Finding a new strength September 2022
Sometimes I struggle trying to keep my faith and hope that everything is okay. I am not sure of the path we are on nor why I was chosen. I try to remain strong and stop the tears from coming. Seeing the kids reach another year of school and mark their height on our memory wall there is still emptiness. Not having Jason here leaves a whole in so much. One moment you are okay and then the next you can't find your strength. I see him in dreams and pray for a do over! Amelia drew a family picture; I love how she added Jason. Jason was floating in the sky, because she did not know how to add him. It was beautiful and sad. Here is a link the latest song that gave me inspiration, I hope it helps you too!
Hope, Encouragement and Struggles on May 1, 2022
I have been hearing this song a lot on my drive to my day job or night class and it continues to inspire me and I hope it helps inspire you. “If this is the last time” by Lany: - “life is flying by and it is hitting me now, I hope its not, but If this is the last time, please come close, I love you with all my heart”.
I look back and realized I focused on things that don’t count and as I look at the foundation I created after my heart broke, I wonder why I got off track? I know time flies and yet my focus on things that don’t matter became more important somehow. So my hope that I slow down and remember to “do the things” that bring us joy and together more then the details that are fleeting.
The year has begun busier then the last and still under close watch on a pandemic we do not fully understand. I have watched Nathan doing very well in his freshman year of High school and see him continue to mature into a young man with a focus on doing his best and figuring out what he wants to become. Making good choices in the mix of a crazy 1st year of High School. It is hard to realize there is only 3 years left to guide him, encourage him, give him confidence in being able to do anything he tries and show him unconditional love over all teen attitudes is really what matters. Watching Amelia enjoy 1st grade, friends, trying new things, reading new stories, telling jokes and loosing her teeth is so fulfilling.
I am in awe that I will have two nieces graduating High School already. I continually pray that they know that God has more instore for them then they can dream about now, that their story is just beginning. That as High school comes to a close so does who others thought they were. That now is the start of a new chapter, one with a path not complete but just starting.
It has only been a few months since my dad passed away but what a hole he has left in our family. Knowing that he will not have to struggle with all that the Dementia brought on give us peace and we are grateful God carried him home is a blessing. I feel blessed that I can remember fond stories of the fun we had and remember the love he gave to all of his kids and his grandkids.
I was questioning the direction of the foundation lately but with the help of my board members and friends I realized I should not stop putting my heart into a foundation I created after my heart broke but rather I should keep the foundation that helped me heal my heart. Sometimes our heart breaks because it needs to be opened and filled with new life and direction, sometimes our heart breaks so we can see that broken is beautiful and healing. I read the book Mended by Angie Smith a long time ago and on the first few pages you were encouraged to drop a water pitcher and glue it back together. I found peace in letting the pitcher drop on the front porch and pick up the pieces and glue them together. As I think about the tears I shed letting the pain of loosing Jason flow freely from my eyes, knowing that I have to move forward without him in my life and try to put the pieces to the pitcher together making the connection that the pitcher, my heart will never look the same but it will be healed was a beautiful moment. Sure the pitcher can not hold water like it was meant to but realizing that now that pitcher is supposed to let water flow from it instead of keeping itself full. I have always loved metaphors, making a life connection to a metaphor is key to understanding. I am a vessel which God is choosing to not always keep me full of water but to use me to fill up others. We can chose to see one side to a heartache or we can chose to be a path to find healing, see beauty where ashes are and where cracks in a water pitcher change the once whole vessel. I encourage you to find that beauty in pieces put together after loss and strength in life after loss. God may not use all of us in the same way but maybe those that are broken will be used when the shattered pieces of others need to be put back together.
May 4, 2021
11 years ago, I held my son Jason in my arms and felt God carry his soul off to the safety of heaven.
I still remember everything from that day. I get overly emotional, irritable, and so many more emotions that are hard to write down from March till May. I am thankful, grateful, blessed and yes angry at times. So much positive and beauty came from our precious Jason Daniel and yet there is still a hole that will never be filled nor replaced. I have moved forward and gained strength when I did not think I could. Yet I still remember how my heart shattered as Jason’s last breath was taken. I can see that there is a God because I could see the peace and rest Jason was given as God carried him home. I know there is a God because I see more then loss and pain, I see beauty in my tears and hope in healing when your heart is broken. I can do more then I thought was ever possible. I pray I show Jason’s living siblings that there will be heartbreak but peace will come, God’s strength will carry you when you cannot move, healing will come but it takes work, our hurt will not go to waste when we let God use it for his good and joy is not in things but those who we surround ourselves with.
