Back in August I had a new word pop into my head. Remembered. I think God had been telling me something. I felt that He wanted me to know, He wants to remind me that I am remembered. That we are not forgotten. When you’re hurting it’s easy to feel forgotten. And while I didn’t necessarily feel forgotten, or think I was forgotten, because we were surrounded with love and amazing people blessing us in so many ways. But through a series of things – mostly people in our lives blessing us, God has shown that he remembers the broken hearted.
And since August the remembered message has stuck and been pounded in. Being remembered brings hope. There is a light, a joyful thing, and a hopeful thing in being remembered.
It’s why we live in community – to be built up and encouraged by those around us when we need it. And likewise to build up and encourage those who need it when they are down. We have had amazing people in our lives blessing us over and over. We have had food brought to us again and again, beautiful life-giving tree planted, gift cards, many words of encouragement in cards, letters, emails, and social media, friends bringing groceries, gifts honoring and remembering our Gabriel. People calling and listening, people loving and supporting. The gift of people in our lives to lift us up is an amazing blessing. One that I know has helped to get us through the worst days of our lives.
It’s been such an encouragement to us, and I find myself reminded to do the same for others. To support them and love on them. Thank you to all of you who have done that for us. We are so very grateful. Thank you for being a picture of hope on earth.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I probably should have published this post on day 1 or 2 or at least very near the beginning. It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t share this yet. I want to share that I am a student of hope. By no means an expert. Very much a student. A learner as this hard year has forced me to be.
It’s a privilege to get to share my observations here. And it still astounds me that people actually come to this site to read those observations. There are many who could speak wiser words about hope than I could. There are many who have studied it and know so much about it. There are many who have lived far more difficult lives than me who could speak to hope. But I am thankful that I get to share. The work God has done in my life is not something I can keep quiet about – I must share. And the song I hear him singing into my life and over my family is HOPE.
So I have a lot to learn about hope. Much to still experience in this life, I’m sure. I think this might be one of the first times in my life where I am realizing that I am the learner. I so often think of myself as an expert – that I know more than I do. And that’s just not true. I’m thankful for you friends for walking with me.
This sweet, precious picture came home from preschool with Jack. I absolutely adore that his teachers put Gabriel’s initials on the tree. So thankful for them, all those who teach me so much, and my precious boys who are still brothers even though it doesn’t look like most brothers.
Joining the Nester for 31 Days of writing. See all 31 Days of Posts here.
I don’t have a lot of words in my head tonight. For the third night in a row I’m writing this post and publishing it on the last hour of the day. We have been so busy, so I’ve had no time to think about this 31 Days of Hope. My organized list of posts has gone by the way side, and I can’t remember the things I wanted to say.
But as I look back over the last week in my family I see a thread of hope in the days. I see things that can only be attributed to God’s hand here and I know He is here and I know there is hope. And if I wasn’t doing this 31 Days of Hope journey, this paying attention to hope, I don’t think I’d be noticing those things. I don’t think I’d see the hope we have. I don’t think I would even notice how much our God has done for us. His goodness in a bad time. His goodness in a bad year. And I am reminded that my only hope is in Jesus.
Hope in the life of our active two year old. Hope in the blessing of our precious Gabriel.
Hope in the extra time with family as we get through a hard time.
Hope in the joy a little one brings to a somber home.
Do you notice hope in your life? Have you noticed or thought about hope in new ways? I’d love to hear about it.
Joining the Nester for 31 Days of Hope.
This year I have been so needy. So weak. In every aspect of my life I’ve lost control, and I have been weak in many ways this year.
Thankfully there are promises that give hope to the weak like me.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Whew, I’m barely getting this one in. It’s 11:33 pm on the 16th, and I just started typing this post. It will be short and sweet – minus the sweet part.
Today has been a whirlwind of a day. Still recovering from surgery leaves me bribing and begging my 2 year old to do things. I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than a jug of milk, so lifting my 36 pound child is out of the question. So diaper changes, clothing changes, car seat getting into, and discipline actions are all subject to the will of a two year old. Awesome.
He’s actually been great this week though. That makes it a lot easier. And I don’t want to totally out him on the interwebs but some serious developments in the potty training world happened last night. Heres to hoping it’s not an isolated event.
I had the privilege of spending this afternoon and evening with my family, including my Grandfather. He is a precious man, and he fiercely loved my Granny – his wife of 62 years and 8 months. My heart is breaking for him, and I am so inspired by him. To see that kind of love before your eyes is a rare thing in this world that we live in. And I’m so proud to be his granddaughter, and am so thankful for the example he and Granny have set for all of us in their marriage. Thank you for praying for him and for the rest of my family. And thank you for your prayers for my Granny. She passed away Tuesday morning. There is a great hole in our family now. I’m so thankful for God’s presence and goodness over these past 5 days.
I want to thank you all so so very much for remembering Gabriel last night. I was BLOWN AWAY by the love. That is what hope is. I wish I could have bottled last night up so I could take a big whiff of it whenever I needed encouragement. We feel so loved and so blessed to have people who not only haven’t forgotten our baby but also took the time out of their lives to do a kind act for him and us. So touched. I’ve got a whole post to write on it, and I can’t wait to share about all of the candles we got to see!
So until I get that written, here is our picture from last night.
It’s October 15th, which means it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Let’s celebrate! Last week I asked if you would light a candle tonight at 7 pm [your time zone] in remembrance of our Gabriel. Tonight is the night! So please, take a few moments to light a candle in honor of our baby and for all of those who have lost a baby. I know many of you will be lighting a candle because you or a loved one have lost a baby. Know that I will be lighting mine along with you.
We would love to see your candle! Please send me a picture – email, comment here, facebook, twitter, instagram. Anything! We want to encourage moms and dads that their babies are remembered, even when they think they aren’t. Help us remember sweet babies in the Wave of Light tonight. Cannot wait to see all the candles glowing brightly. It brings hope to my heart and the hearts of other mamas who have lost their babies to know that people – friends, family, strangers – are remembering our precious children who aren’t here to be remembered every day.
Help spread hope by lighting a candle.
Joining the Nester for 31 Days of writing.
To see all 31 Days of Hope posts click here.
Saturday night I wrote out the post for Sunday. I had no clue that as I was writing it the words would become even more true to me than they already were. I didn’t know that as I was writing about things looking dark and it being hard to see hope, that that very scenario was unfolding in my life. Yet again.
As I wrote those words, my Grandfather was going through something awful, and my Granny had her last moments alive and alert on this earth. Y’all, I can’t even tell you how much I love my Granny. I can’t even tell you how close we are and how proud of her I am and how she’s one of my favorite people. To lose my baby in May and not even six months later lose my Granny is crushing. Truth be told – I don’t get it. I don’t know why this has to happen.
My family is going through very, very hard moments right now. My Grandfather losing the love of his life. My dad and his sister and brother losing their mother. My grandparents were up on the farm when my Granny had a massive stroke. She was somewhere she loves, and I am thankful for that. My parents and their siblings have gone to be with my Granny in her last moments. Please pray for my Granny as she was taken off of life support yesterday. Pray that her final moments in this life will be peaceful and full of God’s comfort and love. Please pray for my Grandfather – for strength, support, comfort, and peace. Please pray for my parents and my aunts and uncle as they say goodbye.
There are few women on this earth like my Granny. I have many words to share about her. And I will. But now I truly am so grateful for your prayers. We feel knocked down and defeated. It’s been a rough year for our whole family. So many lies want to creep into my mind now. But I have to cling to the Truth. I have to cling to the promises of God. And know that even when we are knocked down – really really hard and really really down, He is still good. And I must remember words I wrote only days ago…
Because maybe hope isn’t about not having any big waves knock you down, but instead, is about surrendering to the big waves, trusting that God will use it for His glory. Trusting that He has us in his hands. Having faith that what we hope for will one day come to be. And sitting securely in His embrace while the water washes over us… And we’re all going to get knocked down, beat up, and even feel stuck underwater thinking we can’t possibly survive this. But we do… and if we just surrender to the big waves and trust that God has us, we just might come out having seen something beautiful and learned more about ourselves than we ever could have.
our last picnic with Granny
I stepped out on the front porch on Wednesday night with Jack. He loves to be outside, loves being outside in the dark, and loves looking up at the moon and the stars. I very briefly looked up in the sky and pointed to the moon and said there weren’t many stars out that night. We went back inside, but a little while later Tommy took Jack outside to do their nighttime thing. And about ten minutes later Jack came running inside to tell me to come lay on the driveway with them.
I followed him outside where he laid down on the driveway beside Tommy. I did, too. He pointed up to the sky where they were looking. It took a few minutes of me laying there, being stilled, to see it. When I was certain that there was a night with only a few stars out in my quick view, I was so limited in what I saw. When I sat still and really looked my eyes were opened and I saw a sky full of stars. The moon was there and stars were everywhere. Flickering, glowing, brighter than I could have known. But I didn’t see it. And I thought I’d given it a good look.
Hope feels like that to me some times. Like it’s hard to see even when we think we’re looking for it. We think it’s just not there, but the thing is – it’s there. And it’s bright and it’s glowing, but we just don’t see it.
So even when it feels dark, even when it looks like it’s not there, the sky is glowing with stars. With hope.
to cherish a desire with anticipation
to desire with expectation of obtainment
to expect with confidence
definitions from Merriam-Webster.
Joining the Nester for 31 Days of writing. See all 31 Days of Hope posts here.