



my baby girl today. Actually I always miss her terribly, but it just seemed appropriate to write it down this day. Last night I cried many tears before going to sleep and Dave was a strong shoulder for me to lean on. Time seems to be going so fast, yet so slow and yet my heart seems to stay right where it was since the day I lost her.

This morning I was relating to something Mckenna said about Grammy the other day. I never got to say good-bye to my little one...she left so suddenly, without warning. But I trust she knows just how much I love her and miss her. And how I long and ache to see her one day.


You know my way

I have been reading Psalm 142 all week long. In fact, every time I sit down to read, I can't seem to go beyond it in my Bible. It seems to so adequately express my cries to the Lord lately and also bring the comfort my soul needs.

This past week proved to be so much better than the previous week, but it still held many moments of grief, tears and questions. I told someone this week that I can so easily feel weary with how much my heart hurts and how hard life is...with no breaks. In the kindness of the Lord, life does hold moments of laughter and joy, but the hurt and heaviness in my heart never leaves. This is my portion right now. And it's very hard. BUT, as I meditated on Psalm 142 this week, I was encouraged. Yes, this trial is God's assigned portion right now, but He is my greater portion and refuge. All those many moments when my spirit is fainting within me, He knows my way....how that encourages me.

I love how this psalm ends by declaring that the Lord will deal bountifully with us. He has and I know He will. It's hope that I can hold onto both today and in the many tough days ahead.

"With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me."


Happy Valentine's Day!

We've had a very good week here. Today is Valentine's Day and I'm looking forward to being together as a family. Enjoy your day and remember to tell those precious, loved ones around you how much you LOVE them!


50 Days of Heaven

I have wanted to get Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven, for some time now. I was a little apprehensive, given how hard it still is for me to read, but I just long to learn more about where my little girl is. So, I went into our church bookstore on Sunday and was searching for it. I didn't see it. I think they were out, but it just happened to be the Lord that they were. Instead I found Alcorn's book, 50 Days of Heaven. It's a book of 50 daily meditations of only few pages each, each exploring an aspect of Heaven - HOW PERFECT! My attention span continues to be very short and this is just what I needed....and I am loving it!


Milestone for Selah

Today, Selah pee-pee'd for the first time on the potty. She is growing up way to fast.



My ring came yesterday. I was so excited and I love wearing it! My sister and I ordered matching "Alivia rings" from a website Kel found. It's a mom who has young children and makes jewelry out of her home. Everything is handmade and I love her stuff.


Mckenna's understanding

I think Mckenna's understanding of death is deepening. Last night as I was putting her to bed, out of the blue, she said, "Mom, I'm so sad about Grammy. I never got to say good-bye and now she is dead." I see her connecting the dots and coming to understand that once someone we love dies, we will no longer see them in this life.

Today we again were in a conversation about Alivia. I am so grateful that it is starting to get easier for me to bring her up or have the girls bring her up to talk about. A month ago, I could not do this. Mckenna was again voicing how much she misses her and we talked about how she is with Jesus now. I told her that if we trust in Jesus and what He did for us we will be with her one day. She said simply, "I do love Jesus, mom! And I want to see Him now."

I love how the Lord is using all that has happened to us, as tragic as it is, for our good. He is using it to provide gospel opportunities with our children. And I know that Mckenna now has a deeper understanding of Jesus, who He is, what he is like and what He has done for us that she did not have before.


Precious words

This morning after breakfast Mckenna and I had a little dialogue. Dave has been teaching her how to respond to momma's tears. She can get sad and fearful, I think, and so Dave is training her to be outward focused to serve me. So instead of her usual, "Mom, what's wrong?...why are you crying?", he is teaching her to say, "Momma, I love you" and to give me a big hug. So this morning, she said the following:

M: Mom, is our baby grown up? Is she bigger? I think she's growing, mom. Oh, I so want to see her mom...I miss her.
Me: When we go to heaven some day, we'll get to see her, sweetie (that was a gospel opportunity, but in my emotions I didn't get that far to share the hope we have of trusting in Jesus...next time!).
M: But I want to see her now, momma. I miss her.
Me: I know, momma does too. (The tears started to stream down my cheeks and she looked up at me...)
M: Mom, why are you cryin.....(but quickly cut it short, reached up to me, gave me a big hug, rested her head on my shoulder)...I love you, momma!!

Those were precious words that ministered to me in that moment.


What she knows

I have not been posting as much lately. I have had problems with my computer and have not had internet connection as much. But, as well, I find that I don't seem to have as much to write these days.

