“Safely Home”

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August 31, 2014

I woke up this morning…rolled over to see what time it was and the clock read 3:23   I’m struggling to sleep through the night, waking up early etc….so my first reaction was a weak sigh wondering how I would make it through another day with such little sleep.  It took my brain a few seconds for it to register, but 3:23 is Warren’s birthday!  I’m not going to make a big deal out of this “coincidence” (if you want to call it that)…but for a single moment I stared at the clock, and then whispered to my precious boy..”mom sure loves you!”  The time on the clock changed, I laid still, somehow wishing I could reach out and turn it back.  Oh, to turn back time.

I know it might seem crazy to some, but those few seconds in the dark this morning felt like a sweet kiss from Jesus…and a nearness to Warren that I so desperately needed.  I’ll give up sleep any day, to be in the holy presence of Jesus…I can’t think of a better way to spend my waking moments.  So, I’m grateful to my Heavenly Father for the gentle reminder this morning that He is near, He is holding me, and that He will never leave.

Yesterday was a big day for me…A HUGE answer to prayer…that brought both thankful tears and tears of great sadness.  Two weeks ago I received an email from the general manager of the cemetery where Warren is buried.  She was letting me know that the marker we had ordered from a company in Tennessee had arrived.

As I read her email tears streamed down my face as I knew that God had come through yet again!  Not only was she informing me that the marker would be placed immediately, but she also apologized for the “lack of followthrough” given to us as we were trying to get this ordered.  She took full responsibility and was extremely sorry for how things had been handled..We had dealt with 3 or 4 people during that period of time several months ago, but I had not ever reached out to the manager.  Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t.  So, when I realized that the delivery of the marker ended up on her desk (who knows why), and that there would be no problem getting it placed at the gravesite, I immediately knew that God had answered my desperate request that this would all be handled and settled before Nov. 24th.

The kindness of this woman has so blessed me.  Since sending my last email (several wks. ago) and never hearing back from anyone, I had struggled with feelings of frustration and anger when I thought about this whole situation.  I had no idea how God would work this out…Would I always feel bitter when visiting the cemetery?  It’s amazing how the caring words of this one woman have been a refreshment to my heart and soul.  I no longer have these ugly feelings of anger… AND the marker is placed..WAY before the 24th!!!  So thankful that God is always in the details!!  Weeks ago, the word God gave me was that He would take care of this…but He was going to do it His way, in His timing, so that when it was accomplished there would be no doubt it was God and not me.  

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I hate it and I love it.  I hate it because it is a reminder that my life has changed and will never be the same.  I hate it because it reminds me of how desperately I miss Warren!

I love it because it perfectly reflects our boy..where he is-Safely Home, & Who he was-adored, extraordinary, and passionate.

I miss you Warren Austin Barfield.  Nothing about this makes any sense.  I can’t wrap my mind around it.  I don’t want to wrap my mind around it.  I wish you could come back…

As the 24th nears I feel VERY sad…but I also feel VERY held.  This is something else that doesn’t really make sense.  Since Sunday (11-1) there has been an incredible peace that has covered us in a way that I just can’t explain.  What’s complicated about this peace, is that it’s not what you might imagine.  Yesterday was awful hard..awful!  I cried and cried every time I thought about Warren and the marker that had been placed where his body is buried.  I could barely pull it together to get Grace to the dentist and then to school for a theater arts performance and then to cheer after that!  I was a mess..exhausted  AND YET….unexplainable peace that met me right at the bottom of my sorrow -filled pit!  God’s grace is always enough and no matter how low or how dark things may get…He meets me there and tenderly holds me!  He is absolutely the lifter of my weary head and the One who offers hope when all around me seems hopeless!

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June 22, 2014

We have begun a new series at church…The Unstoppable Gospel.  The month of November is dedicated to sharing the Hope of the gospel.  I cannot help but think that God is using this timely sermon series to help us keep an eternal perspective.  The CrossJesus…our Hope.  This is the Good News that we want you to know and really understand…that no matter where you are or what your going through, Jesus loves you.  HE is a Good, Good Father..Always.  He is calling you into relationship with Him.  This isn’t “religion”..The grace that meets me in my darkest hour has nothing to do with “religion”.  He wants to pour out His love on us, He wants to rescue you from whatever seems unbearable.  The Gospel changes EVERYTHING!!  He has made a way so that we can come, just as we are, broken and unworthy.

