Peace in the midst of Change…

Tender. Unexpected.  Surreal.  Complicated.  Quiet.  Beautiful.  Lonely.  Joyful.

 

These are just a few words that describe the last couple of weeks.  Often my heart is bombarded with different emotions all at one time..And as this school year comes to a close and summer is upon us I struggle to find peace in all the change!

Change Is good…Not always easy…

I imagine I’m not the only one trying to put one foot in front of the other these days.  Just the end of a school year can nearly get the best of me….not so much because of a busy schedule, but the abrupt change in events and routine.  I get used to our everyday schedule and the people we see etc.  My heart ‘adjusts’ to doing life without Warren (whatever that may look like) and then, just like that, I have to start all over again..situating my heart to face another season without him.

*Maybe for you its kids changing schools or leaving home for college, weddings, new job, marriage….. All of these things can steal our peace, if we let it.

Change is good, but change means facing new days and new “seasons”.  Missing the “old” and wishing for the way things used to be…

For me, with summer around the corner, I have to face all the what if’s, what should be, and even the memories of summers past that will never be again.

Our Last Trip to the Beach….

I was driving in the car the other day and was reminded of the summer (2014) when we all piled in the car and headed to Florida right after school was out.  I remember we met Bill for lunch at a Bar B Q place near his office.  He was having to go for business and we decided to take advantage of the trip and make it a family vacation.  We were so excited to tell them!  After we left lunch we went straight to shop for beach necessities!  We bought way too much…things we probably didn’t need!  I can close my eyes and remember the smallest details like how excited Warren and Grace were to be spontaneously getting ready for a trip to the beach!!

This memory… as wonderful as it is…causes a hurt deep within me that I can’t even explain.  Never in a million years would I have thought that beach trip would be our last together with Warren.  I miss everything about it..the sand & the sun, the yellow umbrellas, sunscreen, Warren’s blue surf board, riding Go Carts and playing put-put golf in the blazing heat!…..I love this memory and I am so glad to be at a place emotionally to ‘remember’ it, but there is a tug-o-war that happens as I allow the details to to flood my heart and mind…I’m filled with both the sweetness of the memory and the harsh reality that Warren is gone.

Summer 2014
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort…Miramar Beach
After a terrible sunburn one summer , he would always voluntarily put sunscreen on!

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

 

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There is a line from one of our favorite new songs ….

“Every seed, buried in sorrow  You will call forth in it’s time

You are Lord, Lord of the harvest  Calling our hope now to arise” 

There Is A Cloud by Elevation Worship)

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.. (I Corinthians 15:36)

What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in GLORY.  It is sown in weakness, it is raised in POWER.  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  (1 Cor. 15:42-44)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)


I must surrender every single day to how I thought things would be…how I think things should be.  I must fall to my knees… and like that seed, die! Die to self, not my will but His….AND……. in that surrender, He strengthens me to RISE UP in Glory and Power!!  

In the surrender I find His unexplainable PEACE!


“And with great anticipation we await the Promise to come

Everything that You have spoken will come to pass, let it be done

Oh, it shall be done!!!!!

Every dream, every word, every Promise.

We shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be STEADFAST, IMMOVEABLE, always ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)

 

Easter 2017

This Easter was a JOYFUL occasion!!  We got to celebrate our precious nephew Tatum’s new life in Christ through baptism.

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Mother’s Day 2017

Mother's Day 2017
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Mother's Day 2017

Blessed to hear this amazing couple’s testimony.  If you don’t know their story..GO! Check it out!!!! – Jay & Katherine Wolf   HOPE HEALS   What an encouragement they are!!

8th Grade Dance

Precious, beautiful Grace.  I love her MORE!!!  What a fun evening celebrating the end of Middle School.

This was one of those “moments” that our hearts were trying to juggle great joy and great sadness…We can’t celebrate this wonderful event without remembering that this was the first event after Warren died that his friends and classmates attended without him. It was heart breaking 2 years ago, and it was difficult this year, as Grace is now creating new memories that Warren did not….his absence was loud, and yet HIS Presence brought unexplainable peace and comfort..and even Joy!

8th Grade Dance 2017
8th Grade Dance…..

