A letter to Grandma for Her Birthday

Dear Grandma,

I can’t even to begin to imagine how hard these last few months have been for you. From the first hospital visit to today, your whole life has changed. Grandpa was your rock, and I can’t imagine anything that would be harder for you than losing him.

I’ve watched you this last year. I’ve seen the strength you gave him when you had no strength left because you knew he needed those last moments, we needed those last moments before he went to the Father. I know the nights you didn’t sleep because he didn’t sleep. I know that even when he did sleep you laid awake to keep watch over him.

I know how you struggle today to fill your time because he was your time. I know how alone you feel because he was your other half. I know that you never imagined a life without him because he was your life.

And I sat at your table this week. And you watched the boys play their games and we talked about life and everything that had happened in the week since we had seen you. And we even talked about Grandpa a little. Not in any big or hard ways, but just in the natural way he came up in conversation, in how he would react to the world around us. Or how we all think of him every time Purdue plays basketball. (Oh my goodness, he would be madder than my husband in how they have been playing!)

I’m not sure why, but this has been a hard week for me. I miss Grandpa so much right now, maybe even more than the week he died. He was always there to talk to, and sometimes when we talk I imagine how he would react to it. And if I’m struggling this much this week, I can’t even imagine how hard things are for you.

I love Grandpa so much, but I know you love him even more than I can imagine. I can’t imagine losing my husband after 11 years of marriage, and I know that’s only a drop in the bucket after 60. I wish I could tell you how to move on, how to breath in and breath out every day. I wish I could tell you what to do to make each day easier. I wish there was a way I could make each day easier.

And I know (and I know you know) there is a reason God called Grandpa home and left you here with us. And not that I would pick him over you, I’m just selfish enough to want you both here with me now. It makes me want to scream out that it isn’t fair. And we all know that isn’t the way life works. We all have a story to tell and God doesn’t call us home until our story is done, no matter how long or short the story is.

Sunday is your 80th birthday. Maybe that is why Grandpa being gone hurts so much this week. I can just see him trying to convince you that you needed a party and 80 candles on a cake. I can see him rejoicing that God gave us all one more year with you.

And maybe that’s where we all need to be right now. Yes, it hurts so much. Yes, we will continue to cry and miss Grandpa, but his story was told. Your story isn’t finished and we need to continue to tell it. And I thank God for every additional day I have with you, that my boys have with you because your story isn’t finished. And while I didn’t believe, even after he was sick, that Grandpa’s story was coming to an end, I am so thankful for every day we had with him. And I know you are, too.

So know that while you are struggling through this time of change, we are struggling with you. And know that while you are learning how to live without Grandpa, we are too. I know it’s not the same. I know as much as I hurt, you must hurt 1,000 times more. But also know that your story isn’t finished. God still has work for you to do here on earth.

This may be the least happiest birthday letter ever written. And this is probably your least happiest birthday ever. And while we celebrate God giving us another year with you, it’s okay to have tears for the year He didn’t give us with Grandpa.

I’m sorry this letter isn’t more cheery, but I don’t think cheer is what any of us have to give right now. Maybe for your 81st birthday we can be cheery. I love you very, very much. Happy Birthday, Grandma.

 

This is my story

I realize it’s not Wednesday. But even if it was Wednesday, it’s been so long since I’ve done a Worship Wednesday post, it would probably confuse you all. But it’s not Wednesday, it’s Friday. And this Friday, I’m listening to music waiting for my husband to get home from the store and one of my current favorite Christian songs comes on, Big Daddy Weave’s My Story.

This song speaks to me so much. I grew up in a Christian home. There was never a time when we didn’t go to church. There was never a time when I didn’t believe in God, or know that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God who came to earth as a man, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross for ME, and arose three days later. This has always been true for me.

And then I’m around people talking about their story, and they all have this big AHA moment where suddenly they understood and believed and knew Jesus came for them. And then I feel like I am less. Everyone is sharing their salvation story, and I just sit there uncomfortable hoping no one is looking at me. I don’t have this big story. I do not have a single moment in my life where I remember anything but believing in Jesus. Does this make me less?

I grew up in the church. We always, ALWAYS, went to church. If you spent the night at our house, you went to church on Sunday morning, too. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it (unless you snuck out at the crack of dawn. I’m looking at you, Joey). We went on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights until we changed churches and then we went on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. We were always in church. And if something happened with the church we were currently attending, we immediately were in another church. Church, God and Jesus are just something that has always been a part of me.