He was despised and rejected by men;  A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;  and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised and we esteemed him not.

Yet has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;  he was crushed for our iniquities;  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5

This is the Gospel…without the Gospel we don’t have Hope!   I am here to tell you, that not by my own strength could I have faced the last 11 months without Warren, much less the next 40 years, if I didn’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is NOT my home…I’m only passing through!!   ‘Eternal Lenses’….It’s real and it changes everything!!!

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November 2,2014

I’ve never known hard, like we are experiencing on this journey.  Every day we miss something different about Warren.  There is always something that reminds us of our brother… our son.  Sometimes the memory makes us laugh,  sometimes it makes us cry, or sometimes both!  I pray that these memories always stay fresh..that we will never forget the very things we miss so desperately!

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September 1, 2014
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September 2, 2013

One of my favorite pictures….This boy would work and play hard from the moment his boots hit the ground at ‘Uncle Bob’s’ Ranch!!  He didn’t want to waste a moment-So he would crash before we made it off the dirt road!!  ~Love him so…

September 2013
September 2013

the “24th”…

IMG_0196For the last 10 months the “24th” has not been especially significant one way or the other.  Sometimes it even sneaks up on us…We usually speak of it only to remind ourselves that it’s ‘that’ day, and people might mention it, so just be aware that today’s the day that Warren died ‘x’ months ago. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the gestures of you remembering.  In fact, for me, I’m glad you remember and I’m glad when you acknowledge it.  Equally so, if you don’t acknowledge it, we are good with that too.  So many of you are an encouragement on “other” days and   I think it goes back to how God uses certain people at just the right time, and for that I (we) are beyond grateful.

However, today, is different and I’m not sure why.  I’m guessing it’s because it means that we are that much closer to the ‘1 year’.  Or, maybe it’s because of special memories like this time last year when the kids were getting out for early dismissal….

I remember pulling in the driveway from work and Warren meeting me out at the car to help me… actually, I don’t think I had asked him for help with anything, he just met me at the car as I pulled up.  He didn’t have plans for the early release day, so he had been home alone (because, I am certain Grace did 🙂 ), and was glad to have some company! (even if it was mom!!)  I immediately could tell something was “off”.  He just didn’t seem himself.  Not sad, just bummed…. I remember him (finally) sharing with me about a text conversation that disclosed some news that maybe a girl didn’t like him the way he’d thought (or hoped).  Of course my heart broke for him, and even the memory of this conversation makes me sad.  I do remember that this ended up being no big deal and even if Warren never had that “special” someone, he was a good friend to lot’s of girls and apparently was even asked by some of his friends, on occasion, to be the “go between”…which I always told him was the perfect place to be !

I wish he were waiting on me today…I don’t know what else we did that afternoon, but I know today I would drop everything and just be with him!

I’m not exactly sure why today seems harder than the last 24th…but it does, or at least I feel more teary.  It has me flipping through pictures and remembering how handsome he was, how funny he was, and how loving he was.  I think some of my favorite pictures are the candid shots of him, better known today as “selfies”.  They show a side of him that make me smile and remember fondly his stage of life…as a 13 year old boy!

9-18-2013
9-18-2013
summer 2013
summer 2013
summer 2013
summer 2013
October 2013
October 2013

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summer 2014
summer 2014
fall 2014
fall 2014
2014
2014

The “24th”…just another day to remember our precious, silly, good hair, freckled, music loving, hunter, baseball cap wearing, t-shirt lover, sensitive, strong, confident, Jesus follower …Warren

I must include a couple other “selfies” of the other people that make my heart glad!!

fall 2015
fall 2015-that’s my Grace
fall 2015
fall 2015~at least we try :/

Declaring this today…

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God’s children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome