Thursday, January 27, 2011


She is... seven... today.  Where have those years gone?  So much life lived and she's becoming someone really amazing.  Today I am filled with gratitude for my fierce independent one.  My girly, lip syncing to Taylor Swift, anything with chocolate please, just like me, artistic, smart, funny little girl.

Happy birthday Josephine, I thank God for you every day!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The last week has been filled with events that have caused me to pause.  I have spent a large portion of time in thought about so many things.  While my hands have worked my mind has questioned, it has pondered, I have felt anger, peace, and ultimately joy.

And then over the weekend Josie became the teacher and I the student.  On Saturday night I put Sarah down and went into Josie's room to pray.  She was sitting in her bed with an enormous smile on her face.  She was so excited.   She said "You know Mom, when you think about all the things that God has done, all the things He has made isn't it just amazing?  And that He sent Jesus for us because He loves us that much, AMAZING!  God is just amazing Mama... I love thinking about Him and all the things He has done."

Just like that I was schooled.  Who am I to question?  Who am I?  It is indeed amazing.  It is amazing what He has done, what He will do.  And I am overjoyed to hear those words from a little girl who has lost her sister, a child who has seen the hard edge of life.  She has gone through it and still she rejoices.  I have so much to learn from her.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Please continue praying...

Please if you can find the time today visit Abigail's site.  She continues to fight a fever and now is struggling with a nasty cough.  Like Marie, Abigail's body does not have the resources to fight a virus well.  Please pray for her, and for strength for her parents.

Thank you,


Friday, January 21, 2011

Fingerprint Friday and an urgent prayer request!

First and foremost, please pray for Princess Abigail.  Little Miss is fighting a nasty bug and having a very rough time today!  Also, please visit her CaringBridge page and leave her family some words of support.  Let them know you are praying!  They are going through so much right now and every time we have struggled your words have given us strength and helped us carry one.  Let's do the same for them!

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Here's how to join.

This week my fingerprint is the snapshots of our life.  Nothing too fancy, just the day to day of us.  I treasure the routine.  After being on a roller coaster with Marie and our days being dictated by worry and wondering when the bottom would all fall out I promised God I would never complain about boredom again. 

So, here's to the same ol', same ol'.  The dishes in the sink, the walk that needs shoveled, the laundry that needs folded and the day to day.  I am so grateful today that Princess Marie dances in Heaven and no matter how much I miss her, I am so glad I don't have to worry for her anymore.

Playing in the snow the beginning of this month...
Marie's photo in the dining room and an angel someone gave us when she went Home.  I like having the photo there.  From where I sit it's almost as if she's at the table with us.
All diva, all the time.

Driving Josie crazy...
The ice storm this week.  It was beautiful.  As though God had angels paint each branch.

Marie's flower covered in frost.  So delicate and like her, obviously crafted by the Master's hand.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Romans 8: 26-27 

For the last two days I have been trying to pray for a friend.  A wonderful woman, who is a sister in Christ but also a sister of my heart as she walks my road.  She loves a daughter like my daughter... She is so strong but life happens and her feet have been knocked from beneath her I know...  And there's nothing that anyone can do to take away the hurt and the sting that I am sure she is going through and I want to do something.  Pray. 

And I have so many words in my heart and head bursting for release and I sit to pray...  All I can say is "Lord..."  And I have so much else but don't say it.  Just that one word, saying it in desperation, saying it when you don't know what else to say.  It encompasses the why?, the please, the now, how?, the miracle...

And the Book tells me it is enough.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Ice coats everything today.  From bare branches to side streets to the steel flowers blooming in my garden.  It is cold.  The highways are slick, the roads too bad for Luke to drive the semi as he takes millet we've stored to the elevator.  There's it's sold and it rides trains east or west to big cities, to feed people, but not our grain.  Not today anyway.  Tomorrow he will haul again.

And the ice brings quiet.  And time for thought.  And time for reading.  Today I was reading the writings of Ann Voskamp.  Her words bring a peace to my soul.  She talked about praying.  She wrote the words “The only thing that prevents me from praying more is me.”

I hang my head with her, ashamed.  I want to commune with Jesus, I long to lay my head at the Lord's feet and find the stillness there.  So why don't I do it more?  It is my own fault.  Because I feel the toys need gathering, the counters wiped down, the washing machine filled and emptied again.  This morning I made time for a tea party with my littlest princess, but I did not make time for my God.

I whisper silent one sentence prayers through a day, I pray at night asking for safety, that He guard my sleeping children.  As I think of people here and there I ask God to see to them.  But rarely am I still.  Rarely do I kneed silent before Him and listen to what He has to say.  I fill the Lords day with my words, never pausing for His.

I want to be a better woman... A better daughter.  How could I keep forgetting to spend time with my Father?  I want to sit silently and learn the lessons from He who formed the world.  The one who sees Marie before Him. 

I know I am blessed by His telling me things very clearly at times.  The Lord has put His words inside my head at times in my life telling me simply what I am to do right now.  He always stops me in my tracks and I am filled with gratitude at the presence of Him.  If I would take the time to sit quietly with Him more often would I get to hear His voice more?