I hear people tell these stories, and I am so moved by them. They were in this horrible place and God spoke to them and they found Jesus and I rejoice with them. These are amazing stories. And then I am terrified they will ask me mine. And then what do I say? I’ve always believed? I’ve never doubted the presence of God?

Don’t get me wrong. I have made mistakes. I have made my own gigantic, horrible, terrible mistakes. But even in the midst of those mistakes, I knew God; I knew Jesus. While I was making my mistakes, there was never a moment when I doubted the presence of God. And while my mistakes may have taken me away from God, I knew that He had never left me.

What kind of story is that? What kind of testimony is it to say you always knew Him? There are days this makes me feel less, less Christian, less devoted, just less. And how ridiculous is that? Shouldn’t always knowing Him be more or equal to? But still I feel less.

My middle brother was the first of the three of us that were baptize. I remember so clearly as a teenager my brother saying he wanted to be baptized again because the first time he was baptized we were attending a Church of Christ where they have communion every Sunday and my brother really wanted to be able to have communion because every one else was. I remember my teenage brother with his amazing story being baptized again. (I am not saying that he ever doubted God or Jesus, just so we are clear.) I remember watching him being dunked into that water and being so proud of the choice he was making. I remember being jealous that he had this moment of clarity and a story he could tell. Isn’t that silly?

I know not having an amazing story doesn’t make me less. It doesn’t lessen my worth in my Father’s eyes. It’s such a silly human thing that I’m sure comes from Satan. And maybe that’s why this song means so much to me.

To tell you my story is to tell of Him.

My story (or lack thereof) doesn’t make me less. It doesn’t make me more. It makes me me. We all have different stories. We all come to Him in different places. Do you know what is important? It’s not the story. It’s that we come to Him.

So if you ask me my story, I will tell you a story of when Life overcame the grave. I will tell you of when justice was served but when mercy won. Let me tell you of the grace that is greater than all of my sin (and boy have I sinned.). Can I tell you about the kindness of Jesus which is more than any of us can imagine? This is my story. This is my song.

so far, Big Kids are the best

This week my baby turned six. It seems almost unbelievable.  I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday that he was this baby I could easily carrying around and now he is this “big kid” who is officially an inch taller than his brother who is two years older than him and darn near 100 pounds.

birthday bowl

He thought he was so funny with his

fork and the bowl on his head ready for birthday cake

After every birthday, I find myself thinking back on the birthdays past and thinking of what the future might hold for us. And with every birthday, I find that as the boys grow older each age is better than the one before it.

I loved having babies and all that comes with having babies. And I know I had easy babies. It was so much fun watching them learn and grow. I loved all those firsts we got to experience, the rolling over, the crawling, the first laugh and smiles, the first steps. There is something so special about babies. And if I could talk my husband into it, we would have had a dozen.

And then those babies who are so soft and sweet and dependent on you, grow into toddlers who are learning about independence and pushing the boundaries and taking on their own personalities and feelings and attitudes. And while there are times that they want to walk on their own, they also want you to carry them, and they’ll curl up in your lap to cuddle and hear a story or even be rocked to sleep. And though there were times as toddlers, the boys made me absolutely crazy, I loved having toddlers.

And now I have two “big kids” which is just mind-blowing. I remember taking my little kids to the park and hating when the “big kids” showed up. These big kids have their own very distinct personalities and opinions. I’m afraid they are going to eat us out of house and home. They are growing so fast. They are so smart and are learning new and bigger things each and every day. I love having big kids.

At this point, we get glances at the men they are going to be when they are grown. They look at ordinary, everyday things and can envision something wondrous and amazing. They are learning to read and write and think up new things. They have wiggly teeth. They tell jokes that 99% of the time make no sense at all. They love to wrestle and “play rough” with Dad. They still love to cuddle up with Mom. This is the best age so far.

That may look like a broken cardboard box and empty wrapping paper roll, but it's actually a submarine looking for sea monsters

      That may look like a broken cardboard box and empty wrapping paper roll, but it’s actually a submarine looking for sea monsters

And since it was Connor’s birthday this week, let me tell you a little about the big kid he is. Connor has a very tender heart. He is as likely to get mad about something as he is to just have his feelings hurt and then the tears come. He is fiercely protective of his brother and although they fight and argue, you had better not be mean to his brother (a lesson he taught another kid last week). He loves animals and wants to help them and knows so much more about animals than I do, but they also make him VERY nervous in real life (even the baby deer and goats at the petting zoo).