8th Grade Dance 20178th Grade Dance 2017

Think on these things…

It’s easy to get lost in the onslaught of emotions… Especially in the midst of change and uncertainty.  During these times I have to remind myself I have a choice.  I can focus my attention on the circumstances surrounding me, or I can choose to put those “eternal lenses” back on and fix my eyes on the One I trust most, the One who can bring me out of the “crazy” and into pleasant places…Quiet places where my soul can find rest. (Psalm 16:6)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)

afraid yet filled with joy…

 

 

March….

Spring Break ~ Warren’s 15th birthday ~ Move ~ Easter


 

Spring Break 2016

Florida with Bill and Grace for Spring Break.  Spring Break in Florida without Warren.

Beautiful sunsets…

Beautiful flowers…

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Beautiful water, blue skies & white sand….

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New adventures…

Beautiful and New.  Laughter and Sorrow.  Stories and Adventures.  Tears and Joy.  

This is how we do our new normal…experiencing new, while remembering the past and longing for how things used to be.  Moving forward, but desperately wishing we could go back.  Making new memories, but fondly remembering the old…

We continue to trust The One in control…but Oh, how we wish things were different.


 

Happy 15th Birthday to my first born!!! 

We celebrate you every day…so when March 23rd roles around each year, we will praise God for the days we had with you on this earth, and JOYFULLY look forward to the forever celebration to come….Love you…MORE!

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I guess we thought we would “eat” our way through the day… 🙂  So we had some of your favorites!  Grace and I also went and had our nails painted blue!  Honestly…we fumbled through the day not knowing really what to do or how to do it.  It wasn’t perfect…it won’t ever be, i guess…So we just asked God to be glorified and to surround us with a love greater than all loves…and…He did just that.  So thankful that we serve a God that loves us and considers us in our time of need.

La Madeleine for breakfast (quiche lorraine, strawberries)  🙂

Bar-b-q for dinner (ribs…)

Lemon cake…

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We moved…….

There is so much behind this picture…There is NO WAY I can put into words or even begin to describe how God used these (and others not pictured) to minister, encourage, support, and physically help us with this move.  My heart is full every time I look at these faces and remember the sacrifice of time and energy they gave to our family, on their day off, to come and serve.

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In case you didn’t notice in the above pictures…there is one person who just might have experienced the biggest blessing of all!  You see, on Sunday, 5 days before this picture was taken, he was in the hospital.  5 days before this picture, this man, My Dad, or better yet, Warren’s Granddad, was wearing a vest that was monitoring his heart.  He was weak and possibly looking at surgery to place a pacemaker that would control an abnormal heart rhythm.

5 days before this picture, I asked God to completely heal his heart.  I knew the pacemaker and the doctors caring for him could assist in his getting better…but I asked that God would heal his heart completely.  3 days before this picture, my brother called and said..”hey, the doctor said Dad’s heart has reverted back to normal.  they are removing the vest and he has no physical restrictions.”  Dad said to the doctor, “this is a miracle!” and the doctor said…”well, thats one way to look at it.”  We are so grateful to the doctors and nurses and how they have cared for our Dad.  We just believe that it is God’s sovereignty that instead of a pacemaker keeping his heart in rhythm, it’s beating just fine on its own!

So…as dad hugged each neck, and shook each hand, He was blessed in a huge way!

Jesus hears us.  He loves us…& He is the Great Physician.


Easter…

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies though his Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:11

After what seemed like a month of “hard” … we closed it out by switching our focus to the cross, the resurrection, and the Hope that ‘Sunday’s coming’!   I just believe it wasn’t  a coincidence that the first morning in our new home was Easter morning.  Easter. Pointing us to look back and to remember, and in remembering, we can confidently look ahead, knowing that deliverance IS coming! Our future is secure in Christ!  It might not be yet, but IT IS coming!  

For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face, Now I know in part, Then I shall know FULLY, even as I have been FULLY known. (1 Cor. 13:12)

Leaving the house where Warren last lived , packing up his things…putting them in tubs so fearful we were leaving him behind… was painful for my still very tender heart.  But as I take the time to look back at how graciously God provided ~ His mercies NEW every morning , I am strengthened once again to take a step of faith forward.  

‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.’  So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy…          (Matthew 28:7-8)

Today, I am thankful that He goes before me.  I am also thankful that as a mom who misses her boy, I can be ‘afraid  YET filled with Joy’…. 

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