Carrying Her Heart

I am dedicating this site to my beloved daughter Rachel whose earthly life ended on Sept. 17,2009.This is just a glimpse of the path I walk through this journey of grief.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving delivered

On Saturday November 10, my husbands father has a massive heart attack at his home. Several family members performed cpr . My husband and Kennedy were in the woods going to make a hunt. I was at Moody Gardens with KK and one of her sweet friends from church. Kenny got the call to go to the house and when they got there Kennedy stayed in the truck. An ambulance came but, God had already taken Paw Paw home. He was only 66 , but he had endured so much pain(more than most could bear) in his lifetime. When I got the call my heart broke for my husband, and it shattered for my child. Her first words to me when I saw her were " I was so scared". I don't remember her ever telling me that before. In her words the ambulance came and they didn't do anything. This is not the first time that this has happened to someone she loved. In the movies , the paramedics come and save the person. Or the firemen save them. But not for Kennedy. They didn't save Rachel, and they didn't save her Paw Paw. So that is where I have been. Staying very focused on my girls and trying to stay afloat in this deep river of grief. (As if it weren't hard enough already). Funeral plans , Kennedy's birthday..Thanksgiving. It all came so fast. And God took care of each and every part of it. And then on Wednesday afternoon, the young lady who wrote an article about "Real Acts of Compassion" that I started on Facebook, came by my home with a copy of the paper for me to see. My beautiful daughter was on the front page. My story was in other peoples hands..again..Talk about being grateful. There were no words big enough for me to say. I tearfully told her thank you. Gods timing is always perfect. Today everyone is back at school and the quiet in my house today has been very welcomed and very soothing. I am ready to just sit in the quiet and listen for God. Be still and know that I am God. "The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate Word from God."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Real Acts of Campassion

I'm still here. I've been hesitant to post what I have been struggling with but I have been brutally honest about everything else so here goes. I've been wearing a heart monitor for the past 3 weeks. I've had a few "episodes " now I'm back on my beta blocker and they are running test on everything they can to rule out whatever they can. Soooooo.. I've been a little consumed with my own well being. I have also been trying to come up with some way to remember Rachel's birthday other than putting an ad in our local paper. I finally came up with something that I think she would love..... Real Acts of Compassion In 19 short years my daughter Rachel Ann Clark ,was able to make a difference in many lives. Please join us as we remember the day of her birth November 1, by doing Real Acts of Compassion Plan to go visit that person you have had on your heart. Buy someones food behind you in the drive thru . Go ask that person for forgiveness..or forgive that person. Pay for someones gas, or groceries. Hold a door, give a hug, whatever you can do . Rachels life made a difference . Let's make what would have been her 22nd birthday make a difference too. Whatever you can do ..Do it ! Follow us on Facebook and share how you made a difference. R.I.P. R.A.C. Rachel Clark Class of 2008 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. November 1, 2012 follow the link to join us or you can comment here on the blog. Thank you for staying here with me and for helping me continue to carry her heart.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

lilies and love

God is so good . This day ... this 17th day of September...I can say Thank you Lord.
You see, He didn't make me wait , or wonder what was going to happen..
Yesterday I had the privilege of leading Rachel's little sister Kaitlin in the sinners prayer.
We had went to Kroger's to buy some of mine and Rachels favorite flowers, calla lilies and stargazer lilies, and right as I was looking through them to find the ones with the most blooms, that precious child looks at me and says " I want to say that prayer and ask Jesus to save me". I said "well, let's go check out". Once we were in the car I talked to KK about her request. I wanted it to be very special for her. I asked her if she wanted to go talk to our preacher , or our children's minister( who has a little girl almost the same age )..As a person who has served in the children's ministry for several years, I have had the opportunity to share Christ with many children. This time..this timing ...seemed overwhelming.
But my child ,who has always done everything on her time, said very boldly " I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT NOW". I talked with her about Jesus 's death , ...and sin..our sin. She has been with me in classes at church so I knew she had heard the message many times... I just wanted to be sure she understood and that she believed. - So KK, Kennedy, and myself held hands in a circle around the lilies and I led her through the prayer. It was so precious. What a gift not just to know that your child is saved, but to have the privilege of sharing the plan of salvation with them . I talk a lot about God on this blog..not religion...God. I can't imagine having to walk this journey without knowing what I know. ...without having all the promises that I find in Gods word to cling too..Maybe you come here out of curiosity. Maybe you read my blog to try to understand..Maybe you need hope. Maybe you need forgiveness. Don't wait another minute.

Dear Father God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I am a sinner, and I am very sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. I need your help and forgiveness God.
I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for my sins.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me everlasting life.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

I heard this song the other day and remembered aggravating Rachel every time it came on. I would sing off key and make fun of how the guy sang it. When it started playing, I remembered her saying.." Mom! stop ! I just wish you would listen to it.Just listen to it".....

Holding on

I went to town yesterday with the hope of finding something special to put out at Rachels garden. I went to several big name chain stores and found nothing. The flowers were the same..nothing in any of the stores stood out, or moved me. It was just stuff. I finally made a purchase. 7 green calla lilies and 3 white hydrangeas. Done .
I already had some beautiful white roses that my sister had given me so the flower part was taken care of. I just needed something else. As I was getting the flowers ready , I pulled a green butterfly out of another arrangement and then turned and found exactly what I needed.

This beautiful angel hugging a heart. It is from the tree that we keep up year round in the pretty room. We put all our "special" ornaments on it. As soon as I saw it I heard myself was right here the whole time.
I went that afternoon to the cemetary. I thought some friends might go on Sunday since the 17th falls on a Monday. I just wanted(needed) to have everything ready .
I dont have any plans for the day. I dont usually do anything special on that day. I prefer to celebrate her life.
I want that day to be whatever God has planned for it to be. He took control of that day 3 years ago. And I mean that with the utmost reverence.

If you've knelt beside the rubble of an aching, broken heart
When the things you gave your life to fell apart
You're not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief, or pain
But the Master promised sunshine after rain

Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning
Weeping only lasts for the night
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today is finally here. The first game of volleyball!!!!!! Kennedy has been waiting since the last game of 7th grade. She has also worried about what number she will be. Last year they didn't get to pick their numbers, so she had number 16. This year it is their choice. She wanted the number 17. She does not let that number paralyze her, it drives her. I could tell it was really stressing her out, so I suggested she go talk to the coach and ask her if there was anyway she could be 17. Her coach knows why. I had the conversation with her last year when I had to see if Kennedy could wear a stamp on her arm in memory of Rach. I was so proud of Kennedy . I told her that either way it would be OK. I don't want her to think that things will always go her way. Sometimes you just have to follow the rules and figure out another way. Her coach was so awesome. She told her absolutely she could be 17. She told her she would've done it last year if she would have asked.( I don't think I was ready tho) .
So 17 is the number. And she has not one but 3 Belle stamps on. If you are new to the blog .,.Belle was from Rachel's favorite movie ,Beauty and the Beast.
I hope this season is everything my daughter needs it to be. She has so much family and friends that come to cheer her on. I hope that she always knows how very loved she is. And how much she inspires me.. daily.

In my daughter's eyes, I am a hero,
I am strong and wise,
And I know no fear,
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me,
I see who I want to be,
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes, Everyone is equal,
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace,
This miracle God gave to me,
Gives me strength when I am weak,
I find reason to believe,
In my daughter's eyes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In September

I have been thinking constantly about my dream. Not trying to analyze or interpret it, just wanting to remember every part of it. The feeling I had was what was so powerful. When I was looking at Rachel it was like I was in the presence of someone very accomplished. ...but not like a was just an amazing feeling. I wasn't sad..I didn't see her as my little girl ..its hard to explain.
Right after I posted about the dream, I did a search about songs that talk about September. This was the same day, just minutes after I hit "publish". The very first song I click ..I read this

I called to tell you that I miss you
And I want to be there with you
I guess there are some things I can't control
So, don't wait up for me I'll see you when you sleep
It's so hard to have to leave
When I was so close to coming home

If you dream Then dream of me
It may break your heart You'll be alright
Cos, I'll be waiting for you And I will see you soon...
So don't forget me come tomorrow
At least I'm not one of those Who never got the chance to say goodbye
It's so hard to end like this With only words to say the things
That I could never say In a thousand lifetimes...

If you dream Then dream of me
It may break your heart You'll be alright Cos,
I'll be waiting for you And I will see you soon...

I've been trying to find the song online...and I can't find it anywhere. The band that sings it has a Facebook page but no other info.

The name of the song is
In September.

Daniel 2:28 ESV

But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries......

This week is going by so fast . I will blink and it will be Monday. And my God in heaven will be there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A different kind of September

So much has happened since I last posted. God has been so good to me. There have been two more precious lives that have been taken, and I have been wrestling with my own grief and wanting this September to be will be.
I have been awake since 3:37 . I know because I looked at my clock as soon as I woke up.
I guess I should say bolted up.
I had a Rachel dream. I have only had a few . This one was so precious. It was only a piece of a dream so it will be hard for me to explain it all to you.
I was at my parents house with the girls. We were upstairs talking to them . I say them because I really can't remember which one it was. It felt like it was both of them , but I could only see one child. It was at night and it was kinda dark in the house. I could hear my mom talking. I don't remember all of it but she kept saying "Rachel" in her sentences. Rachel loves you...Rach is always with us.. I remember walking down the stairs and stopping and thinking " I'm gonna see if she shows up"...weird huh.?
Well guess who came walking out of nowhere!!!!! Not from a door or was just a really dark area and she was there. She had on her usual...T-shirt and some jeans. Her hair was pulled up ...and not a spec of makeup. GORGEOUS!!!! She sat down beside her sister (no one else saw her) and put her arm around her. I was talking to myself ...I was hearing my thoughts. I was so excited ..I crouched down on the stairs to watch. .I was saying I'm gonna keep staring at her and see if she sees me . You know how you stare at someone when you want their attention ???? (The whole time I am noticing every detail about her.) She looked over at me and smiled ....She sees me!!!!!!!!! Wow her teeth her white!!!! They are perfect and so white,. She waves at me with Both of her arms. I felt it necessary in my dream to note that. Then she put then both on her chest like they do in the movies for a dramatic effect and looked at me like Oh I love you so much .. and then with both hands she blew me a kiss. And mouthed I love you to me. I kept saying I see you ...I see you. It was magnificent. So beautiful.
I woke up immediately and was in panic mode. I felt like something was wrong ..I immediately started praying for our two sons who are both living out of town now...because I didn't know what was the matter. Then I remembered the dream. That's why I was so excited . It wasn't panic. And I just laid there going over it again and again . Afraid to go back to sleep in case I forgot any part of it.
She waved with both her arms .
And then I remembered my song that my sweet friend sang for me at Rachel funeral....
(Yes I know I posted this song last year on Sept will always be with me)
This September will be different...and I pray that I am too.
**** I just remembered ******
The last thing we were doing before I put the girls to bed was trying to find a shirt for KK to wear with our school team on it. Hers from last year was way to small. All of Kennedy's were huge. I went and pulled out Rachel's "pirate" T-shirt that Kennedy wore last year. Kks face beamed when she saw it. She knew ..she said ... yes !! I ll wear it tomorrow !!! We all just stood there not saying what we all were feeling, ...just smiling and nodding in agreement.. getting to wear the shirt...Huge step. And doing it with a smile. So of course Rach was on my mind when I drifted off to sleep.

I wonder if this was the T-shirt she had on in my dream??????

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 cor. 15:51

When I think back On these times And the dreams We left behind
I'll be glad 'cause I was blessed to get To have you in my life
When I look back On these days I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me

In my dreams I'll always see you soar Above the sky
In my heart There will always be a place For you for all my life
I'll keep a part Of you with me
And everywhere I am There you'll be
And everywhere I am There you'll be

Well you showed me How it feels To feel the sky Within my reach
And I always Will remember all The strength you Gave to me
Your love made me Make it through Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me

'Cause I always saw in you My light, my strength
And I want to thank you Now for all the ways
You were right there for me You were right there for me For always

In my dreams I'll always see you soar Above the sky
In my heart There will always be a place For you for all my life
I'll keep a part Of you with me
And everywhere I am There you'll be And everywhere I am There you'll be
There you'll be

Friday, August 31, 2012

No words

This week we headed back to school. It is the first time that my 4th grader Kaitlin did Not cry. I was so glad to see her be able to talk about how she was feeling, and see her respond to my words. Goodness knows I was not ready for them to go back. I have an 8th grader too. That's means next year she will be in high school. She is now sporting the very same hairdo that Rachel had around her age. Long and straight with a side part. I don't know how it evolved into it. We just let it grow from a bob, and now....its all I can see when I look at her.
Today after I send my girls off to school , I have to do something that is so hard. A family that is very dear to me , lost a precious not even 5 month old baby. It is a heartbreaking story. No medical reasons..just gone.
I went to go visit the grandparents as soon as I found out. Rachel loved them both so much. They are the ones she left me for in vacation Bible school to go do dramas with. The look on his face said it all. It took me back to the day I lost Rach. I knew there were no words, and I didn't want to say one of those well meaning but very painful phrases that get said . " Say something"......I kept telling myself..and all the while my eyes are locked on his pleading face. Tell me this is a dream...tell me I will be OK. ..
I haven't been to the funeral home since Rachel's funeral. I've been to funerals, just not there.
I know God is with this family of believers. When someone asked " why us" the grandfathers response was " why not us"???? Who are we to expect things not to happen to us?
I will walk in and love this family the way so many have loved me. I know it is the only thing that keeps me going.

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

what a dream means

I have always been fascinated by dreams. Not just my dreams, but other peoples dreams too. I wish we still had dream interpreters like there were in the Bible. I think I spend to much time trying to figure out what my dreams mean. After losing Rachel, I went for a very long time without having Any dreams. It would just be black. I think it was my minds way of protecting me. I say all of that to lead into the fact that last nights dream was very intense. It was not at very long dream, but it was packed with emotion.
I was at a house that I did not recognize with a friend from school and my girls were at home(but not our real home) down the street. It was getting late so I was going to head home to check on them, I suddenly felt an urgency to be home with them. As I stepped onto the road, I could see the other house was only about 2 houses down from me. But as soon as I took the first step , the road turned into something out of a horror movie. Actually , it was everything from every scary movie ever made crammed into 20 yards of road. I could feel the fear and sense evil. It was as if I was walking down Satan's road. Just when I thought I was going to scream, I felt a tight squeeze on my right hand. It was so firm. And I heard a voice say, "you know I'm here. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand". As I walked I could see layers and layers of horrific images unfolding. I began to sing part of a hymn really loud and really slow.