He is willing to give in and let someone else pick or go first, however he always qualifies it with, “But I get to go next” because he wants to make sure he gets his turn. Connor is a deal maker. And once he has decided on what the deal should be, he just goes with it. It doesn’t really matter if you have agreed or not.

For his birthday, Connor got all the dinos

     For his birthday, Connor got all the dinos

 

So far, big kids are the best. Happy Birthday, Connor.

It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas Yet

king become baby

I’m in a strange place this year. We are one week from Christmas, and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. I’m not sure why it doesn’t feel like Christmas time. This is truly one of my favorite times of year. I love the lights and the tree and the songs and the snow. I love THE Christmas story. The story of Jesus’s birth is the beginning to the greatest gift creation has ever been given. We get cards in the mail, and I make cookies and wrap presents. And I love it all.

This year is just different. Maybe part of it is the weather. It has been unseasonable warm this December. In fact last weekend it was in the 60s. I live in a place that is supposed to have a white Christmas. I want that foot of snow on the ground and snowflakes to fly Christmas Eve. (Last I heard they were calling for rain on Christmas Eve with a slim chance of snow on Christmas Day.)

As for the tree, we had it up early this year. We have never had a tree up before the middle of December, but this year we got it the last weekend in November. And then that sucker fell over completely decorated and broke our ornaments and lights not once but twice. Finally yesterday we got it decorated for the third time. I’ve told everyone that if it falls over again, I’m tossing it out the front door.

I have the most lovely nativity scene. I think it was Tuesday this week when I finally got it out. The boys and I drew and painted leaves to cut out and tape into a paper wreath to hang on our front door. The papers are still in a stack waiting to be cut out. There is a Charlie Brown and a Veggie Tales nativity set around here somewhere that haven’t been put up.

As for wrapping presents, well, we will need to buy them first. Christmas is one week away and we have exactly 1 gift for each of the boys. And it’s not that we go crazy with gifts piled a mile high, but just one under the tree with make for two very disappointed little boys Christmas morning. Someone really should start thinking about (and actually doing) our Christmas shopping.

What about that Christmas picture of the boys in front of the tree I like to take every year? I guess I did take one last weekend but it was just because that’s where they were standing when I took their picture and the tree only had lights on part of it because we hadn’t redecorated it yet.

And maybe I’m not the only one feeling this way this year. We don’t send out Christmas cards. Every year I think about it and then just never get it done. But even though we don’t send them, we always get a few. So far this December we have gotten exactly zero Christmas cards. And the boys love to look at all the Christmas lights on the houses when we are out driving around. It seems like there are just less lights up this year.

The boys did finally get to see Santa last weekend after missing all of the other opportunities we normally have in December with everything that’s been going on.

cameron and santa connor and santa

Thanks, Misti for the awesome photos! It was a great time and a great Santa, but it was also in the 60s and the boys didn’t even wear coats that day.

And the boys are just the exact opposite of where I am. They are so excited. They ask every day if it’s Christmas Eve. The saw Santa and made their lists. They talk about Jesus and His birth. They play with the nativity. Sunday they are in a program at church. They loved Piney (the Christmas tree) even when only half her lights worked and she had no decorations.

I’m not sure why I’m feeling this way this year. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s missing Grandpa. Maybe it’s because I had been picturing this Christmas looking a lot different than it does this year. I’m just not having that excitement that I normally feel especially by this time every year. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

I’m sure over the next few days the boys’ excitement will rub off on me, and it will finally start to feel like Christmas. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

That Busy Time of Year

Like most people, it feels as if we are just insanely busy this time of year. And this year, it feels much more overwhelming than it has in years past. At night when I finally get things wrapped up and get in bed to go to sleep, I remember that I was going to blog that day but I never got to it. In fact, I normally blog from our desktop because it’s easier for me than using our tablets. For Thanksgiving, our desktop was unhooked and placed in a corner out of the way. Today, I finally got it hooked back up.

