Tuesday, January 24, 2012

upon Caden's birthday

Every year, when today, January 24th, arrives, I post Caden's video.

and each year, it makes me a little more sad, a little more upset... maybe, upon sinful occasion... a little angry.

Not because of the video itself... but because it is, and always will be the same...

the same video... with the same pictures... feeding off the same memories... summing up the same number of days.

I get upset at the finality of what already is. I get upset by the never being able to add, or make new.

but it never really lasts long, the ache of things unaccomplished.

because I quietly remember Who can add... and I rest Joyfully in the One who promises to make new.

Today,Caden Joelle, my first born, a precious baby girl, would have been 4.

And today, on her birthday, I choose not to be sad and weep because she is gone. Today, I choose to celebrate the anniversary of the day I first became a Mommy. The day I grasped the truth... that I knew nothing of love...but her little life would begin to teach me.

Her life... and her death still teach me.

and although she is absent... she is not gone.

and although I cannot add or make new, God can

and that which He has promised to do... will be accomplished.

Happy Birthday, Caden.
My precious baby girl.

Monday, January 23, 2012

thoughts on Heaven, loss and grief...

Tomorrow my precious baby girl would have been 4.

I cannot wrap my mind around that... 4.

I am not one to sit and day dream about the what-if's and the could-have-been's...
I find it makes me overwhelmingly sad... and in the end, it serves no good purpose.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

She is right where God wants her.

And if I truly believe that... then conversely, I am right where God wants me.
Whether or not it is comfortable, or desirable...

I am right where he wants me.

and most days, I am completely satisfied with that.
It is on the days I question... or I miss her so much I ache, that I become discontent and long for my will, not His. Which, in turn leads down a path of sin-related thoughts and actions,
resulting in... to understate it... a bad day.

It is always amazing to me to look back and be able to see how God has grown me. I know that each day I am following Him, choosing His will and His desires over my own, that He is working and developing me into something better then I could do on my own. But even knowing this... it is awesome to see.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my Mamaw passed away. It has been heartbreaking to be a spectator of my Papaw's grief.  A few minutes after Mamaw passed, He was sitting in a room all by himself. As I came in, he was just staring off into nothingness... with a look on his face I will never forget... it is the look of a broken heart. I bent down in front of him and told him I wish I could make it better... and that I loved him. He placed his big, warm hand on my face and smiled, as much as he could, and said "you know how it feels..."

and I do

a broken heart hurts

goodbyes are painful

As I was driving home from the hospital, thinking of my lonely, broken Papaw... and that look on his face,
I wondered....
If it hurts this much to lose someone(one someone) we love so dearly....

How much did God's heart break for all of us?
Did he feel this pain magnified by millions?

and then I became overwhelmingly thankful... that this goodbye was not really goodbye.
and to be quite truthful, this was the very first time I felt that way... really felt like it was temporary... not just spouting the right words to myself... but really knew that this "goodbye" was truly "see you soon."

it was then I realized that God has forever made known to me the truth of the Hope of Heaven...

I was speaking with my Papaw earlier that morning. He was telling me of an interview done with a Vietnam soldier. The reporter asked the soldier if he could have anything what would he ask for, and the soldier replied... tomorrow.
As I though about, I turned to Papaw and I said, you know, that is probably true for most people... if the people they love are here. However, I think the more people we know who are in Heaven... tomorrow may not be our greatest desire... it is probably Heaven.

Luke 12:34
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

As I miss my baby girl, and now as my Papaw longs for his wife of 61 years... I know we are both anxiously awaiting the coming of Christ, now, more then ever before.

Lord, come quickly...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Super Birthday Bash!

I decided to go with super hero...

because he is big and strong...

and capes are fun...

but mostly the big and strong bit...

I made the invites... and then ended up emailing them because I am so disorganized/ behind/ life got crazy...

still... super cute!
As was the birthday boy... Super Ryder was Super Cute...

Not only were the invites and the birthday boy super cute...

but the cake wasn't half bad either...

My friend Cristi makes cakes...and she makes some darn good ones...

She let me help make a mess in her kitchen for this one. She taught me how to make fondant and how to color it...and how to build awesome arm muscles while kneading it...

I might have decorated it with her...but she did all the baking... and it was SUPER tasty!!

And with all this sugar laying about, it was SUPER hard for some of us to keep our fingers to ourselves... and out of the icing... and M&M's... and brownies... and cookies...

poor kid.

as well as an abundance of sugar and calories, we had....

SUPER cute Super hero capes...