O Jesus, Blessed Redeemer, Sent from the Heart of God, Hold us who wait before the near to the heart of God.

I made it (with the Lords help) to my house and to my girls. Then in my dream I began to analyze what had just happened. I told myself that maybe that small stretch of road was a symbol for my journey... how I had been through so much in such a short time. How grief has caused me to fear Everything and make everything seem to be so much scarier and more dangerous than others would think it was. But what stood out the most was the closeness I felt to my protector and guide. Was it the Holy Spirit? My Angel?

For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully;

Psalms 138:7 ~ “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me: you shall stretch forth your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand shall save me.”

Psalms 91:1,2, 10,11,12 ~ “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in
Him will I trust. There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

I don't know. I just know that I felt safe. I felt protected, and I felt loved.
Love Never Fails.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All kinds of smiles

We finally were able to take a few days off this summer and go hang out at our usual summer hangout ...the lake. It was nice to be able to be off the phone , off the computer, to just be able to turn my brain off. The fishing was not great but our time together in the boat was .
On Saturday afternoon Kenny got ready to make his usual run to "Tidbits" . Tidbits is a convenience store about 15 minutes away in Anacoco. Rachel always rode to the store with Kenny. She said she liked the way he said Anacoco. . I had never been until that afternoon. I knew everyone was getting ready to go but I wasn't..I wasn't "ready" to go. That was Rachel's thing. But when my husband said come on and ride with us, I went. After we turned off of hwy 191 and started down 392 ... I realized why she loved going. It instantly is tree lined hills. It is one of those roads that make you feel like you are going somewhere special. Plus Kenny bought her anything she wanted. They made that trip so many times . I was glad I went.
As soon as we got back we jumped in the boat and headed to the sandbar for some swimming. My favorite time to go is in the late afternoon . When we head back and pull out of the cove we can always see the sun as it is setting right over the lake. It never disappoints. That night it was breathtaking. I was staring at it and I heard Kennedy say "look" !!!! She was pointing at the sky. I said yes it beautiful and she said " no look , a smiley face". There in the sky made out of clouds was in fact a huge smiling face. 2 eyes a nose and a mouth. No other clouds in the sky. I don't know how I missed it. I guess I was too busy staring at the sun I didn't notice. Kennedy did. She was smiling as big as the cloud. Of course I didn't have my camera. We didn't need it. Some sunsets never forget.
On the last day we did something that has taken us three years to do. We let go , just a little. We did what we call a little "tubin".

You pull an inner tube behind the boat and enjoy the ride. Kennedy and Dakota had a smile as big as the one in the sky. I even jumped in and took a ride. Its something people do all the time at the lake, but for us it was a huge step . Change is hard , especially when it is happening to you. It seems like it is when you stop trying to change that it finally happens. When you start showing up, appreciating the present moment, and detaching from the need to know how things are going to turn out. It happens when you stop worrying what other people are going to think and start speaking and living your truth.
Let go and let God.

I'm learning to walk again
I believe I've waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I'm learning to talk again Can't you see I've waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday schooled

Yesterday I did something I hadn't done in about 8 years. I went to an adult Sunday School class. I wasn't sure if I was feeling excited or guilt or just felt different. Of course the lesson was on service. (I recently stepped down from all of my positions in our children's department.) But what was amazing to me was one of the first verses that was read . We were studying Jeremiah, Chapter 1.

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you, 5 before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”

6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

OK..When Rachel was in the youth department at some point this next verse was read to her by someone. She only had to hear it once. She got it. She understood it. I remember her being upset about not being able to do something at church, and she said " what about that verse in Jeremiah"???? I always thought she was talking about a different verse. When I heard this being read ..,as I stared at it in my book ..I could hear her voice saying it.....

7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD

She was never "only a child". As a child she would say things adults would struggle to say. As a teen ..well, I'm still trying to understand and uncover all that she did. Was she perfect ??? No..I never said she was. She was willing. Just like every murderer, thief, and (as the kids would say) ..."loser" that God somehow used for His glory .

"When the journey ends
There's a new beginning"

A new beginning sounds pretty darn good.

"When I was a child
I walked like a child
But now I'm a soldier
Like the Bride and Groom I will be married"

Those are some of my favorite words from this song The Other County....

Your eyes see the shining city
Your love heals the poisoned mind
When the journey ends
There's a new beginning
When the risen man
Heals the weight of time
I can feel it over the line
I see the other country
I see the other side
Do not be afraid of this earthly city
Do not be afraid when the pharaohs nigh
Draw near the lambs awaiting
Where the river runs thru the sky's align
From that painting of a ship
We have all been chosen
To the painters creation
In his dream design
I can feel it over the line
I see the other country
I see the other side
Do not be afraid of this earthly city
Do not be afraid when the pharaohs nigh
When I was a child
I walked like a child
But now I'm a soldier
Like the Bride and Groom I will be married
I see the other country
I see the other side
Do not be afraid of this earthly city
Do not be afraid when the pharaohs nigh
Even though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death
Even though I sink through the ocean
You will rescue me
I am standing in the fire
But I can hear the choir singing
I was a blind man stumbling
But now I see
I was blind, blind blind
But now I see
I was blind, blind blind
But now I see

Monday, July 30, 2012

Allegory of the cave

I hate the end of July. Then its August. Then its September.
This year has been so hard emotionally. I have seen grief manifest itself in so many different ways in my life and in the lives of those that I love so dearly. This time though, it has had a different effect on me. It has quieted me. I have learned that grief is not only a circle ,( never ending), it is also like a hibernating grizzly bear. There are times when I am very aware that I am walking into its cave whether its by listening to a song, looking at pictures, or sharing memories, and I know ...I KNOW the bear is in there but I go on in. Sometimes I can just quietly sit and watch the bear and then leave having seen the beauty in it. But then there are times when I walk right up to it and poke it as hard as I can. And then I just stand there as grief mangles and mauls me ...again. Sometimes its not my fault . A friend or family lures me in the cave , and then they poke the grief grizzly and take off running leaving me too battle the giant...and then put the pieces of me back together. The hardest thing is seeing your child being mauled , and not being able to stop it.
' maybe if I be quiet will just go away". Its that kind of quiet.

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isiah 41:13

Lord you know I just can't make it by myself.
And you know I can't do anything without your help.
Oh Lord my faith gets weak and I need you to help me stand
Don't ever let go of my hand.