Besides family get-togethers, company Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, visits to Santa, and all the regular every day things, these past few weeks have been so stressful. Shortly before Thanksgiving, Cameron had a cavity that became abscessed.  After treating the infection, he had to have the tooth pulled. He was an absolute rock star with how he handled all of it. And apparently, he doesn’t get his teeth from me because, where I’ve never had a cavity, before Christmas, Cameron has four additional teeth that are going to need fillings or crowns.

In case that’s not enough going on in our lives, for Thanksgiving, Connor got the flu. That annoying flu morphed into Bronchiolitis in Connor. By Sunday night, he was taking short, fast breaths and trying to take a deep breath would make him cough so he and I headed to the Emergency Room. After 2 hours in the ER waiting room, we finally got to see a nurse. Connor’s oxygen level was at 55. It’s amazing how fast they can get a doctor in to see you when your level is that low.

Connor got some steroids, a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray. He thought it was all great fun. I was functioning mostly on panic. After another 2 hours, we finally got to leave the hospital with a nebulizer, 2 prescriptions and instructions that if his breathing got worse or he started breathing like that again, I was to bring him straight back to the ER.

IMG_0933

The next day, not only was Connor sick, but Cameron and I had both caught the flu, too. Thankfully, neither of us had issues breathing, but we were all in sad shape.

What? That’s not enough fun? Well, there is more. While we were all sick, my husband had the one work trip he takes a year so there was no backup at home. (Thankfully he didn’t leave for the trip until after the ER visit.) We also got our Christmas tree that weekend.

IMG_0931

It is much bigger than the trees we’ve gotten in the past, but the boys love it and have named it Piney. Piney drops more needles than our last 2 trees did the entire time we had them up combined. And apparently Piney isn’t very happy about where she is sitting, or maybe it’s just really tiring being a Christmas tree because she’s fallen over twice. Let me tell you, the idea of having to decorate that tree a third time makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Oh, did I mention that last year we made glass ornaments and all but one shattered the first time Piney fell over?

So that’s where we are right now. Mostly well finally but also very overwhelmed.

I did noticed today that over the last week or so there has been a lot of visits to the Hope For the Holidays post from last year. I actually meant to talk about that a couple weeks ago (and then all the above happened). MODG, the blogger who started WANA, which Hope For the Holidays was based off of is back to blogging. She is hosting WANA again this year and I have decided that I just don’t have the strength to host a similar event. I would ask any of you who are looking to help someone in need to check out this years WANA. Any of you looking for help this year, please post your stories over there. (Fair warning, they use a lot more colorful language over at MODGblog.com than I use here.) You can find the post for WANA here.

I wish I felt I could do it again this year. I wish I could help everyone who needs help this year.

Now you guys are mostly caught up on where we are. I am hoping after the first of the year to be back with posts more than once a month or so. No matter what happens, 2016 is going to be an exciting year. I have lots of strong opinions on everything going on in the world that I would like to share. Hopefully, you guys will continue to stick around even when I’m not posting very often. I know I’ve lost some readers, as happens when you don’t have new content consistently. Thank you to everyone who’s hung around for 2015. It’s been one of those years.

Here is a special treat. Cameron wrote a song about Grandpa John today and had me video him singing it. He wanted to play guitar while he sang, but his guitar is broken and hasn’t been replaced yet (and he doesn’t actually know how to play the guitar). He is using a plastic wagon handle as a guitar. And a special thanks to Grandma for the lovely glasses she gave him yesterday that he needed to wear to make his look complete. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

 

This season I’m thankful for God’s perfect timing

We are two days away from Thanksgiving and over two months since my last post. This has been a rough year. I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I would like. There has been so much going on and so many thoughts and feelings that I’ve wanted to write down, but when I sit at the computer they seem too personal and private to share with the whole world. I actually did sit down one day and write a long post about how the boys have been dealing with the grieving process since Grandpa died. I got all the way to the end and then hit save instead of publish.

Emotions run high and low and, although I know Grandma would never tell me to censor the words I use here, I didn’t want to be responsible for more low emotions. So I write out long posts in my head and save them for a day when everything isn’t as close to the surface. It’s not that we will ever be “over” Grandpa’s death, but someday November will come and we won’t just sit around for days crying. You see, November 14th was Grandpa’s birthday, and yesterday Grandma and Grandpa would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

If all of that doesn’t make me emotional enough, I got some extremely disappointing and confusing news yesterday. We were in the middle of something big. It felt so right and like God had led us to this place in this time and all of the many, many pieces were falling into place at just the right moments. It was so close we could feel it. And it felt so right and we could all imagine just exactly how it was going to be. And then yesterday we got the news that it probably, most likely is not going to happen.