I wonder, and I am humbled...  And I am going to try so very, very hard to pray more.  Or just sit, being still with God.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I am done with that woman who has the cold voice.  I finished with her this morning.  After talking to the husband, and his father it became aware that I was taken yesterday.  She was calling to sell insurance.  It was not something decided but something she was pushing, making me think that I needed to do it.  And from there she invaded our accounts.  We didn't need to talk about beneficiaries, it wasn't the reason for her call.  But she took it there.

And I didn't need to tell her about our Marie, my father in law told them at the office, a long time ago.

And that made me a little mad.  So I called and talked to the man in charge.  I told him how that call made me feel...  How it upset me, and upset my husband, and upset his father.  All so she could sell some insurance.

And she isn't handling our accounts anymore.

In the words of Sarah Palin "you don't mess with a Mama Grizzly".  Or the mother of a special needs child.  My ability to tolerate being pushed around was maxed out a long time ago and I am still fierce about protecting us. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

The telling...

I woke this morning scratchy throat sore, face aching.  Sick.  I push on, I don't like slowing down.  No resting, regular day.

After lunch our phone rings...  A woman's voice, asking about life insurance.  Ahhh, the work of a farmers wife.  And I talk to her about this and that, for the farm.  For it's interests.  She is a financial adviser after all, it is her business the details of the farm somehow, her voice seems cold.

After her talk of this and that I ask her... we have money scraped together.  Saved carefully for college educations.  Dreams for the far future where I am still afraid to dream.  For my daughters, their beginning.  What to do with this money?  How do we save for Sarah, add to Josie's or open a new account?  Because we do this when they are one... and when Marie turned one things were different and we did not save for her far future, we were just loving her and taking care of her for that day.  And she asks me, how many children do you have now?

The world slows its spinning and I reach a hand for the dining room table because I need to hold on.  Three, I say, but only two here.

What about beneficiaries, of our accounts.  This is after all about farm business, not about babies.  You are saving she says, for Josie and Sarah.  What about Marie.  I have Josie and Marie listed as beneficiaries.

What about Marie indeed?  Marie who dances with the angels and sings praises in the gleaming city that is Heaven.

Marie has passed on I say, choking and gulping out the words.  Leaning my forehead against the cool glass of the window.  Wishing this wasn't happening.  The telling.  The telling that my baby, Little Mama is gone.

Well, the cold voiced woman says,  she'll need to be removed as your beneficiary seeing as she has passed away.  She does not say she is sorry.

Not away, just to Heaven!  I scream silent in my head.

How do I spell Sarah, what is her birthday?  On and on goes the cold voiced woman who's world seems to me a place of facts, figures, values.  Not my world.  Not the world of the lives we are discussing.  That world is faith, soil, sun warmed earth, wheat golden, children smiling, Marie dancing... somehow my vision of here is blurred with my hopes of Heaven.

She says a few more times this and that, what we must do.  Because of course, Marie has passed away. (She keeps saying it.  Lord please, make her stop saying it.)  Marie must be removed because she is not now.  And I stumble and mumble my way through.  And I hang up the phone and my tears fall hot, collapsed at my desk, holding my smallest baby on my lap.

Because the telling, the TELLING.  It has exhausted me.  Because I have just had to tell that my girl died.  The biggest wish of don't happen came true and I am here and Marie is not now.  And tears fall hot, choking my sore throat and I am back to the days and weeks of after Marie when I had to do the telling to the insurance, the hospitals, the plan makers.  And the hurt, the hurt of it all.

Shaking hands call Luke and I cry to him, hot tears, spilling pain.  And he whispers hushed comforts and I hold the littlest on my lap.

And I cry hot tears and rain falls wet in January...

Even though Marie is not now Jesus still is.  He was before her birth, He was with us when we were with her, He was after, He is now.  Jesus stays the same.  And white knuckled I cling to him, crying silent.  Jesus is the same...  and He will be the same tomorrow.  And for me that is enough.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Fingerprint Friday... Seven years...

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God...

To join check out Beki at The Rusted Chain!

My fingerprint this week...

Seven years ago.  So young, ready to have a baby.  Luke and I signed a marriage license in that tiny apartment in a college town.  His giving in to me, wanting to be married somehow before the baby came.  Holding hands, the future totally unknown.

I look back now at that younger girl and I want to protect her.  To hold her tight, to try to shield her from the world to come.  But I can't, and it wouldn't be for the best.  I think the best things in me were learned during my trials and that girl is young.  I like the woman she's become. 

And I like the man that he's become.  The safe place, strong arms.  Calloused hands that have held our babies; hands that gently touched a cheek, telling one baby goodbye.  Hands that have folded in prayer more times than I can count.  The wrinkles on his face tell the story of the years we've been through and the gray in his hair shows the weight's his shoulders have carried.

I cannot believe it's seven years and at the same time it sounds so little.  I've lived a lifetime by his side already...

