Monday, February 22, 2010

Tenth Avenue North

My new favorite christian group. These first three songs just really touch me. Still a daily struggle missing my baby boy. I will write more about Jack soon. Right now we are doing a parenting class at church taught by our youth minister, and I just really love it. Our goal and focus for our children is what has always been on my heart, becuase I have learned it from my own Mama.

Deut. 6:4-9
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandmentss that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie the as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heaven is the Face

It has been too long since I have written. I have been busy teaching Kindergarten, and with Griffin's pre-school, and with Robin. We had a reallt nice Thanksgiving and Christmas. A lot of the awkard and saddness was not as thick as last year. We spent Thanksgiving in Kansas and Christmas in Valdosta. Then we spent a laidback New Year's Eve with our friends The Sohms. They have a little boy tha tis Griffin's age. It was a nice holiday break.

New Year's Day Ryan and I decided to do some house rearranging and cleaning out. We felt it was time to change Jack's nursery into a room that would still represent him, but we could use. Honestly, it took me about 14 months to come to terms with us losing Jack, and that he would never come back to live in this house or in his room. I did not realize how I was hanging on to that deep down inside, even though I KNEW it was impossible.

We put his changing table/shelf/storage furniture into the closet with my favortite toys, blankets, pictures and keepsakes. That way I can open the closet doors and touch, feel, and look at his things. I also have access to some of his clothes that I can touch and smell and get to very easily.

The room we took down his name letters, and some of the other cowboy stuff, and replaced it with butterflies that my sister, Sarah, gave me for Christmas. They are white. so the is a random spray of butterflies all over the room. It turned out really pretty. We put Griffin's Queen sized bed in there with a butterfly quilt that Ryan's Mamaw made a long time ago. We also put a night stand, and a vanity set in there. It all looks really pretty. Griffin like to sleep in htere. We moved the twin bed into Griffin pink room/play room with all her toys. We are all happy with how it turned out. I think Jack would like it too. We love you Bubby. I want to leave you with the words to the new Steven Curtis Chapmen song. Thank you all for your continued love and support. This journey is long and ever changing. ~Amanda

"Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles.
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile.”
God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for.
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.
So right now...Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep,
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing.
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms,
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams
And God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m longing for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.
But in my mind’s eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space.
All the cancer is gone,
Every mouth is fed,
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed.
Every lonely heart finds their one true love,
And there’s no more goodbye,
And no more not enough,
And there’s no more enemy (no more).
Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone.
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You,
And we both run into Your arms.
Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream.
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive.
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl,
Heaven in the face of my little girl. "

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jack's Day

Yesterday, November 12, 2009 was one year ago since Jack passed away. I had been dreading it all week, and all year long. I decided to take a few days off of school just to be with Griffin and go to Valdosta. Yesterday morning, Ryan and I started the morning with a prayer for peace and comfort for our family. Ryan led the most beautiful prayer and just talked to God about our feelings of losing Jack, and how Jack had changed our lives. Then he prayed for Griffin and our future of whether we will have anymore kids. We prayed that they would be healthy and that Griffin would be healthy. We also prayed for all the people who's lives Jack touched. At about 10 until 7:00 (the hour Jack went to Heaven) I lit a candle in his room, grabbed one of his baby blankets, and snuggled up in the twin bed in his room. I dozed on and off praying and remembering Jack. I treasured each smile and kiss. Then I cried for the sadness and pain of loss and any suffering he may have endured. After I got up I started getting text messages and facebook messages of how other friends and family were celebrating Jack's life. People were releasing balloons with their kids they had decorated with messages to Jack. They were wearing BUTTERFLY clothes, scrubs, pins, and necklaces that day to work. They were lighting candles and praying for us all day long. I was so encouraged by those messages. I also had a friend from Perry, Florida who's little girl had her Earthly birthday yesterday. She had messaged me that they would light a cupcake candle for Jack's Heavenly Birthday. I LOVED that, I had never thought of it that way. I have to share her quote from her kids:

"We just had our little Jack cupcake celebration...and Caroline sang over and over...and over and over....and over and over "Happy Heavenly Birthday to you", until Carson (who is 4) finally put his hand to his ear and said...and I quote..."What? (pause) Caroline, Baby Jack just talked to me. He said you can't sing and to please be quiet." :)

Don't you just love kids? I love how children just fell in love with Jack too and prayed for him and celebrated his life, and his transition of life into Heaven. God bless the little children.

Griffin and I then hit the road to Valdosta. We met Dad and Sarah for lunch (Mom was out of town with her sisters, and very much missed) and then the four of us got balloons and released them at sunset at the cemetery where Jack is in Valdosta. We stood and watched as the balloons lifted into Heaven. It was a precious and beautiful site. Griffin choose a flower balloon. She wrote a message and drew a picture of Jack on her card. She tells me often. "Mom, I am growing up on Earth and Jack is growing up in heaven!" I tell her that is right. We often talk about what Jack is doing in Heaven as he grows. What sweet conversations. It started to look rainy as we were leaving the cemetery. She was real quite and then she said, "Mom, why does it rain?" I said, "Well, God is watering the plants, tree, and flowers." She thought a minute and said, "Man, God has a really big watering can!" I love her vision of God. She is my precious saving grace. She keeps me going and lightens the mood when the sadness gets too tense or too sad.