When these feet of mine grow tired
From walking mile after mile,
And when I think my faith is steady
Lord here comes Another trial.
When it seems the worlds against me
And no one understands
Don't ever let go of my hand.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My View from The View

These past weeks have been flown by as I have been getting things ready once again for our churchs Vacation Bible school. There was much to do since I was co-directing this year plus doing all the talking and leading the singing...and decorating...and shopping....its been busy! But it is worth it. The smiles, the singing, seeing the kids be moved makes everything else disappear. While I was running around my house yesterday, I had The View on just to have something to listen too. Barbara Walters was talking about Nora Ephrons memorial service that was just held. She said there were at least 800 people in attendance. She said those numbers were generally for Heads of state or dignitaries...and I stopped and said very loudly to the TV...OR My Beautiful Daughter.(who had more than 800) So then I looked up the definition of the word Dignitary

Noun 1. dignitary - an important or influential person ,very important person, VIP important person, influential person, personage - a person whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events

I guess Barbra was right.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jesus take the wheel

I had the privilege of presenting the Rachel Clark Scholarship at church again this year. It just happened to be on Fathers day. Rachel's brother(he is her step brother, but we don't say it that way) was the recipient this year. You can only imagine all the emotions I was feeling that day. I had Rachel on my mind..Amanda and her precious family...and then knowing how everything that her brother was feeling. It was one of those days where I just had to say those three words "TAKE IT JESUS ". It was so far beyond anything I could handle. The church that does the scholarship was so full of love and hugs. When it came time for greeting people , I saw a woman coming from the front of the church and I was Amanda mother. I did not get to meet her family last year. As I looked into her eyes I saw where I remembered being. I knew that look . I know that look and the feelings that are behind it. It was so hard for me to stand in front of this family with their grief so new and talk about a hope for a future. Aftere church I was able to speak to her more and realized that they are surrounded by so many loving families and their faith in God unwavering. I honestly don't remember everything I said . I wanted to be sure they knew how grateful I am for them continuing to honor my Rach in this way. I brought one of the wooden cross necklaces to give to Dakota. I shared with them the story of Rachel wearing hers....even as she left this earth. And told hime to let it remind him to have faith
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6

I also shared Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Sometimes our paths are not His paths... so sometimes we just simply need to trust ...we just simply need the cross.
My last verse that I shared was my prayer for Dakota

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
10 that you may approve the things that are excellent,
that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God...Phil 1:9

Amanda's dad played the guitar and sang a song. Before he sang he spoke about loving your kids no matter what. They aren't gonna be perfect...and we just need to love them . He urged all the dads to take time that day and tell their children -no matter how matter how close or how far away ...find them...and tell them you love them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ray of hope

I hear people talk about heaven and I hear them say things like " when I get to heaven I'm gonna ask God"........ people have so many different ideas about heaven and what it will be like. In my Bible study I came across a scripture that made me look at things differently.

John 16 ...I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything.

It's the last will no longer ask me anything. We will know. We won't have to go around with a list and search for answers , we will know...or we just won't care. Either way I'm good. Because it also says I WILL REJOICE !
This season of grief has been very hard, but I know I am still healing and learning to trust. My little girls have had Rach on their hearts so much lately ( I can tell by the conversations they have about her). They are lighthearted, and full of smiles as they share their memories. I am so thankful that they are willing to share...things sometimes get so dark and muddied up. Their memories are like a ray of light that cuts right thru and leads me to that place ...where my heart longs to be.

This photo was taken Sunday night after I spoke at church. I noticed the sky as soon as I walked out of church. I dropped the girls off at home and went to Rachels garden. When I got to the end of our road, the sun was blazing through the trees. This is a where I look , or sometimes avoid looking...everyday. This is where our lives were changed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Talking the talk

Tonight I will do something I haven't done in a while. I will be bringing the message in our new contemporary worship at my church. When I was asked weeks ago if I would go in the rotation to speak, I was thrilled. My head has been spinning with thoughts on what to talk about. God has been so good to me . Now as I sit and get ready to pull all my thoughts together, I am feeling a little anxious. But then I am reminded of the Large group of people I spoke to and pleaded with at my daughters funeral. Surely,with Gods help, I can manage a small group. I wrestled with how much of my personal testimony I should give. Losing my child and all that has happened since then, are so much a part of who I am. How could I not include her? I am going to try to keep it light. I mainly just want to do it the way God wants it done.
I went to a online page for our church and I found this photo of my sweet child working the computer.

Hmmmmm. I wonder what You see in it??????

I am also on our praise team , so out of the corner of my eye I catch glimpses of her working the computer...just like her big sister did. There are times when it envelopes me like the best hug, and there are times when it almost drops me to my knees.
I am praying tonight that more than anything the people might be able to say what Job said " My ears had heard of you ...but know my eyes have seen you"

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Until Then

I try to start my mornings by reading the Bible, even if only a few verses. There are also several Christian blogs I read too for inspiration. One of them is called The Daily Spurgeon. Charles Spurgeon is a Baptist preacher from the 1800's. His writings are so beautiful . The following words were read at his graveside . I share them with you today in memory of Rachel, sweet Amanda as her family tells her "goodnight " and everyone else that you and I carry so dear in our heart.

We bid thee not “Farewell,” but only for a little while “Goodnight.”
Thou shalt rise soon at the first dawn of the Resurrection day of the redeemed.
Yet is the goodnight not ours to bid, but thine; it is we who linger in the darkness;
thou art in God’s holy light. Our night shall soon be passed, and with it all our weeping.
Then, with thine, our songs shall greet the morning of a day that knows no cloud nor close;
for there is no night there.

Here, for a little while, shall rest thy precious dust.
Then shall thy Well-beloved come; and at His voice thou shalt spring from thy couch of earth, fashioned like unto His body, into glory.
Then spirit, soul, and body shall magnify the Lord’s redemption.
Until then, beloved, sleep.
We praise God for thee, and by the blood of the everlasting covenant,
hope and expect to praise God with thee.

Friday, June 1, 2012

More heartbreak

I knew this day was coming. Im sure you are wondering where I have been. Our youngest son graduates from high school tonite. I made it thru the prom season...watching everyone post their photos of their beautiful girls. I handled his prom well. I knew tonite would be hard. Graduation was such a HUGE deal to Rachel. She graduated distinguished and was ready to take on the world. Even now, as I get ready for tonites ceremony, I am reminded once again how precious and fragile life is. I found out that the young lady named Amanda that I presented the Rachel Clark scholarship to last year, was killed in a car accident. She too was only 19 years old. She was going to be a neonatal nurse. She too was excited for her new journey. You can go back to last years post and read it. I am crushed. I am left choking on my words. I won't ask why. Even if God were to tell me why, I couldnt understand. My thoughts are not His thoughts. I only know that I need someone to press stop so I can get off of this ride..