Today I will cry remembering the pain of watching my precious baby suffer before he was lovingly carried to heaven. I will find joy knowing he is now in heaven where he is whole, healthy and will never suffer again. I will cry remembering what the family I have will not be whole until we are in heaven. I will find joy today remembering the loving arms that gently held Jason and the kisses he received from the family that was able to make it here to say goodbye before his last breath. I will cry knowing Nathan had to watch his brother die at only 3 years old, but I will have joy praying that this part of his story will making him stronger than I would ever imagine. I cry knowing Amelia did not meet her brother, but I find joy knowing God answered our prayer of having another baby after loosing Jason.
With tears of grief running down my cheeks today, there is peace in my heart knowing God has carried me farther then I could have imagined. Now I continue to pray as Mother’s Day comes and brings bittersweet celebration to our home. I am a mother to living children and heavenly babies, I give myself permission to feel emotional on this day of remembrance. The day after we held Jason’s funeral service-continuing the emotional rollercoaster of May.
May you find healing as you experience peace and pain from your loss or challenge in your life. God will carry you and use your story for more than you can imagine!
Song of inspiration:
This pandemic has changed things and I am not sure what will go back to normal or what we will now be calling the new normal. Just as in Grief we are taught that we have to accept our loss and find healing in creating a new normal. I pray that we all may find a new peace in following God’s direction after the pandemic changed our path. I have been reminded of this verse a lot lately and I think it is especially important to hold onto as we start a new year. May you find peace in God’s word.
"I have told you these things, so that you can have peace because of me. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16: 33
I know that with heartache it is hard to find good or to make sense out of a bad situation but when we put our hope and our faith in God then we do not have to carry a burden that was not meant for us to carry.
I was recently asked to participate in a Zoom Leaders book Study, I was honored that my pastor thought of me. I never really thought of myself as a leader especially for Grief Share at our church however the pastor reminded me that I have an important role in this group. The invitation came at the right time, because I was struggling with my role. I love being a stay-at-home mom however this year with E-Learning I felt terrible that I wasn’t really making a great Kindergarten teacher. Going to school on-line to get my graduate degree was hard but I liked it because I was able to work on my own. However, that is not the way our young kids should go to The pandemic has kept us close but I am praying that this summer we can travel and see all of our family who live out of state. May you find a chance to enjoy a new experience this year. I am praying that we have gotten farther away from despair and we are moving toward a cure. I am excited to one day plan playdates or dinner get togethers with more of our family and friends and I pray you can do the same while staying healthy!
I always use music to inspire and encourage me and this is one song that I play often. Sometimes I want to change my story and just have a "normal life" but then I would not be the mom of a son who helped me to be a better person, a better mom! I pry that you can find strength sharing your story that can see beauty in your scar and peace in your path!
Song: Scars by I am They
Another school year is coming and how I wonder what Jason would be like today. I wonder what kind of backpack he would be picking out or what outfit he would want to wear on his first day of 4th grade. Not a day goes by that I do not wonder who he would be or what his new favorites would be. It is hard to watch the Facebooks posts of the first day of school or even post myself because I miss posting about Jason too. There are so many thoughts I leave in my heart as sometimes people may not understand that I am moving forward but sometimes I still cry about the son I lost. So you may wonder, how do you get through the hard days? Well I hold onto this poem and I hope that it may give you strength in the days to come as well.
"I could only be grateful when I realized that I would rather have known you for a moment than never at all. I would rather endure this inexplicable pain of outlasting you than to never have seen your face or spoken your name. I would rather be yours, and you be mine, regardless. Regardless of the sorrow, the sleepless nights and the years I will walk this earth, carrying you only in my heart." Scribbles & Crumbs
I would like to share a poem I wrote as I was planning our Mothers Day craft.
I Pray you feel God's strength and know his plan even in your weakness! His plan is greater then we can ever imagine.
I have many different colors
Blue when I am sad
Red when I am mad
Green when all is going well
Orange when I think of my babies in heaven
Clear for those days that I just don’t know what to do
My pieces are not always smooth and straight
I tend to be more jagged and misshaped
I have had a hard time feeling beautiful
And some days I’m stuck in the pain of my loss for you.
