Sunday, October 30, 2011

for the hard things {giveaway}

It was a long, strange, sad and beautiful week.

My heart hurts... but I am reminded of HOPE.

I was able to spend time with my friend Lauren, who said goodbye to her sweet baby boy last week.
I remember what it felt like those first few days after Caden died.
The quiet.
The tears.
The ache.
The overwhelming saddness.
How the world kept turning, clocks kept ticking by seconds, minutes, hours... like nothing had changed.  How could that be when my whole world, my whole life, Lauren's whole life, had stopped...crashed and broken into a million pieces... how?

I remember.

And I think, this past week, when I was able to talk to Lauren... to my friend Ashley (who said goodbye to her son Jonah last week), God answered a prayer.
After Caden died I asked God to show me small glimpses of why. Why her, why me, why this...

God has so overwhelmingly comforted, encouraged and strengthened me. He has given, and given and given. He has shown mercy and grace and love beyond measure. I have been humbled and brought low... and I have seen God in a way I never knew before.

He has, in a way, prepared me.

To proclaim his goodness to those who hurt.
To comfort those in pain.
To encourage those bent low under the weight of life.
To stand as an example of God's abundant faithfulness and love.

What an awesome gift... to share about God with others in the hard things.

One of the hardest things for me when going through difficult times is remembering truth when my emotions take off. When I am is hard to remember God is good. When I am hurt, it is hard to remember God and His comfort. When I am so tired and drained, it is hard to remember God is, and provides strength.

So what remindes me of truth? ... truth itself.
God's word.
The Bible.

I was thinking of this earlier this week and how it is hard to remember...and that you almost need a hand book for hard things. Something you can use for yourself, or give away to those in need.


why not make one...

so I did.

and I want to share, because we all go through hard things... and we need reminders of what is true.

and, because I strive to make my life as cute as possible...
 I added color and birds and a massive cute factor.

It is a small, soft cover Blurb book.
and you can purchase one here.

I also want to give one away.
You can keep it... or pass it on to a friend.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite go-to scripture for hard times or what you would use the book for.
The giveaway will be open until noon on Friday (November 4th)

I cannot wait to keep these on hand to give to people who need encouragement and comfort from God's word. It is my hope that this little book can be used for God's Glory in all the hard things of life.


Tony and Lisa said...

I've lost 7 babies through miscarriage. When others suffer the loss of a baby, I yearn for something tangible to hand them that will help them know God is still in control and He still loves them. Thank you for this awesome resource! "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7

Stefanie said...

I would give this to my friend who lost her mom to cancer this past week. Her mom was only 51. I've struggled with finding the right words to say to her, so maybe this would be helpful for her.

A verse that gave me hope as I was going through a miscarriage was this:
Romans 5: 2-5

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Krista said...

my friend recently told me that her baby girl is under-developed and will be born with a portion of one of her limbs. This was extremely devastating as it is their first baby. Not knowing who to turn to, or how to tell people has been difficult for her. Me not being a mom, I have little words, other than crying with her, praying for her, and hugging her. I think this book would be so special for her!
my verse that i am constantly reminded of, especially living in the northwest where eagles soar often is, Psalm 40:31 - "But those who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not be faint." each time I see an Eagle, I am reminded of just how lucky I am to have a Father who gives us hope, strength, love, and grace!

The Comptons said...

My husband has been unfaithful to me countless times but God has given me the strenghth, love, forgiveness, and hope to move forward and to still love. I dont know why all of this has happened to me but I know God loves me and is with me all the time. My favorite scripture is "Be still and know that I AM God."

Anonymous said...

Cari, You are such a blessing to others. I pray God gives you strength to continue this personal ministry. My heart aches for Lauren and Ashley.
Sarah Kim

Ashley said...

Love your blog...and your faith is inspiring! My "go-to verse" is John 16:33...I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Michelle McCune said...

Hi Cari!

I LOVE this book idea! I often go to Psalm 138:8 for dealing with hard times. Not a very well known verse but it is my absolute favorite!

My husband is a part-time pastor and is hoping to be full time soon. I hope to encourage members of our congregation during all of the seasons and hard times of life.

Thanks for letting me enter!

Michelle (Rigel) McCune

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Oh Cari - that book is beautiful. I am definitely buying one even if I don't win one and I can think of so many people I can give one to.

Anonymous said...

Hey Car,
As you know I've had some sturggles with my faith, but have been recently reconnecting with what I know to be truth. The verses I like to go to are John 9:1-3 which says:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him..."

This verse reminds me that God allows good things to happen so He may be glorified, but He also allows bad things to happen for the exact reason. Sometimes I forget that during the bad things.

This week I thought about Caden a lot more than usual. Even though she and Michael are in Heaven, their purpose is still being carried out through their passing. These two precious little children of God have made a bigger impact for Christ than some of us will ever make.

I praise God for the example He has made in you and Andy.

Love you friend,

Our family said...

What a cool book! My cousin lost her baby a year ago, she also came thru her/their loss with amazing strength. They are expecting their second baby in March. I would share this book with them.

Liz said...

My mom referred me to your blog, and so I thought I'd share one of my favorite verses for harrowing times. I had a miscarriage 2 years ago, and have battled with infertility since.

A verse that has brought me comfort is Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

The Votaw Family said...

You are amazing. I came across our blog right as you were going thru your heartache and have been addicted to your personality since. I love when I see you have an update!
My best friend just lost her 17 month old little boy a couple weeks ago. She put him to bed healthy and happy one night, and the next morning he was gone. As you can imagine. She is going thru hell! I wish I could help her out but I don't know what to say. She called yesterday in tears with all the why God questions and I didn't know what to say... but then I turned on my computer and saw this book. I would love to win this for her. Thanks for putting such a beautiful piece together!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful book! I would share with a friend of mine. She is a single mom. She struggles with different things, especially with being single and a strained relationship with her daughter. One of my favorite verses in hard times is John 16:33. I've shared this verse with my friend.


Jess said...

The passage I have turned to most...that I have spent time pouring over and memorizing, is from my favorite book in the Bible--Lamentations. Lamentations 3:18-59 begins with such despair, but ends with such incredible hope. I am always so encouraged by the raw emotion expressed throughout the first part of chapter 3, and how that emotion is then turned to the Lord.

The Murdocks said...

Mother, wife, friend, caregiver, designer, and now author. Is there anything you don't do? :) Congrats Cari. So proud of you.

Boyka said...

Being a teacher in a country where religion was practically forbidden for decades,my favorite passage is from Thessalonians,4:11:"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that YOUR DAILY LIFE MAY WIN THE RESPECT OF OUTSIDERS and so that you will not be dependant on anybody".
I would very much like to be the one who gets your book, because, in fact, there is no way for me to buy it here, in Bulgaria...

Carissa said...

I have a friend who lost her son in a terrible car/train wreck just over a year ago. I know the grief is still so fresh and real and I would love to give this to her.