This past week was, by far, one of the most challenging for me. There were many tears, many moments of feeling utterly hopeless and overwhelmed. Yet, it did include many evidences of God's grace and kindness. On Friday my mom took off work and we went to my favorite store over in VA, The Lucketts Store. They had an annual sale this weekend. My dear friend, Christine watched my two girls all afternoon so I could get out with mom...even amidst not feeling well herself. Then on Saturday, Dave took the girlies on a date to Ikea. That left me home for a few quiet hours to read and do some things around here. It was refreshing. Then Jonalee came over in the afternoon and we again went over to Lucketts.

However, my highlight of the week was, by far, the time Dave and I had with Jeff and Julie Purswell on Friday night. This couple has held a dear place in my heart for many years now. Apart from my mom and maybe a couple other ladies, no one has provoked me to godliness and had such an impact on my life as Julie has. She has spurred me on in love for my Savior, my husband and my children, and she has walked before me what it looks like to be a Titus 2 woman. For that I am indebted to her and forever grateful for her influence in my life. Jeff is one of the pastors at our church. He has studied Scripture for years and his knowledge of God's Word, theology and doctrine is...well, GREAT. My life and our church are richer because of this man's influence. I love it when Jeff preaches on Sundays...he is one of my favorites!

Back to Friday night...I have been wanting to sit and chat with Jeff for sometime. I had lots of questions I wanted to ask him. Jeff and Julie graciously took almost 3 hours to sit and talk with us. I asked Jeff lots of questions about heaven, what Alivia might be like now, what she knows, is thinking about, etc. Jeff referenced many scriptures that solidified our hope that she is, indeed, with Jesus. I am hoping to share more soon of all that we learned that night. But for now, I wanted to just share one thing that Jeff said from the night that so stood out to me and brought much comfort.

At one point in the evening, I asked Jeff what Alivia knows about us, where she is, what is going on, etc. And, as part of his answer, he said this: "She knows more than she did before (2 Cor. 5, Phil. 2). I believe she is perceptive to recognize where she is, and who He is...that she is home, with the One she was made for." Then, Jeff said something like this, "I believe she is aware of you as her parents, she is grateful for the family she was born into, and she knows that you loved her very much."

This is just a tidbit of the rich conversation that we had with the Purswells. It was a sweet time and we were served so well. At the end of the evening, Jeff and Julie prayed for us. During that time, I felt such a peace over me...unlike anything I have felt for so long. For months now, I have daily battled memories, fears, anxieties, and daily struggles to live....life is incredibly hard right now. But for that moment, there was a complete peace over my mind and soul. I felt the Spirit's presence. It was a sweet reminder that, although my mind and body can so often be in turmoil, it is well with my soul. I often don't feel it, but it is true. Jesus is my peace, my way of peace with God through what he has accomplished on the Cross.

Tonight, I am resting in the truth that my little one is safely home...rejoicing in and praising the One she was made for.


Fighting for faith

I sit here not really sure what to write. My heart has been overwhelmed with grief this week. I'm weak, hurting, and fighting for faith. There are some other circumstances going on right now that have only accentuated my grieving, a few of them being that Dave is away on a business trip, I have not been able to eat well at all and sleep has been restless for a few days now.

Caring for the girls can be wearying. I don't feel like I am serving them much right now, and am fighting to just daily be patient with them in their fussiness and disobedience. I do get LOTS of hugs and kisses in and hold them tight very often. Oh the things I would love to be doing with them if life wasn't so hard and I wasn't so weak right now.

I read Psalm 13 this morning. But I think I am stuck in verse 1 and 2. As I started to read, I glanced at a picture of Alivia and thought, "if only I could hold her tight one more time." Tears flowed. May the Lord raise up my heart today to rejoice in my salvation.

"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me."

I also read this by Octavius Winslow:

"Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6:50

"Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm. It is I who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it. It is I who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. It is I who kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it. It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it. It is I who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will. It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth, and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child. It is I who have done it ALL.

I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is my time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid. It is I—your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good. It is I who permitted the enemy to assail you, the slander to blast you, the unkindness to wound you, the need to press you! Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above—a heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of ebony.

I have sent all in love! This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all! In every stormy wind, in every darksome night, in every lonesome hour, in every rising fear, the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, 'Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.' "


Be still.

Today has been hard, perhaps even harder than yesterday. Dave even stayed home to help me. For that, I'm grateful. I came across this quote today on a friend's blog and it spoke to many of the thoughts racing in my head.

