I was absolutely overwhelmed in those first days.
Cars, cars, cars filled my long driveway and front yard.
People spilling out like ants scrambling after the hill is disturbed.
Oh, our hill was disturbed-knocked wide open by that deputy’s visit. Phone calls to let others know. Phone calls from people who couldn’t get in touch with him and were just checking “in case something had happened”.
It had happened.
Read the rest here: Who Steps In? Who Walks Out?
It was a long time before I wanted to believe that I received any gifts worth keeping from this life I didn’t choose.
I knew I had tears, pain, agonizing sorrow, loss, heartache, dashed hopes, empty arms.
If I could give those back and regain my son, I would do it in less than a heartbeat.
I can’t, so I’m left here to ponder what else I’ve received from burying a child.
And I am learning that I have been given some gifts I truly cherish, although the price was higher than I would have willingly paid.
Read the rest here: Grace Gifts of Grief
I have always loved candles. Something in the flickering light speaks to my heart.
It’s one of my favorite parts of early evenings-watching the candles I light on every flat surface cast a soft glow and chase the darkness.
Even a small light offers hope.
Read the rest here: Remembering the Missing: Four Candles
I’m not privy to everything God is doing in the world. And, frankly, what I see sometimes looks like He’s not doing much. I want Him to step in and make things right according to my limited knowledge.
But He’s working behind the scenes in ways I can’t imagine or comprehend.
He has a purpose and plan that will not be thwarted.
I do not for one moment believe that God Took My Child. But I absolutely, positively believe that He is using what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish good.
Read the rest here: Advent: Behind The Scenes
It is portrayed so sweetly in Christmas plays and Christmas movies:
Mary bowing her head in response to the angel Gabriel’s announcement that she has been chosen to bear the Savior.
I don’t know what went through her mind before she answered. I’m not sure she had a clue what submission to God’s will would look like as it played out across the months and years.
I only know that she was willing.
And God honored her willingness to bend her knee and her heart regardless of the unknown cost.
I’m not as noble as Mary. I didn’t answer quickly when God allowed my life to be turned upside down. I kicked and screamed and resisted as long as I could.
But who can fight Almighty God?
Read the rest here: Advent: A Willing Heart
This is the eighth Christmas without Dominic. There really are no words to describe the intersection of holiday cheer and another milestone in this journey of child loss.
I’m not sad all the time-far from it. Often I am very, very happy.
But I will never stop missing him, missing the family we used to be and missing our blissful ignorance of how quickly and utterly life can change in an instant.
And I will never outgrow the need to have others remember him as well, to encourage my heart and the hearts of my family members and to help us make it through another year, another Christmas. ❤
Here are some great ways to do it: 25 Ways to Give Holiday Hope to the Grieving
It’s tempting to line up our friends and acquaintances in columns under headings of “perfect family”, “good christian”, “struggling addict” or “hopeless case”.
When I label someone I justify my response-good or bad-and let myself off the hook for sharing the extravagant, unrestrained love God has shown to me.
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more certain I am that the neat little categories we like to use are not very helpful.
If I decide they are “doing well” then they don’t need my help.
And if I decide they are “beyond hope” then why waste my time or effort?
Either way, I’m wrong.
Christmas is the story of God come down-Emmanuel-of Love reaching down into a dark and lonely world. It was hardly tidy, it was a Messy Christmas
I totally get why some folks feel the need to pull back when a friend’s life gets hard.
They may be struggling themselves and the idea of even hanging around the edges of another disaster is utterly overwhelming.
But the truest friends bring their broken to our mutual table where we can talk, cry and work on it together.
Read the rest here: Truest Friends
Rocking babies I never dreamed that one day my life would look like this.
I never imagined that one of those tiny bodies I held close to my mama heart would not outlive me.
Now I sit in the same rocking chair in the dark, thinking about how so many things I wouldn’t have written into my story are now part of it.
And if I’m honest, it can easily overwhelm my heart. It can carry me to a place of despair and desperation where there’s no room for thanksgiving-not the holiday OR the feeling.
Here we are-the eighth year of holidays without Dominic-and I’m no better at it than I was at first.
Read the rest here: Thanksgiving As Sacrifice
It’s so easy to withdraw and hide.
It’s so easy to decide that since the world isn’t what I want it to be, I’ll just ignore the greater “out there” and create my own little corner filled with people and things that suit my preferences.
But that’s not who I’m called to be.
Read the rest here: Be The Difference