It was one of those punch you in the stomach, can’t believe what you’ve just been told, what do we do now, moments. And, yes, there is a very, VERY slim chance that all the pieces line back up and our plan continues, but that is just so very unlikely at this point.

And it just leaves us all confused. What do we do now? What we were moving towards had been prayed over day after day after day, by not just those directly involved but others who prayed that God would show us the right way. And we all prayed that if we were moving in the wrong direction that God would stop us and not let us get there. But if we were moving in the wrong direction, why did God let us get so far? Why did he answer the first, second, third, fourth steps with yes just to give us a no about 6 hours before the last step?

And with all these things adding up, it’s hard to remember to be thankful for what we do have. And then I remember that God has perfect timing. And for reasons that I can’t see today, these things were supposed to happen in this order at this time. I can even trace the decisions and steps made back to when Grandpa first got sick, if not before. There is a big plan and smaller plans happening all around us that we can not see, and that we may never see.

I believe that someday (hopefully in the near future but maybe not), I will understand why we took the steps that we have taken and why we were stopped in this spot at this time.

This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. I have an amazing family, a fantastic husband that I can not imagine life without, 2crazylittleboys that bring me such overwhelming joy, a God that loves me so much He was willing to die for me, a roof over my head and food on my table. I have a warm bed to sleep in. I have been blessed with so much.

And this week as we work to make sense of what’s happened, I’m going to remember to be thankful for my God who stopped us from making a decision that could have harmed us all. Instead of focusing of what could have been and what I wanted, I’m going to remember that this is what we prayed for. Apparently we were on the wrong path, and now we are waiting for God to point us the in the next direction we should go.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you with fun and food and family (and football!).

Memories To Be Treasured

I am patriotic. I love my God, my family and my country. And although there are some days when things happening make it hard to recognize my country, I still love it. I am extremely proud of our military men and women who give themselves every day to keep us safe and free. And maybe I’m a little bias, but there is this one soldier that I believe is the best.

One week after Grandpa died, my brother graduated from the army’s flight school. He officially flies helicopters for the United States Army. And to say that I am proud of him is a complete understatement of my feelings. We are all so proud of the things my brother is doing.

Throughout the summer as Grandpa’s health was declining and my brother’s graduation was approaching, as a family we started discussing what would need to happen so my parents could be at the graduation. It was an important milestone in his military career and important to everyone that my parents be there. Had life turned out differently, my grandparents would have been planning on being at the graduation as well.

My mom had been at every graduation ceremony since my brother enlisted. We were there when he graduated from boot camp. We were there when he deployed to Iraq. There was no way she was going to miss this one.

It was so hard as we were figuring out who would stay where and who would do what to help with Grandpa. And then in God’s infinite wisdom and timing, Grandpa died one week before the graduation and just days before mom and dad would have left to be at the ceremony.

The day after Grandpa died, my mom, grandma, aunt and I were all sitting around Grandma’s table talking about the coming days’ and it was brought up that Grandma should go with my parents to the graduation. There was some back and forth, but why wouldn’t she go? Well, one night there was a military ball. Not to worry, my brother said that if it was too late to get Grandma a meal at the ball that he would gladly give her his. She didn’t want to go alone? No problem. My brother got her a date. Maybe my brother wouldn’t want her there? Are you kidding? He had her a date and a meal before she had said the final yes that she would go.

I’m so glad that she went. I’m glad that she got to be there. And I know that Grandpa would have wanted her to go and be there with my brother.

What happened over the next few days says so much about the military and how they truly are a family. When my brother went in to pay for Grandma’s meal for the ball, as he had for our parents, he was told not to worry about it. His unit had paid for it. And although there were other grandparents at the graduation, our grandma was the only one the unit had purchased a bouquet of flowers for.

And when my brother said he needed an escort for his grandma to the ball, he had no problems finding one.

grandma and date

Grandma was asked to help my sister-in-law pin my brothers wings on his uniform.

grandma pinning justin

grandma kissing justin

after pinning

And if you look in the background of those last three pictures, you will notice that all the commanding officers were watching my brother and Grandma. I love the smiles on the commanding officers’ faces. You can tell that it meant something to them as it did to us.