It has taken time and God’s helping hand
To see that when my jagged pieces and all those colors come together
That something beautiful I became
My most beautiful story unfolded because I lost you
This doesn’t take away the hurt but it
Gives me hope to know more is made of this pain inside
I am a masterpiece filled with many jagged and colorful pieces of stone
That has turned me into more then just a Mother with loss
I continue to read a lot of books. I need to be encouraged by God's word and the prayers from others. I am always reminded that we are not alone and we need to find strength through others. One of the books that I recently finished called Broken Hallelujahs by Beth Allen Slevcove gave me a lot to think about and carry with me as I move forward. One of the quotes I hold onto is from Chapter 9; "We grieve because life hurts us sometimes. We also grieve in order to see the beauty, feel the joy, hear the laughter and be touched by God's innumerable graces that course through our veins and sneak into our circumstances." I know those of us that grieve know the depths of the ache and the pain but we need to remember that we loved with that same depth. As we move through grieve we are filled with pain. But try to see how beautiful grieve can be, grieve can move us forward with a deeper compassion to love, laugh and find joy again. God wants to bring us through our grief and we need to let him. We can not hold onto the pain of grief but we can hold onto the love of grief. We loved so deeply and we will move forward changed and able to see beauty in the little things. Let God carry your pain while you hold onto your loved one.
I am going to post a few things I have been thinking about lately. I loved putting the first box together; I prayed that this would give comfort to the family that received it. We delivered 3 Boxes on Jason’s first birthday and 3 boxes later that year. Never in my mind did I think that we would have delivered 77 Heavenly Brothers Boxes already this year on Jason’s 7th Birthday. We also just held our 6th Annual Fundraiser, with over 140 people attend our fundraiser. Our first fundraiser was in our house with about 40 people. God has really blessed this foundation and my desire to turn my heartbreak into something beautiful. We have enjoyed meeting families that have received one of our boxes and the friendships we have made have really helped us move forward especially after miscarrying a few times after Jason. Moving forward together as friends in grief helped us see that we can find peace and can hope again. Hope that our grief and sadness will not destroy but will carry us when we feel we just can’t move.
We don’t know why we loose our babies but we do know who holds them now and that helps me find comfort. I am also comforted knowing that God created each of our babies with a plan. They might not be here physically but through the foundation and reaching out to other families that have lost we are honoring our precious babies and I believe that is God’s plan for Jason’s life, to help heal and comfort the brokenhearted. With time my faith has grown through my loss of Jason and two missed babies.
Sometimes I do wonder if I am doing this foundation just for me but then I stand in AWE of how many families come together to support the foundation, especially at this years fundraiser. There were a lot of families there that lost a baby and it was great to see them find JOY in the day which is what we are trying to do. To celebrate their baby and know that we will not for. I am so honored that God put it on my heart to reach out to others and I loved seeing my friends and family come together and honor so many heavenly babies.
I recently received a donation and a Thank you note from a family who received one of our Heavenly Brothers Boxes last year. The note reads: “In Honor of our Beautiful son Gavin Allen (Russell), whose miraculous life came into this world on May 11, 2016. Thank you to Heavenly Brothers, NFP for their love and Support during this difficult time in our lives.” I do not hear from everyone that receives a box and that is okay because I know that it take so much strength to just move daily let alone do anything extra. So when I receive a thank you note from just one family it gives me that strength and determination to make more boxes.
And so I will, I will continue to send out boxes, plan social activities for families with loss and host a fundraiser that honors all heavenly babies as well as give us that much needed financial support we need to keep making MORE boxes.
I am honored to remember your baby through our foundation in memory of Jason and our missed babies. I know I am being healed through my grief by comforting those who also grieve.
So much has been going on and I feel terrible I have not had time to write about it all. I have been so blessed with sending out over 100 boxes already this year. I have been trying to host play dates with our moms group and their rainbow babies, starting our book study, taking care of a busier house, babysitting and training to be a leader in a grief share group at my church. I love being busy and it does help make time go faster. Some days I tend to run out of energy but I am blessed that I can tuck two beautiful kids to bed. As we head toward to holiday though it is a struggle to keep my mind on the positive and planning for the fun to come for my kids but my heart aches for my heavenly babies. Missing Jason a lot lately. I see the foundation growing but so wish I could see him grow. I know and I have faith that God's plan is better then mine and that Jason is in the arms of our father and he is proud of what I have done in his memory and knowing that his brother did not forget him this Halloween, May you find strength in the days to move forward keeping memories alive and in making new memories while forever holding onto your babies!