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be your glorious name

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lessons before school

On the way to take Kennedy to school, we got stopped behind a school bus. After another glance, I realized it was a bus that carries special needs children. I could only see the young mom coming down the driveway . Once passed the cars, I could see the little boy in his wheelchair. Walking right by his side was his faithful companion....a huge mixed yellow lab. As they walked toward the bus, the dog would look at his boy, look around the yard to make sure it was ok ,and then look back at him again. Once they made it to the bus, the dog watched every move the bus lady made...making sure that she did it right. The dog watched his friend leave and stood there until the mom called him back. As I watched this , I immediately began to thank God for my healthy children. I looked over at Kennedy and she had huge tears streaming from her eyes. She looked at me and said "that was so beautiful, and so sad". Her 13 year old heart sure does have a lot of love. My fear was that losing her sister would crush her spirit and harden her heart. ..but it seems to have made her more compassionate. She truly amazes and inspires me , daily.
Philippians 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It only takes a spark

This past weekend I had the joy of watching 2 of Rachels friends from her church youth group exchange their wedding vows. It was such a beautiful ceremony. The father of the groom was the minister. He was also the pastor of our church while Rachel was in the youth. The youth pastor from their group gave the devotion, and 2 other girls from the youth group sang the special. One sweet friend was also a bridesmaid. Talk about bringing you back in time. So many others from that very special time were there in attendance, or part of the wedding. I grabbed a order of ceremony and of course the first song that was to played was LOVE NEVER FAILS. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the ceremony, but God allowed me to be there , be present in the moment, and drink it all in. I was able to see only the beauty in every moment , every minute of the ceremony. When I tell you I didn't shed a tear, I too found it hard to believe. I was moved beyond words at what was taking place before me, and realizing that it was something I will miss greatly.I think what helped was finding some of my old video tapes that I didnt even know I had. Seeing all the kids so young, and so sweet had really brought me to a place that I didnt think I would get see again. A place that my mind and my heart had not fully been able to see. I made a video of the video to share with you. Rachs brother is obviously the photograper, because it looks like his shakey work. Just view it for what it is, and what it means to me. Rach sang many times at this little church. She sang with me ,she did solos, and she would sing in the choir. The Lord of love has come to me....I want to pass it on. I told you to keep checkin in.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Well, I have battled the flu....the butterflies flew.....and they changed the format on my blog. It is almost impossible for me to post from my tablet. And to add insult to injury, my other computer has pooped out on me. After Rachel's Facebook was shut down, I began to panic about losing all my photos and images on my computer. Well, of course my powercord went out, and once that was fixed and I was attempting to back up all my files, the whole thing went crazy. Just please keep checking in...I'm trying to get back up and running because I sure have a lot to share.

Monday, April 16, 2012

From Rachel

Since last weekend I have been holding on to this post. I was finally getting around to clearing some things off of my dresser, and when I went to put them away I caught a glimpse of this old music book. It came with a keyboard we purchased a looong time ago.I thought it might have a song or too that KK could play on her piano.( she has recently started taking lessons..but..that's another post) As I thumbed through the pages I came across this

Rachels hearts. It took my breath. This gem had been hiding in my closet storage drawer. I went through all the pages looking for , ANYTHING else. Remember this is right around the time I lost access to her facebook . I closed the book ,and my eyes, as I tried to save the image in my mind. When I opened them , my eyes found this on the front cover.

If you click on the photo it will make it bigger..It says From Rachel Clark , and of course there are more hearts. When I had taken the book out of the drawer, it was upside down, so I never saw the front.. until then . But I'm so glad that when I needed them most , they were there.

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
psalm 37:4

"Words can't Say what Love can do.
I'll be there for you"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happiness is like a butterfly

As if getting through Easter by itself isn't hard enough, I was thrown into a huge pit thanks to Facebook on Friday night. Due to her page being inactive, they deleted my daughters account. I assumed that others writing on her wall would be enough to keep it going. I was wrong. I did have the option to memorialize her page , but then no one could have written on it. That was the reason I stayed on facebook. I loved to read the sweet messages her friends would go and write. And now, its all gone. The photos, everything.. I must have clicked on her link 20 times trying to see it.. I just couldn't believe that is was gone. Rach was gone. I did at least copy most of her pictures into my computer. I just wish I had printed out some of her friends post. Its going to take some time to work this part out. But God is so good ! He has filled my yard with hope.

I have about 20 monarch caterpillars grazing on my milkweed plant. My girls are as excited as I am ! I have never had a "real " caterpillar in my yard, so having the opportunity to watch that many miracles is amazing. I carefully brought some inside and put them in an aquarium to see if they will make a chrysalis. I have wrote on here many times about butterflies and how special they are to me. What a beautiful reminder of Jesus' resurrection too. I tried to hold on to all the verses and promises that I knew to help me get through the long hard weekend. My mind always goes back to Jesus and Lazarus. When Martha is talking to Jesus and tells Him if he would have been there, her brother would not have died. And then she hints for Him to ask God to raise Lazarus. Jesus tells her " your brother will rise again". and Martha says " I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day". Jesus says to her
(John 11 21-25)
My family is always there with a hug, or to just BE there with me. I also kept the words to my favorite Easter song in my heart.
Arise my love.
My niece always sang this song at our church . She would sing it at our sunrise service too. This song was also sang at our church by one of my dear friends in the Sunday morning service the day of Rachels funeral. It was already on the schedule for her to sing it, and God gave her the strength to perform it.

Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death sting no more suffering

. ...Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you turn your attention to other things, It comes and sits softly on your shoulder. - Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, April 5, 2012

High and lifted up

So the day after I post about my torment at the fair, I get an email from Kennedy's coach saying that she found a coach that will work with her on learning how to pole vault. Great! because that's not a dangerous sport...right ?????? God sure has a way of instantly putting me in situations that require a new level of trust. Kennedy has talked about wanting to pole vault since the beginning of track season, but had not even touched a pole...until last Sunday. We met the coaches at the high school and I tried to look normal. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be(for now). I watched as my daughter grabbed her pole and took off. She loved it! In no time she was inches from clearing the first bar height. She was even bold enough to attempt it in the track meet this week. I still have little twinges of uncertainty when I watch, but , when she turns and smiles and says " I love doing this" ..well ..that's good enough for me. I am so thankful for all the ways God uses my children to help me continue to learn how to live .

Sometimes I wonder if I'd ever make it through
Through this world without having you, I just wouldn't have a clue
'Cuz sometimes it seems like this world's closing in on me
And there's no way of breaking free, and then I see you reach for me

Sometimes I wanna give up, I wanna give in, I wanna quit the fight
And then I see you baby, and everything's alright, everything's alright

When I see you smile, I can face the world, you know I can do anything
When I see you smile, I see a ray of light,
I see it shining right thru the rain
When I see you smile, baby when I see you smile at me

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We like sheep

I took my girls (plus a friend) to our state fair. The last time we went, Rachel was with us. I had wrote on here how hard it was for her to watch her little sisters ride the rides. She didn't think it was safe, she was afraid her littlest sister would try to stand up, she was a mess. Guess who was a mess last night?
It all started out ok, but then the reality of what I was looking at began to sink in. People flock in to these arenas like mindless sheep. We allow ourselves to be dangled by wires and chains, and slung around on rail. All of this put together and operated by people that we don't know anything about (scary carnival man) ... As I watched my child hang upside down with only a bar and a strap of material holding her in, I started to realize that once you've seen behind the curtain ( just like on the Wizard of Oz) you are never the same. Losing a child changes everything.
I also started to question why we were so willing to trust these strangers
with our life, but we aren't willing to do the same with God. We only are willing to get on the "merry go round" with Him. Anything that causes unpleasant feelings, we panic. But just for fun...let me get spun around so much my brain scrambles ..
Yes I know...its just a carnival...its just something I thought about..and just another way my life has been changed.