On more than one occasion, people came up to Grandma and told her how sorry they were for her loss. It was obvious that they knew how important Grandpa was to my brother and how important my brother is to them.

everyone heli

The memories made that week are some that will never be forgotten and always be treasured. The honor, respect, love and compassion given, not because of anything we did, but because of how much Grandpa meant to my brother is something that even those of us who weren’t able to be there will remember.

I’m Sad But I’m Good

Yesterday was a good but hard day. Yesterday we buried Grandpa’s earthly body. There was laughter and tears and the joy of knowing exactly where Grandpa is now and that we will see him again someday.

It was a small graveside service with family. If I would have been the one making decisions, it wasn’t what I would have picked, but Grandpa and Grandma had made the decisions years ago. And it was perfect.  Because Grandpa was a veteran, Grandma was presented with the veteran’s flag in the most touching moment by my brother in his army uniform. It was so moving, and I know how proud Grandpa was of what my brother is giving to his country, the country that Grandpa loved and prayed for every day.

There was a time of sharing, and I wish you all could have heard it. Most of the people who shared were family by love, not blood. Grandpa’s sons-in-law and grandsons-in-law spoke of the way he loved them as if they were born into the family and the way he touched their lives. What a fitting tribute to Grandpa. To him it didn’t matter if you were family by blood or family by love, he loved you the same. Grandpa’s life truly was a life of love.

We are loved by a lot of people, so over and over I get asked (or my husband gets asked) how we are doing. And I wondered if people believe the answer we give. I’m okay. Yes, it’s hard. And yes, I miss Grandpa fiercely. There are tears. On Saturday, I was talking about upcoming stuff and said, “Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa” and then I stopped and realized what I had said. Those times are extra hard. The whole month of November will be hard as Grandpa’s birthday and Grandma and Grandpa’s 60th wedding anniversary passes. But today? Today I am good.

I’m in a strange place right now. As people hear that my grandpa died, I get told they are sorry, but I don’t think they understand. He was more that my grandpa. He was my friend. He was my advisor. As a child, I spent a lot of time with him. It was more than an average granddaughter-grandpa relationship. It wasn’t just once a month that I was with him or just holidays. Grandma and Grandpa were with us a lot growing up.

And it was even more so as an adult. I think that’s unusual for other families. You become an adult and have all this other stuff going on and see your grandparents less than you did as a child. It wasn’t like that for me. For a while, I was with them every week Monday through Friday and then we went to the same church on Sundays. I didn’t lose a grandparent. I lost one of my best friends this week.

These last couple months were the same even when they were different. Before Grandpa got sick, I saw him once a week, like clockwork every Wednesday I was over there with the boys. And that meant not only did I get all that time, my boys got it, too. They are going to have all these amazing memories of the times they spent with Grandpa that seem (at least to me) unusual for great-grandsons/great-grandparents. As a whole family, we are extremely close but these relationships seem even closer than that.

These past few months I had the pleasure of getting to be there a lot. I got to do the little things for Grandpa like make sure the bird feeders were full and that there was corn out for the deer. I got to sit at the table and drink coffee with him. I got to be there as he was shooting BB guns from the patio with hands that would shake and him still do a better job than the rest of us. I got the privilege of sitting quietly while he napped and just listening in case he needed something.

As I just read back over my words, I realized this wasn’t what I was going to write today, but apparently it’s what I needed to say. I guess what I want you to know today is that I am sad but I’m good, too. And when you think of me and that my grandpa died this week, take that average granddaughter-grandpa relationship you think of and multiple it by 10 and you’ll almost understand the relationship I had with an amazing man.

Yesterday Jesus Won

One of the greatest men I've ever had the pleasure of loving

One of the greatest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of loving

Yesterday my grandpa’s battle with brain cancer came to an end. Grandpa didn’t lose and cancer didn’t win. Yesterday Jesus won.

Yesterday morning, Jesus sent an army of angels and took Grandpa home to be with Him.

Grandpa was one of the two most influential men in my life. And the only thing he loved more than Grandma and the rest of his family was his God, the Lord and Savior of his life. Yesterday, Grandpa got to see Him. And it is good.