“My soul! Be still!
You are in the hands of your Covenant God.
Were all the strange circumstances in your history the result of accident, or chance,
you, might well be overwhelmed.
But 'all things,’ and this thing (be what it may) which may be now disquieting you, is one of these ‘all things’ that are so working mysteriously for your good.
Trust your God!
He will not deceive you — your interests are with Him in safe custody.
When sight says, ‘All these things are against me,'
let faith rebuke the hasty conclusion,
and say, ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’
How often does God hedge up your way with thorns, to elicit simple trust!
How seldom can we see all things so working for our good?
But it is better discipline to believe it.
Oh! For faith amid frowning providences, to say,
‘I know that Your judgments are good’ and, relying in the dark to exclaim,
‘Though He slays me, yet will I trust Him!’
Blessed Jesus! To You are committed the reigns of this universal empire.
The same hand that was once nailed to the Cross,
is now yielding the scepter on the throne…
How can I doubt the wisdom, and the faithfulness, and love,
of the most mysterious earthly dealing,
when I know that the Roll of Providence
is thus in the hands of Him who has given the
mightiest pledge Omnipotence could give
of His tender interest in my soul’s well-being,
by giving Himself for me?”
john macduff | the faithful promiser


3 months

Today was probably just an ordinary day for most, but for us it marked 3 months that our little baby girl has not been with us. It was a very challenging day for me. I didn't sleep that well last night, but got up early to spend some with the Lord. Reading was hard and I could not concentrate. Mckenna started her day by saying (and she doesn't know the significance of today), "Mom, I'm so upset about God." I asked her what she meant and she said, "I want to see our baby...I really want to see our baby, mom." I started crying and have not really stopped all day. I cleaned a good part of the day to keep busy and did some laundry. I cried as I went about and remembered so much about Alivia...what she liked, how she would snuggle up in my neck, how she loved sleeping in the pink basket, how she sucked her pacifier and bopped it up and down in her mouth. I remembered giving her baths and how she would love for me to wrap her tight in her towel and snuggle her after we were done. She was such a good baby. The hardest was by far missing seeing Mckenna and Selah hold her and love on their little sister. I miss that so much and it's hard to swallow the fact that they will not be able to do that anymore or get the experience of watching their little baby sister grow up.

After putting Selah down for a nap, I sat on the couch and cried. Mckenna was so kind. She was concerned all throughout the day about me. She kept telling me that she didn't want me to cry every time, as she put it. She knew I was missing Alivia and offered to pray for me. We both took a nap on the couch. I didn't sleep much, but these days sleep is a way for me to get a break from life, so to speak. So, I enjoy my naps.

When naps were over I can't remember what I did, but around 5pm I decided to go downstairs and watch a movie with the girls. It was a good distraction. We did that until Dave came home. Dave took over the minute he got home and cared for the girls. Right now he is putting them to bed. He continues to serve me so well.

After dinner Mckenna came over to me on the couch, as I was crying, and again asked if she could pray for me. She prayed, "Dear Jesus, please send an angel to momma and let it take momma to heaven so she can see baby Alivia. Amen." Sweet girl...she does not like to see me cry.

I wrestled with truth all day long and had a lot of questions in my heart. I still do. And I longed for heaven like never before.



We had a pretty quiet weekend around here. Most weekends are though. We had our neighbors, the Reynolds, over for dinner on Saturday night and then we went to their house tonight for the super bowl.

We went to church today and it was very good. There was much grace and we ended up staying afterwards for longer than we usually do. After church I came home, made lunch for the family and then cleaned up. I was so exhausted. I laid on the couch and was so discouraged for a number of reasons, mainly because I'm just so tired of being so tired. It seems like I can barely do anything these days and I'm wiped out. Dave was very gracious and just said simply, "it's ok to rest a lot on Sunday." And that's what I ended up doing. My mind was racing with all that I had to do, but I stayed on the couch for a good few hours, while the girls played around...I enjoyed listening to them. It was refreshing, but also a reminder of the toll this season is taking on my body. I am tired a lot.

While at church today, I was freshly made aware of the incredible sacrifice my Heavenly Father made for me. There was an evident theme today on the Fatherhood of God. At one point during worship I had this thought: "I would NEVER have chosen for my baby girl to die, never. But God chose and allowed His Son to die. He could have stopped it, but didn't. It was His plan, it was His idea." It's hard for me to wrap my fingers around such truth. Having experienced what it's like to lose a child, I just can't imagine all that the Father and Son went through. That is sacrifice...and He did it for a sinner like me...so that I could be His daughter, forgiven and free! Not only that, but I am reminded tonight as I think on this, that because of these truths, my Father completely understands the pain in my heart. He knows exactly what I am feeling and He is able to completely comfort me with the comfort He knows I need. And I can testify that I am experiencing this comfort, as hard as this trial is...and I'm grateful.


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