Here is a new song I have found strength from and I pray it helps you too!
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family - Thy Will
I heard this song on the radio today. I just can't get the words out of my mind. This is somethings I am trying hard to do these days. I am happy but sometimes it seems I look back and think I should be happier. I want to feel joy without looking back. I want to hold onto Jason with love and still move forward without sadness. I know the hole will always be there but I want to Breathe new again.
Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey:
Sorry I have not written anything inspiring lately. I know that God has inspired me. He has given me a rainbow I can hold in my arms. He has given me the blessing to hold my own baby again and I have been enjoying every moment. I will say that it is also hard, hard to see my little lady growing more beautifully each new day and recalling that my precious Jason never made it too each stage that we mark now. I can not help but be sad that I miss Jason so much more some days while feeling so blessed with each smile I see on my little lady. I know and I feel so blessed but sadness still comes, I have posted more on my blog. Here is a poem that continues to inspire me:
It didn’t seem possible to
Take the next breath
But I realize today that
I am surviving your death
Some days are hard
When weakened by sorrow
Remembering you inspires
Me to face my tomorrow
Because of you
Because of you I appreciate the sunset more than before.
Because of you I stop to look up at the moon and wish upon a star.
Because of you I look forward to hearing the birds sing in the morning and thank God for their beautiful songs.
Because of you I am more understanding of others and accept people for who they are.
Because of you material things do not matter.
Because of you the touch of someone you love is more precious than any gift you can receive.
Because of you I have a broken heart but I thank God for sending you to me.
For there is no stronger love than I hold for you.
Until we meet again…
Happy Birthday My Dear Son
I wish you were here today
even for just a little while
so I could say Happy 4th Birthday Son
We had a party in your honor
You would have been overwhelmed with all the new faces that attended
Your memory is alive and well in all the work we do
The house was decorated
We enjoyed cupcakes too
Many gifts were given and more boxes will soon be sent
I rocked in the rocking chair still in the corner of your room
I felt God place you in my arms
If only for a minute I could almost remember your sweet smell
You left behind precious memories...
Memories that can not be erased
On your birthday I'm doing my very best
to try and find a happy place...
I struggle to hide my heavy heart
and the tears that stream down my face
I sit quietly and look at your pictures throughout the house
thinking of you with love;
knowing you are taken great care of
in Heaven up above
May God hold you close and
angels sing you a birthday song...
We pray you get our balloon sent with lots of love
As you blow out a candle please make a wish for us
That strength & peace will come today and last all year long
Happy Birthday Precious son
This is my prayer for all of our precious families. Thank you Grandma Linda for sharing this with me.
“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you many overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Bob Russell said "God wastes no hurt".
I pray that is something you can believe. Although we hurt and are sadden by the loss of our baby, God will use our pain for something more. We can continue to move through our loss and share our stories so that one day we may help another family who has lost their child. God never intended us to be filled with such deep pain and anguish. For now we can chose to move forward in our HOPE for the days God fills our heart with his strength and peace forever knowing that one day we WON'T have this pain. We will have the joy of holding our babies! Please remember this verse as you work through the loss of your precious baby; "The Lord sustains all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down".
"Sorry looks back,
Worry looks around,
Faith looks up."(unknown author)
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
I am using my faith to look up to God for strength.
I am also waiting for a new door to my life to open. I know that Spring is here so I am looking forward to the changes that seem to come in Spring. From the new colorful flowers that are growing in the gardens and then listening to beautiful songs the birds came back to sing. God shows us his beauty in wonderful ways and always when our hearts need to be warmed after the long winter. May you feel Gods beauty in your heart as the new season brings warmth. May you look to God for his plans for you, plans of hope and peace during this new season in our live.
Find strength in these verses and comfort in your time of great sorrow.
I pray that as we ask God where he is in our suffering. That we know he is REDEEMING it. He is taking what is bad and if we allow him, he will us it for good!
God had planned something better for us that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:40
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:39
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147: 3
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understandings, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I tell you the truth you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20
For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unframed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73: 26
This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. Lamentations 1:16