Psalm 118:5-6, 8 (NLT) In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and rescued me. The Lord is for me, so I will not be afraid… It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How Marvelous

I woke up very early with a line from a song going full blast in my head.
It is from a song that I had played (as best I could) on our piano or organ when I was a kid. We always had one or both to play on. I remember playing this song because well, it was easy. Now let me back up to yesterday. I posted on my Facebook that the first concert I had ever attended was KC and the Sunshine band. I asked my friends to share what theirs was. As I was writing the post I added in parenthesis that "actually my first concert was the know Dottie"...but then I took it off . Well this morning as I was having my very early quiet time on the computer, I typed in my song because I was going to work it in to a blog..well..guess who wrote the song.. DOTTIE RAMBO!!!!!

The story to the song is beautiful

In 1970, Dottie began writing a song about the grace of God, but was unable to finish it. When her older brother was hospitalized with cancer and told that he had only weeks to live, Dottie sat by his bedside and ministered to him. Within a few days, she persuaded him to marry the woman who had borne him five children. Dottie read the Bible to him and prayed with him. One day, after singing at a concert, she returned to ask: “Have you given your life to Jesus since I’ve been gone?”

Eddie, 37, stared at her with sad eyes. “After the wicked life I’ve lived, the Lord won’t raise a person like me,” he muttered. He reminded her of his time in jail and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

“The Lord left the 99 to bring a lost sheep like you back to the fold,” Dottie told him. She continued to pray for his salvation. Then she went home and finished “He Looked Beyond My Fault.” For years Jimmie Davis, the southern gospel singer and former Louisiana governor, had asked her to write a song to the tune of “Danny Boy.” With this song, she finally discovered the inspiration. Later that day, she returned to the hospital to sing the song to Eddie.”

We see people preach on TV and we hear them sing on the radio and we think they have these perfect lives. Dottie and her family had a great love for the Lord and it poured out in her songs, but their life was not free from trials. I think sometimes we let our circumstances keep us from doing what is truly in our heart. God looks beyond our faults, we should too.I know I have failed miserably at times when I have been so consumed with my grief, but I am so grateful that God could see beyond me and my many flaws and supply me with enough grace to tell my story and allow me be able to see the beauty of my childs life daily in my life.
It is a very short song, but every word is so beautiful.

Amazing Grace..Will always be my song of praise.
For it was grace, that bought me liberty,
I do not know, just why He came to love me so.
He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond my faults and saw my need.

Dottie was also known to rock the side did my Rach.
Thanks for the wake up call Dottie ..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Painted heart

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a very talented young lady at my church if she would paint a picture for me. I had seen some of her paintings and they were amazing. She is all of 13 years old . I have taken her to GA camp, taught her in Sunday School,and I teach her currently on Wednesday nights in Flight school. Her mother and her grandparents sang at Rachels funeral. We have a connection. I told her that I was going to tell her what was in my heart and I wanted her to paint it. I said "Madison here is my sentence that I say all the time"...
I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.
Now go paint that for me. She did.

She brought it to me last Wednesday night, and it blew me away. The halo, the green butterfly, the yellow rose, was just full of symbols to me. Things that she had no idea about. The green butterfly- of course green was Rachels favorite color, but the way that butterfly is painted is what is so important. My mother had a huge butterfly IDENTICAL to it that she brought out to Rachels garden. The yellow rose instantly made me think of Belle from Beauty and the Beast , Rachs favorite movie. The halo, well, I'm sure you know why the halo was there. The angel wings covering the heart...perfect. I knew I would love the painting but I never expected it to be so personal. What a treasure . What a gift.There is a verse in Ephesians that talks about the eyes of your heart ...
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints"

I have talked many times about seeing things differently because of my grief. What a gift this young girl has. And what a gift she has given to me.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart,
I want to see You. I want to see You.

To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love,
As we sing holy, holy, holy.

I want to see you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where ya going?

I came across this one night while I was Not sleeping.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson.

Chapter 1:

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes
forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2:

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the

sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t

believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still

takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3:

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the

sidewalk. I see it is there. I fall in … it’s a habit … but my

eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out


Chapter 4:

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the

sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter 5:

I walk down a different street.

I instantly could see how this related to grief, addiction, eating many things that we wrestle with daily. After I read this a couple of times, I started to think that for me personally, parts of it didnt fit. When I had fallen down into my dark holes, I knew I was not alone. I did feel at times that people didn't really understand the depths of my pain.But I always knew that God was right there with me. I also knew that I would not stay down in that hole forever. Sometimes it just felt more comfortable in the darkness. I know you don't understand that. I still wrestle with being "out of the hole". I don't have guilt for not being as sad I had been(believe me, I still have many sad days) just feels like I'm not in my skin.That deep sadness is all I have known for over 2 years. You hold on so tightly to everything that you feel for the person that you lost because it almost feels like...thats all you have left of them..and you don't want to lose that too.The truth is, we all have choices daily that we have to make. Choices in how we treat others, and how we treat ourselves.
Proverbs 4:26 says " Ponder the path of your feet".
I think that best sums up what the poem was trying to say.
Ponder the path of your feet..

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Her Guarded Heart

I have worried a lot about how my kids are handling their grief. I know each child is different; they are different ages and they are very different people. I know too that they have watched my every move and tear. The other day Kennedy mentioned that she got a lot of high marks on a paper she had written. I asked her what she had wrote about and she said it had to be on someone special. I asked well who was is? She said I wrote about Rachel. I asked her why I was just now hearing about it..and she said she didn't want to upset me. I asked her if I could read it and she said sure. I breezed through it trying to make sure that I showed NO emotion except a smile. She also said she had to read it to the class. Let me just say how beautiful her paper was. It was so well written. Put that aside..imagine reading it to your classmates. I was so proud of her. I was also relieved to know that my child is OK. I asked her if it was hard for her to read it and she said almost the very same words that I have said to people I LOVE TALKING ABOUT HER.
So here it her own words..from her heart...her truth..


A lot of girls or other siblings might find it maddening to have had an older sister; but not me! I had an extraordinary sister , Rachel Ann Clark, for the first eleven years of my life. RaRa was always into sports. Her favorite was volleyball. She also played soccer and softball when she was about my age.Unfortunately she quit her great talent for sports at the end of her sophomore year. One hobby that we have in common is that we have a passion for video games. I remember side by side with her we conquered Rayan, Mario, Catwoman and best of all Zelda. When I was about five, I played her gamecube so much she became enraged. For Christmas a month later I got my own Gamecube! We both thought Zelda was the best video game ever. Another interest we have in common is that we love to read. Reading is one of the many things that Ra Ra did. I bet she can read the whole Harry Potter series in one day!She probably read half of the fiction books in the library by the time she finished High school. Everyone that she knows remembers how hilarious Ra Ra was before she died. She would always take funny pictures of herself. Also she wasn't obnoxious about it like some people. Ra Ra also loved every kind of music. The only music she didn't care for was my favorite music..screamo music. Although she didn't despise it the way I do country music, she cold live without it. Speaking of music, I bet she had the best singing voice in high school. Rachel Clark is the most lovely girl that ever walked the earth. Never did she need make up to look beautiful. Greatly modest. Her hair was as gorgeous as a princess. It was brown, blonde and straight.Best of all, she had the greatest soul.
Ra Ra was kind,sweet, generous , a good Christian, and the best older sister ever.

After she read her paper, there was a time for questions. One of the questions a classmate asked was if it was hard to read the paper.She told them the same thing she told me..

