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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A constant fight…

9-7-2014
9-7-2014

Every day is a fight.  Every moment there is a choice to be made.  I do not just wake up believing that Jesus will be enough.  I do not get dressed and go about my day with hope in my heart and joy in my step…just because.  No!  Does anybody?  Maybe…but the reality is, the fight for my affections begin as soon as I am awake and continue off and on throughout the day.  The choice to put on “eternal lenses” is a constant fight.  Believing the promise that Jesus will be enough..is a daily fight…and as far as Hope and Joy, those don’t just happen either.  I am a mom who wakes every morning to the reality that the battle is real and the fight is not over.  I wake each morning with a heavy heart knowing I will walk by an empty room, see a bed that hasn’t been slept in for months and clothes that haven’t been worn.  Every morning I am reminded that death stole something from me that I will never get back this side of heaven… And then the “fight” begins!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. But Jesus…But Jesus…Yes!  Jesus has come that I might have life and have it abundantly!!  Jesus has been enough!  He is enough!  He will be enough again…today!  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…. The struggle within..”Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  Why?… But, I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again-my Savior and my God.”(Psalm 42:5,6)

Please Jesus, help me to remember that what I suffer now is nothing compared to the glory you will reveal to us later.(Rom. 8:18)  You tell me in Your Word that my present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Oh, yes, they are real..yet they are producing for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.(2 Cor. 4:17)  I Believe!  Jesus, help me with my unbelief!

Today I will believe with confidence, that because of His grace, I have been declared righteous and will inherit eternal life.(Titus 3:7)  I will look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ will be revealed!(Titus 2:13)

This kind of “preaching to myself” usually happens before I even get out of bed, and then again and again and again all day long!!  And I can say with absolute confidence,  when I call upon the name of the Lord, He listens and He hears me.  He holds me and He walks me through the suffering, the pain, the tears and the heartache of missing Warren.  It’s not always pretty, and the ache often threatens to take me down…but even down at the very bottom of my grief my Hope in Jesus is SURE and STEADY!

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9-13-2014 Kyle Field

Nearing the ‘one year mark’ of Warren’s death I find myself looking at pictures and thinking…”this time last year”.  It’s crazy to think that as November 24th,2015 comes and goes, we enter into a different phase of our journey.  There will no longer be memories of ‘this time last year’ that include Warren on this earth.  Crazy, just crazy!

Labor Day 2014…

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However, I was also reminded this week that our future will be far greater than our past!  I am part of something Jesus is doing, and He will prevail!!  The possibilities are endless when Jesus is in the story.  The world would say I have lost, but Jesus, eternity, says the best is yet to come!!

Nothing here on earth will be our ultimate consolation.  Our ultimate consolation is eternal!  As long as I keep my eyes fixed on this promise, I believe that I (we)can become less and less devastated because… at the end of the day something better is coming!  Praise God!  He is coming back!

Missing you so much…We all are!  Love you, MORE

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9-20-2014

Below are links to 2 messages I listened to this past week that were a huge encouragement to me:

Alamo Ranch Community Church-Michael McCracken

Passion City Church-Louie Giglio

I just miss him…

First day of 6th grade ~ 2012
First day of 6th grade ~ 2012

I miss him.  I really, really miss him.   I want Warren…here…at home…with me!!  I want to hear his voice and put my hand on his arm.  I want to sit with him.  I want to look at his face and into his eyes.  I want to say to him “I love you” and hear him say ” I love you too, Mom”.  I want to call out his name and have him answer.  Instead of figuring out how to “handle” our first day of school without him, I want desperately to discuss the first day of school WITH him!   I just miss him.  I really, really miss him.

My pain is great and my sorrow seems consuming.  When relief does come, it seems brief .  My tears are frequent and harder to hold back.  The strength I do have is reserved for Grace and Bill.  I love them both so dearly…and it hurts to know they are struggling as well, to carry their own pain while trying their best to keep moving forward.  We are all doing it differently…but we are all  hurting deeply.

I hesitate to share these thoughts that are typically only for my personal journal…and honestly, even as I type I have no idea if I will actually hit ‘publish’.  I keep typing and deleting, trying to make this …not so sad.  I feel like I should have already put a scripture in here to assure you that   “Jesus is STILL enough”   …HE IS and I WILL….but first I need to be real and share with you how much Warren is missed and how much we still need you to pray for our family.

First day of school ~ 2012
First day of school ~ 2013

As summer comes to a close and a new school year begins we are faced with a pretty big “first” without Warren.  Even the week, leading up to the first day of school, has been emotionally hard.  So many memories of ‘this time last year’, as well as all the things my 9th grader is missing out on.  Yes, I know he doesn’t see it that way…but as his mother, who is still waiting for The Day to see everything with perfect clarity, and to know everything completely(1 Cor. 13:12), my heart aches to have him here…with me.

first day of school ~ 2014
first day of school ~ 2014

So….. we miss him, and we are hurting, but life continues on around us…Bill is crazy busy with work..traveling and preparing for trial.  He continues to add to his already full plate, because he’s always been a hard worker and that’s what he does! (very well, I might add)  Grace is getting ready for her first day of 7th grade.  She starts Monday.  We said we would practice this week by going to bed early and getting up early…but that hasn’t really happened.  🙂  I mean…seriously, why would we do that?  Since God is allowing me this season to ‘stay at home’…(whatever that means) I am trying to be intentional with my time and alert to how God wants to use me in and out of the home.

 living while grieving…or grieving while living ~ we are doing it, one day at a time, ONLY because His grace continues to meet us in the middle of our pain and suffering.

A friend reminded me of these verses in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.  But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 

I believe that God has used and continues to use your prayers to strengthen and heal our family.  God is sovereign and His plan is being accomplished in and through our lives, AND He is using you as you remember us in prayer.  Thank you!  We need Him..desperately, and He desires that we intercede for each other.

Satan wants to steal our future and make us feel hopeless…He does not care that we are grieving..In fact, I think he sees an opportunity to attack and would love nothing more than for us to believe the lie… that it is not possible to ever be happy again.  We would so appreciate it if you would continue to pray for us.  

I love  in scripture where it describes the saints, that have gone before us, as cheering us on…I’d like to think that Warren is shouting…”Come on Mom!  You’ve got this Dad!  Way to go Grace!  Fix your eyes on Jesus!  He is coming soon!!”   

I am challenged to persevere through my suffering so that others may be encouraged.  When people look at me may they ONLY see Christ.  Thank you Jesus, that I am forgiven.  Thank you that by Your wounds I am healed. Thank you that you are for me and not against me.  Thank you that you are the lifter of  my head.  Thank you Jesus that you understand our suffering.  Thank you that you have already equipped us for the journey.  Thank you for your unfailing love and comfort.

September 2014
September 2014

It’s been almost 9 months since Warren went to Heaven.  We miss this boy so much…It’s exhausting some days, a lot of days!  I wouldn’t describe the journey as getting easier, in fact in some ways it seems harder as the ‘fog’ is being lifted and we face more and more of the harsh reality.  

But… as we move further along in this journey, we are able to look back and remember and see God’s faithfulness.  His goodness.  What He has done for us these last 9 months, He will continue to do.  Thank you again for praying and continuing to reach out and encourage us.  We love you and are grateful for you.

Help us, Lord, not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal. 6:9)

You, O God, will never leave us.  Never will you forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)  You are the only absolute guarantee we have in all of life.  Help us cling to the one thing we can never lose.

You, Lord, are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)  You are surely so close to us, Lord.  Help us to sense your presence in our life.  We need you more than we need our next breath.

(from Praying God’s Word ~ Beth Moore)