We are grieving. We do cry. But even Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. (John 11:35) Even knowing that one day Lazarus would be with Him eternally, and knowing that He would raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus wept. Jesus mourned. And in the same way we are mourning and hurting.

There is no doubt in anyone mind where my grandpa is spending eternity. And there will be no pain, no tears, no cancer. It is so good.

Right after I got the phone call yesterday morning, God put a verse on my heart. Psalms 118:24 “Today is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” It gave me such peace. Yes, I still hurt and yes I still cried. But it was the day the Lord had made and we did rejoice and be glad in it.

I think about the time God gave us. He gave us so much time that some people don’t get. We all got those last memories and times to say good-bye, to tell Grandpa that we loved him. And some of them weren’t the memories we were wanting to make this summer, but they were good in their own right.

Monday was the last time I saw him. And we got to make some great memories. Although Grandpa could only sit in his chair out on the patio, he watched as Cameron completed the last project on Grandpa’s list of things that needed to be done. And when we were ready to leave, he told us that he loved us and then asked the boys to tell their dad he said hello. Even at the end, he remembered us all and loved us.

There are going to be many tears and moments of great sadness. But even in those times, we know this is good. Because today, the cancer is defeated. Grandpa’s mind is sharp, and he is spending today with Jesus. And it is good.

Last Sunday at church, the message was about David, having a heart of a champion and about leaving behind a legacy of honoring God. Let me tell you, Grandpa had a heart of a champion and what a legacy he leaves behind. It’s a legacy of loving Jesus with all his heart, of loving his wife and his family, of hard work and compassion, of selflessness and generosity. And over the next few days as we get ready to put Grandpa’s body to rest and tell stories of his life, we will remember that legacy he leaves behind.

His favorite verse was Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” That was how Grandpa lived his life and how those of us left behind will honor his memory.

For those of you who know me personally, there will not be a viewing or funeral. Grandpa requested a private, family only graveside service. Thank you for understanding that we will be respecting his wish.

I didn’t want to talk about this

I didn’t want to talk about this. I think I’m like most people. We don’t like to talk about abortion. It makes people uncomfortable.

Abortion is heartbreaking. I know people who have had an abortion. It changed them. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t wish they could do things differently. Maybe that’s not the cases for everyone. Maybe there are people who feel great about the choice they made. I don’t understand it. But maybe those people are out there.

I didn’t want to talk about this. However, with all the Planned Parenthood videos that have come out and then the first political debate, I feel the need to share my feelings. I thought about linking to the PP videos, but I just couldn’t. I can’t watch them. Although, if you are pro-choice, I do believe you should watch them. You should know what you are standing for. I’m standing firmly against and watching them would scar me.

And this post isn’t even about those videos.

This is about the question from last nights GOP debate that has so many people upset. Megyn Kelly asked Scott Walker if he would really let a woman die than have an abortion.

I’ve heard a lot of men talk about this question, but I’ve never heard an answer from a woman, from a mother. I’ve heard a lot of men say they would pick their wife in this situation every time.

The question bothered me, too. But not that it was asked. And not even his answer.

As a mother let me answer this question. Every time, every day of the week, if the choice was between me and my baby, I pick the baby every single time. Yes, I know I have young children that need a mother. Yes, I know how hard it would be for my husband. Yes, I know. Yes, it would be a tearful, heartbreaking decision, but it would also be an easy one.

No, I don’t ever want to leave my little boys without a mother. However, I know that God gives every life FOR A REASON, and if God would give me a baby, I know that the baby would be for a reason, that baby would have a purpose. I pick the baby over myself every time.

I don’t know a mother that would pick herself over her child. Born or unborn, the child comes first to the mother.

I find this heartbreaking. I can remember being 4, 5, 6 months pregnant with my boys. I can remember how much I loved them then and how hard we worked to get them, all we had to go through to get them. And I can sit here and cry thinking about what I would have done if the doctors would have said it was me or them.

I had high risk pregnancies. It’s actually possible that this could have happened to me. I was closely monitored because it could have been me or them. And for the record, I would pick them every time.

I believe every life is from God, and every life has a purpose. If it came down to me or the baby I was carrying, I would (do) believe I had served my purpose and that child is going to do great things for the Kingdom of Heaven.

If I am willing to die to keep my already born children alive, how could I do anything short of sacrificing myself for the one I’m carrying inside?