The boys were a little unsure what to do at first,

but Ryder took up the Super hero gig happily...

Rigg graciously let his cape be passed around and shared with all the other guests... Maybe it is a role that some are born for (Ryder) and some grow into (Rigg)

Even though Ryder started out happy and delighted with the chaos that is a 1 year olds birthday party...
he quickly became clingy and wanted to be held...

and maybe, taking his hero gig a bit too seriously, he might have thought the cupcake was kryptonite...

After some very over the top faces... we removed the dangerous kryptonite cupcake.
 (which he did pause to nibble from in the midst of his small fit)

at the end of the night, he was back to his pleasant and happy self...

and maybe back to fighting crime...

you never know whith those Super Heros...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Super Ryder turns 1

Today my  little baby boy turns 1.



I know! I can't believe it either. But, shockingly, it is the truth.

Has this year zoomed passed faster than the speed of light for anyone else?

At one year, Ryder is all boy.  He walks, jabbers, giggles and snuggles to his mother's delight.

And when he screams, throws fits, whines incessantly, and won't nap... he is still a blessing.
Which is the mantra I repeat over and over to myself at such times.

He is a blessing
He is a blessing
He is a blessing

And he is. Such a huge, huge, super blessing. My life is forever changed and brightened because of him and his sweet, mischievous little self.

As I was choosing pictures from the past year for this post, I couldn't decide where to leave off... which ones to leave out...
I mean, he is so cute... so smiley... surely everyone will want to see all of these...

AHEM... right?

Well, my blog...my choice.

So in honor of Super Ryder's 1st Birthday, I give you, a super long photo montage of his1st year of life.

I hope you have enjoyed him this past year, even just a smidgen as much as me.

and tonight... we celebrate!

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Today I turn 30.

I love my birthday. I look forward to it every year, and this yearwas no different. The Captain was giving me the day off. No kids... sweet. I planned my morning and early afternoon to include shopping, friends and good food.

And then, right before I left the house I see my phone...

1 missed call from my mom, and 2 from my dad.

My Mamaw, my mom's mom, was taken to the hospital... and it didn't look good.

So instead of my original plans I went to the hospital to be with her... with my family.

My Mamaw, Lola, went to be with Jesus just before noon.  I was able to sit next to her, squeeze her hand and tell her how much I love her. I also asked her to snuggle my sweet Caden and brush Caden's hair for me...

My Mamaw was an awesome woman. She was a wizz in the kitchen, loved the color red... for everything... loved Jesus, wore 4 inch heels and couldn't get enough of  "the babies" as she called her great-grand kids.  She cared so much for other people and took care of everyone she could lay her hands on.

I have cried all morning.  But I know I will see her again.  It is not goodbye... it is just see you soon.
I hope it is really soon.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

Monday, January 2, 2012

the stone

Tragedy always begs "why?" from someone or somewhere.

Hard always leaves a trail of confusion, however small, in its wake.

And most of the time an answer, one that would satisfy, pacify or comfort, seems elusive.

I remember talking with a friend after her precious son went to be with Jesus. She was broken. I prayed the whole way over to her house that God would give me words to comfort, that He would bring truth to the forefront of my mind to share. I prayed that He would keep me from saying anything stupid.  I think about that day, that conversation a lot. God answered my prayer, for her... for me, that day. And I thought of Caden's death... of loss, tragedy, hurt and hard,  in a new light.

All because she asked a very hard...a very unanswerable question.

Why do some people get the miracle... and why wasn't it me?

And I don't know.

But I answered with this.

God knows. He is always working... and He is always doing good. His desire is for all to know Him, and for our lives to bring Him glory.
And, maybe it depends on how you see, or what you see as a miracle.

And then I tried to portray a word picture of my thoughts to her.

Picture life, all of life, as a great pond.
And each person is a drop of water.
I think sometimes God drops stones into the pond in the spot, the exact spot, where he knows the ripples will make the most impact.
Perhaps you are the spot where the stone hit... and your life, your actions, your ministry, has been turned into ripples for others to see... for others to feel... for God to use...
Sometimes the stone is a "miracle" of life instead of death, of health instead of sickness... of prosperity instead of poverty...
And sometimes the stone God tosses is one of hurt, and trial and hard...

But each has its purpose.
and I bet there are some awesome miracle ripples that started from a stone of tradgedy.

I do know that suffering, for a believer, is never wasted. God uses the hurt, the heavy and the hard to refine, purify and build endurance.
And the brilliant shine in the aftermath is a finger print of God for all to see.

James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

2 Timothy 1:12
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.