Even in the depths of our sadness, there is a special place in our hearts that is guarded ..that is impenetrable by this darkness of grief. That is the place where faith, hope , and love are formed...
and the greatest of these is Love.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Climbing my mountains

Thursday while I was waiting at the gate to pick KK up from school, I noticed this little girl who was around a year old playing on these concrete bricks. She was so excited.She was trying so hard to climb up on them.Her mom was such a great cheerleader for her too. It was clear that this little angel was just experiencing the feeling of climbing and a lot of other things. Everything she saw and touched was with fresh eyes. An acorn, a blade of grass, and even a stick all seemed to be something amazing when she was looking at it. I watched her as she finally made it to the top of these bricks.She sat down and smiled this huge smile while her mommy clapped for her. She made it look so fun I almost wanted to go over there and sit down too!!! And then I started many times a day do we conquer mountains that may seem like no big deal to someone else? Have we just gotten so caught up in the busyness of life that we just cant stop and smile and say " Thank you Lord , we did it" . It might not be a big deal to anyone else but you ... and to God. Maybe if we looked at things with fresh eyes we could see the excitement in doing them, and then be able to smile in the victory. Maybe if we acknowledge God in all the little things He helps us climb, when the really big mountains are in front of us ..we won't be so quick to forget He is with us.

please take a moment and listen to this song

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beyond the sunset

(OK...I lost a couple of sentences while I was editing...and no one noticed?????maybe this will make more sense..)

Sunday night I headed to church for our evening service. As soon as I headed down my road, Rachel came so heavy on my mind. I could see the sunset was going to be beautiful. Honestly, I tried not to see it because I knew I would be a mess at church if I did. I lost it in my rear view mirror and my thoughts shifted back toward church. We were going to be presenting an idea for a new kind of service on Sunday nights...and I'm back to thinking about Rach and how much she would love me still trying to play the drums at church, and how excited she would be about the new service...I made the uturn and the sunset slapped me in the face. It was beautiful. It reminded me of the night of her we drove away from this very church..the sky sang to me. It was the same pink and blue cotton candy sky .It wasn't until later that I realized it was the 19th. I lost count of the days after Valentines day. Thats all I used to do was count days . Count the days until "that day" was here. I think the 16th would be as hard as the 17th....I used to dread that number. But then enough days pass and you realize that those feelings are
always there, no matter what the date is...some things make me miss her
more.. The flowers fade, the birds and the butterflies leave, but ...I always have my sunsets..

While I was looking for a photo to use in this post, I found this picture in the computer that was created by Kennedy in June has my colors in the sky.

Beyond the sunset,
O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones
who've gone before,
In that fair homeland
we'll know no parting.
Beyond the sunset
forever more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What if it's love

It seems like its rained everyday here. It makes it impossible to go to Rachel's garden or to bring anything beautiful out there. I was feeling very down about it early this morning. I walked in the kitchen and saw the things on the table for the girls from their dad and just knew that there was an empty place. I got the girls ready for school and went to put Kk in the truck with all her valentines for school. When I opened her door this was sitting on the seat. She had made it at church and I guess it had gotten lost in the mix. I really don't know what happened, I just know this is what I saw when I opened the door.

I opened it and read it. Everyone has heard this verse (John 3 16)hundreds of times, but when I read it today, it was truly a gift.

Shall Not perish
Everlasting life

That is true love. And it is the best valentine .
(I know her hand writing makes it hard to read.They took the word Valentine and wove John 3 16 in it).

This week I had had one of Rachs friends on my mind. She was in the youth department at church with Rach and after graduation, she got to go to Hillsong college for a year. She sang many times in our church and always gave a testimony with her song. This song that she sang had been going through my head and it was one of the first things I thought of after reading KK's card.....

What if you're right? He was just another nice guy. What if You're right?

What if it's true? They say the cross will only make a fool of you. What if it's true?

What if He takes His place in history with all the prophets and the kings who taught us love and came in peace, but then the story ends?

What then?

But what if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you've never dreamed of hoping for? What if You jump? Just close your eyes. What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise? What if He's more than enough? What if it's love?

What if you dig way down deeper than your simple-minded friends? What if you dig?

What if you find a thousand more unanswered questions down inside?

That's all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic and begin poke the holes? What if the crown of thorns is no more than folklore that must be told and re-told, and re-told?

But what if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you've never dreamed of hoping for? What if You jump? Just close your eyes. What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise? What if He's more than enough? What if it's love?

'Cuz you've been running as fast as you can. You've been looking for a place you land for so long.

But what if you're wrong?

What if You jump? Just close your eyes. What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise? What if He's more than enough? What if it's love?

It is love .
The greatest of these
is love.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Story of my life

This past weekend I headed to Houston with the girls to spend some time with my sister and her family. She has twin boys that my girls love hanging out with. In her spare time , my sister also writes a blog(among other things) This is what her "about me" says..

As a designer, I specialize in room re-arrangement and putting together the little touches that tell the story of who you are. This blog tells the story of who I am.

As I look around my home , I see so many things that tell the story of who I am, or I guess I should say , who I have become. In every room I have something that has Rachels verse on it. ( you know, Love is...). There are hearts, calla lilies, butterflies, and crosses, and of course little treasures of Rachels that only I know what they are. They are a constant connection to me, not to keep me holding on to the loss, but to remember the life. The story of her life, and mine.
While I was visiting with my sister, she gave me these wonderful shells that look like angel wings. As soon as I got home I started trying to get creative with them. I thought I would use a page from an old book that I have to make a little somthin somethin . I have an old book that I love to use,it has poems and pictures .It is titled The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.I turned to September hoping to find something special . I started reading this poem and could only make it through the third line.

One morn I put my heart to sleep.
The story of my life.

I switched gears and went with just a black background in a shadow box . I love it!

As I was driving home from my sisters on Sunday late afternoon, I was given the gift of seeing an incredible sunset in my rear view mirror the entire way home. It also seemed like every song that came on the radio was just for me. There was a connection to Rachel in every one of them . They seemed to tell the story too. I'm so thankful for memories, they fuel me ...even if through the tears.

The story of my life is very plain to read
It starts the day you came
And ends the day you leave
The story of my life begins and ends with you
The names are still the same
And the story's still the truth

I love this song . I remember hearing it when Rachel was very little. The first time I heard it reminded me of my mom and dad. It was one of the songs I heard on the way home.

my sisters blog

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just Maybe

This weekend I finally had the courage to go through the last box of
Rachel's " things". It was full of photos, cards(she kept them ALL), report cards, medals, it was such a mix of things. I had gone through all of it before, but I still always have the hope of finding a treasure. I was halfway through the box when I came upon these two pieces of paper folded and tucked in between some cards. I knew as soon as I glanced over that I had not seen it before.There was no date and no name only these printed words.

Just maybe.

Maybe…we were supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

Maybe … when the door of happiness closes, another opens; but, often times, we look so long at the closed door that we don’t even see the new one which has been opened for us.

Maybe … it is true that we don’t know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Maybe … the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Maybe … the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; after all, you can’t go on successfully in life until you let go of your past mistakes, failures and heartaches.

Maybe … you should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go, be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you dream of, and want to do.