God has blessed me with a wonderful partner to walk with.  After all we've been through I can say completely that I would choose no other.  Whatever may come, how difficult it may be, with you I can make it.  Seven years...  I love you more now, stronger now, fiercer now...  You are His fingerprint.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Fingerprint Friday... Lean...

If you would like to join in on Fingerprint Friday hosted by Beki at The Rusted Chain go here to learn how.  My fingerprint is way down at the bottom...  There's a lot of explanation in getting to it.

This week...  Hmmm.  The year is still feeling raw.  Josie is having a hard time, both in missing Marie and with friends at school.  Luke has been busy a lot helping his cousin and so I've had a good bit of quiet time on my own.  I've been feeling a little lost, a little worried for Jo, missing our Rie a lot...

I started reading the book Heaven Is For Real: A little boys astounding story of his trip to Heaven and back.  The story was written by a pastor one town over from here.  His son had a terrible bout with appendicitis, the doctors missed it and they nearly lost him.  The book is well written and it grabbed me, pulling me into the story.  Until I got to the end of chapter 4 or 5.  I can't remember which.  There the man  realizes his prayer for his son to survive, to be healed, to live, it has been answered.

The pastor ends the chapter with this: "And Jesus answered my prayer?  Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising him, questioning his wisdom and his faithfulness? 
Why would God even answer a prayer like that?  And how did I deserve his mercy?"

Right about there I put the book down and burst into tears.  Because I've been there, done that.  I have had the same prayer and God answered but not the way I hoped for.  No miraculous healing on earth for us. And I have stuggled just like that man.  I have screamed at God "why won't you let her sleep, why can't she have some peace?"  I have begged to God "please, heal her.  I know you can.  Do something old testament and powerful Father."  I have envied.  The woman who bled for twelve years and was healed by just grasping Jesus' robe?  Why was she lucky enough to be there?  If I could have touched that robe I would have asked nothing for me, but healing for my daughter.  The girl that Jesus brought back to life?  Why not my child?  I have cried "Lord, where are you?  Why are we so lost?".  I have believed, clinging to the Truth as it's been taught to me until my knuckles have all but bled.  I have put so much effort into accepting His will, but my child is gone.  She is in Heaven and I can't touch her, see her, kiss her.  And that is hard, because I can't.  And this pastor can, why him?  Why not me? 

One morning in August, in the middle of our big bed, the Lord was in my house.  He picked up my little girl and he brought her Home.  Home to Heaven.  And I KNOW He healed her.  I know she is safe, and where she is it is better than here.  I'm so happy for her.  But the ache is because she is not here.  My prayers for healing were answered, but that answer required that my little girl go to another place.  And we were left here still, left without her.  And I know it's temporary, but man.  When you are in the trenches of grief it feels like it's going to be a very, very long time.

And this man's prayer was answered.  Just as he had asked.  Mine was answered too, but not like I wanted it to be.  And I am maybe a little jealous of that.

So in tears I grabbed the phone and called my Pastor.  Because he has answers.  He listens to me, and he doesnt' judge.  And I was weak and I needed something lean on. 

I asked him if he'd read the book.  He said he had.  I asked him if he thought it was a good idea for me to read it.  He told me no, don't finish it.  He explained the story is based on that families experience and their son's life, and that boy has his own purpose.  The book is written on that singular touch with  God.  It can't be related to mine, to my daughter, to our family.  Marie's purpose was not the same. 

And I'm not going to finish the book.

Not because it isn't a good book.  I think it is, it has a good message.  I question some of it, wonder if the story hasn't been distorted a little by this world. But the story is good and hopefully it reaches someone and brings them to, or back to their faith.  But it's not for me.

My fingerprint today?  My Pastor.  Who was just a phone call away and there when I needed him.  And our church, our church family who has been so consistently there.  We are really blessed in that.  That support. 

What do people do when they go through hard things without a church to lean on?  A pastor to lean on?  That must be really difficult.  

So my fingerprint today it my Pastor.  Thank you.  And my fingerprint is a prayer, "Lord, please help all your children to find your church and help them to call it home.  Please let them find the blessings I have found there.  Please let them see the importance of gathering together and spending time in your house.  And thank you for giving that gift to me.  In Jesus name, Amen".

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year...

So it begins.  2011.  We have been struggling with it some here.  The year still feels a little raw.  It feels a little emotional.  Josie had a hard day the day after New Years.  She pointed out that Marie would have been four in 2011...  instead we enter a new year without her.  Some days there is a great deal of try in our getting through.  You try to smile, try to act like it's okay, try to find peace, try to accept God's will whatever it may be. 

Other days it's much easier. 

I have thought a lot about making this year better.  Not so lost, not so confused.  I want to try to move forward with acceptance this year.  I want to be a better wife, better mother, better friend.  I want to be a good parent to Marie still, I want to be a good steward to her memory.  I want to maybe get rid of the wight I gained last year.  It's a combination of baby weight and grief weight and maybe I would feel better if I lost it.

I want to embrace this year.  I want to give myself permission to feel joy, pain, sorrow, peace.  I often am too hard on myself and how I cope.  I want to work on being nicer to me.

I wish all of you a blessed new year.  May 2011 be a beautiful year.