The experience of the week and day ended up very special! It was a time of reflection and sharing with all the others who loved Jack as well. I was touched by all the sweet ways that people celebrated Jack's special day. Love to all!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When You're 15

I love this Taylor Swift Song. It reminds me of being young. The first day of High School, driving my first car, and all the fun memories I made with my friends. Also my first crush, my first date, and my first kiss. That time in a girl's life is so scary and special at the same time. The song also makes me fast forward just a few short (11 years) when Griffin will be 15. I am already praying that her experiences will be positive, and that she will not face too much heartache. I pray she makes good decisions, and seeks God first. I know I can't protect her from everything, but I pray for wisdom to raise my daughter as a good christian example who loves God, her family, and her friends.
Enjoy the Lyrics!

Fifteen lyricsSongwriters: Swift, Taylor Alison;

"You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors
It's the morning of your very first day
And you say hi to your friends you ain't seen in a while
Try and stay out of everybody's wayIt's your freshman year and you're gonna be here
For the next four years in this town
Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say
"You know, I haven't seen you around before"'
Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen feeling like there's nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you're gonna beFifteen
You sit in class next to a redhead named Abigail
And soon enough you're best friends
Laughing at the other girls who think they're so cool
We'll be outta here as soon as we can
And then you're on your very first date and he's got a car
And you're feeling like flying
And you're momma's waiting up and you're thinking he's the one
And you're dancing 'round your room when the night ends
When the night ends'
Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
When you're fifteen and your first kiss
Makes your head spin 'round
But in your life you'll do things greater than
Dating the boy on the football team
But I didn't know it at fifteen
When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now
Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried'
Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall
I've found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you're supposed to be
I didn't know who I was supposed to be at fifteen
Your very first day
Take a deep breath girl
Take a deep breath as you walk through the doors."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Fun

We have been very busy and since I have joined facebook, I don't keep up with my blog as well. So here is an overview. Griff and I have been doing some "grief" work and found out we are pretty healthy and handeling things normal and good. That was a BIG relief. Only by God's grace am I even surviving this. Some days are better than other, and medicine helps too, but just a little something to help take the edge off. Working and staying busy helps. I am still so thankful I can work part time, and spend my afternoons with Griff and Robin. Today we went to PETCO and picked out a goodie bag of treats for Robin and then went to the park and played. It was a BEAUTIFUL afternoon. It was good to get fresh air and sunshine.

Last weekend we went to Atlanta to see family and friends. We visited a GIANT pumpkin patch there with Kim, Adam, and Great Grandma. Then Sunday morning we went to our old church, Grace Chapel Church of Christ, and it was great.
Mom and Dad came to visit this past weekend and we went to the corn maize with some friends from church. We also went to the pumpkin patch down the street from our house. It was a great weekend. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Tear Soup" By Pat Schwiebert and chuck DeKlyen

"Tear soup is a way for you to sort through all the different types of feelings and memories you have when you lose someone or something special."

"Because of her great loss, she knew her recipe fir tear soup would call for a big pot. With a big pot she would have plenty of room for all the memories, misgivings, all the feelings and all the tears she needed to stew in the pot over time."

"Some days when you're making tear soup it's even hard to breathe. Some days you feel like running away. You just hope a better day comes along soon. And then comes one of the hardest parts of making tear soup,"
"It's when you decided it might be okay to eat something instead of soup all the time."

"I've learned that grief, like a pot of soup, changes the longer it simmers and the more things you put into it.
And most importantly, I've learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can't survive."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Human Nature

Here are the scriptures from the sermon I talked about. My Dad talked to his preacher, Bryan, and he sent the verses and a quote to him.

"What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
Ecclesiastes 1:13b

Hebrews 13:5b
…. because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.“

1 Peter 2:9a
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people belonging to God …

Ephesians 2:10a
For we are God's workmanship …

1 Corinthians 6:17
But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Psalms 112:1
Praise the Lord.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands.

He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Psalms 112:7

This is the quote from Dr. John Mark Hicks …

“My problem–indeed, humanity’s tendency – is to allow sadness to become my reality and my identity. It has defined me at times. It has colored everything in my life, blinded me to the vibrancy of life’s colors, and distorted my joys. It was often easier to feel nothing rather than risk feeling the sadness again, and thus life becomes bland, grey and emotionless. It then becomes easy to put up a facade and live quite comfortably in my own shack
of self-pity and despair. When sadness becomes our identity, everything else becomes meaningless. In the language of Ecclesiastes, when futility and meaningless become our vision of life, life itself is a burden. When we park our heart in sadness we lose our very personhood and purpose. But this is not God’s intent for us.”

God Bless … Bryan

Thank you Dad and Mr. Bryan for sharing and encouraging!

Songs I like

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