Maybe … there are moments in life when you miss someone — a parent, a spouse, a friend, a child — so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real, so that once they are around you appreciate
them more.

Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swin with, never say a word and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you have ever had.

Maybe should always try to put yourself in others shoes.If you feel that something could hurt you, it probably will hurt the other person too. should do something nice for someone every single day, even if it is to simply leave them alone. someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. do not expect love in return..just wait for it to grow in their heart. But if it doesn't be content that it grew in yours.

Maybe...happiness waits for those who cry, all those who hurt, all those who have searched, and all of those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of all the people who have touched their lives. should not go for looks, they can only decieve..don't go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smke to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile. should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. should try to live your life to the fullest because when you were born you were crying and everyone around you was smiling but when you die, you can be the one who is smiling and everyone around you crying.

Just maybe.....God will continue to place these special gifts where I can find them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hot Heart

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Hot Hearts convention with my girls and the youth at our church. It is a two day event with speakers, bands, and other entertainment. It was amazing. Hot Hearts was a huge influence on Rachel. She loved it and always came away from them charged up.The theme for the event was
Galatians 5:1
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
It was to give us a foundation to stand firm on once we left .To be willing to stand at school,home, or wherever for Christ. I got that message, but for me personally God had another word. (Literally) It was the word FREE. It kept coming up for me in scriptures, in songs, just throughout the weekend it was as the scripture that they base the event on says

And they said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" -Luke 24:32,
That word was burning in my heart. I have freedom from a lot of things because of Jesus. I choose to not accept it, or claim it. There are so many verses that talk about freedom. How he has made us free, set us free, rescued us, delivered us, etc..
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. (Psalm 118:5)
I am not talking about a freedom to do as I please, I am talking about how grief, guilt, worry, how we worship, other people, and many other things keep us in bondage. How quickly these things can distort our lives and our truth. God kept showing me in my life how I allowed these things to rob me of my joy. My hope is to continue to be willing to see the things that He is trying to reveal to me. There is a verse that many people like to say part of. If you back up and read the verse before it , it goes well with what I just said.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free..

IF...IF you continue in my word. You shall know the truth..and the truth shall set you free. I knew something great was going to happen there. Within the first 30 minutes I had two special Rachel moments. The first one was from ,of course ,the comedians there. They were doing funny imitations of people that might would be hosting the event. They did a bad Bill Cosby, someone else I don't even remember, and then the guy did Chewbacca...for about 2 minutes he made that sound. That is one if my favorite laughs with Rachel We were in my car and I attempted to a Chewbacca, and failed. She spent the next hour, and many days latter, trying to do it and perfect it. We laughed until we had major tears. I think about that time so often. The next nod was from the mentalist. He picked a random girl out of the crowd and put her in a imaginary scenario. She walked in a bookstore, opened a book, pretended to turn to a page and picked out one word. Then the guy pulls out a sealed envelope with her word on it. He unfolded a huge piece of paper that said in big bold letters
L O V E.
Of any word this teenage girl could have dreamed was my word.
There was so much packed in to those 2 days. I should have videoed every part so I could share it all with you, and go back and see it again when I start to drift away. I am doing some serious searching and I hope you continue to follow me on my journey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A picture of love

My husband takes my girls shopping every Christmas. They really love picking out special presents for me. They are very different from year to year, so I am always surprised when I open them. This year I kinda hinted that Kirklands was one of my favorite stores. I'm so glad they listened. Kennedy picked out a pair of pictures for me. My husband said as soon as she saw them she wanted knew it was for me. When I peeled back the paper, the first thing I saw was the Calla Lilly and the word LOVE.

I could see Kennedy trying to read my face, so I was very careful in how I looked at her. She looked at her gift and then looked at me again with a different look on her face. " I didn't know it said that"..I read the rest of the phrase.---As if you've never been hurt----." I think its perfect, absolutely perfect",I told her. The other picture said " Laugh as if no one is watching". I hung them in my bedroom, right across from my bed so I see them first thing in the morning . I have reread that quote many times..Love as if you've never been hurt. There are so many ways that applies in my life. I'm just not sure how good I will be at trying to apply it. When your heart has been broken in two , its a very slow healing . I love how God uses my kids to put in my face what I am struggling with. In my Bible studies, the word love seems to be a constant lately too.

1 John 4:16-19 ESV So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.

Maybe that is what 'perfect love " loves like it has never been hurt.
Picture perfect Love.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My crib

Having raised five children in our home, I couldn't wait to get out of the baby phase where Everything the baby needs seems to be in the living room. I just wanted to have my house back. And so finally the day came when I could explain to a four year old that this is now mommy's room. Your toys go in your room. And then a few years later, I watched that little girls heart break as she said goodbye to her sister. I watched a little girl who had always been clingy, need to be surrounded by others even more. Now you can walk into any given room in my house and find some of her toys.

My bed

My tub

Yes there are times when I sit on a Barbie and think...this needs to stop. Or as I slide into the tub only to have a littlest pet shop animal or a very hard dolphin pierce the tender part of my foot, I think it is time to get a grip. But then the reality of how quickly things can or will change enters my mind. Very soon that little girl will turn into a teeneager and my bathtub will only have old lady bath lotions on it. There is a verse in the Bible that says

“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” --Prov. 14:4
In other words...if you want to have the ox you, have to be willing to put up with the poo.
So move over Yoshi and Barbi...I'm coming in!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What could Possibly happen

When I posted the first day of this new year about all its "possibilities" , I really didn't have a clue what would happen next. How could I have possibly known that my water line under the bathroom sink would break...and flood part of my house. And then on Wednesday morning, I would break my toe. I was not prepared to deal with either one, but I managed to handle both of them. I fixed the water line, and taped up my toe. What caught me most off guard was what happened Wednesday night. As I hobbled in to the gym to teach my class at church, one of my sweet little boys came running up to me with his hand held out in a fist. He smiled at me and said" here Mrs. Suzette, I found this for you" could I have possibly known what would be placed in my hand....

A heart.....holding a heart...."carrying a heart". Yes John, you did find that for me.
A Godwink at couldn't possibly get any better than that !

Sunday, January 1, 2012

If I were a butterfly

Well, hello 2012.
I went today, this first day of the year, to Rachel's garden. This year already holds so much possibility for me. I am hoping to be in a place where I can reach out more to others and not be so consumed with my own pain. I have been in a place that I refer to as a cocoon. I have been wrapped up in my thoughts and have been being still and waiting. I am hoping that this year is the time that I get to spread my wings. I went today and set out some new flowers and of course some butterflies. To me, butterflies are such a symbol of transformation. What a massive amount of transition this tiny creature goes through in such a short time. Imagine your whole life changing to the point that you are unrecognizable. That is the part that is so symbolic to me. The butterfly never questions what is changing in her life and in her body. If only we could be more like the butterfly as we go through transitions. Spending our time being angry and worrying is wasted time. The butterfly is an example of keeping the faith no matter how things are changing. We are all on our own journey with endless turns and shifts, and at the end we are changed. We are not at all the same person as when we first stepped out on our path. I know I have stumbled so much, and don't have the gracefulness of a butterfly, but I am thankful for the unmerited grace that I do have through my Jesus.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

“Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I'd have come running with a bucket.” -Nancy Spiegelberg

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You Nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do