Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am going to, with only the strength and grace of the Lord, take a break starting tomorrow, from my blog, and Facebook, and the internet in general.  It's only for a few days!  Of course, if the Lord places something on my heart, I will write it and post it.  My heart needs to get focused back on spending time in His word and seeking Him.  And of course, my family needs me too!

Be blessed...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spaghetti Bowl of Emotions: Walking the Messy Road of Grief

The Deep Dark Feelings of Grief (and loss of a precious child):

If I were to be completely honest, and I am being in this post, I would sometimes like to take a dinner plate (for instance) outside and smash it on the ground.  Oftentimes I want to scream.  Oh how my soul aches, cries out for, and just longs to hold and kiss and see my precious first-born.  In reality, I fully realize that this side of earth that will never happen again.  But the flesh and heart of me still misses Ethan.  The flesh of me (not the godly part) is angry.  The flesh of me dislikes our "new normal."  What is that anyway?  Nothing seems normal.  I walk around in a daze at times like I'm missing something.  My mind races and cannot stay focused on much of anything.  Reading the Bible has taken a place on the way back burner--this causes me great amounts of guilt, which in turn doesn't make me feel good at all.  After all, who feels good when they carry guilt?  I love my Savior as much as I ever have.  I don't choose to not read my Bible because I hold a grudge against Him.  That's not the case at all.  In fact, I hope and pray that those who I encounter and who read my blog will  accept Christ if they haven't.  I hope that my testimony and my terrible loss will show that--YES--you can go through a horrible, stinky, nasty, awful tragedy and STILL love Him with all of your heart, soul and mind.  YES you can!  However, just because I am a Christ-follower doesn't mean that I'm "happy go lucky" every day and there's a bed of roses around every single corner.  Or is there?

It's all in how we CHOOSE to look at our circumstances.  Do I feel "targeted" in some sort of way by God because of what happened?  No.  Do I walk around with a poor, pitiful me?  No (at least, I hope not).  Do I treat others like dirt and then use the excuse, well it's the grief and I just cannot help myself.  I don't think so (and please forgive me if I have).  We all have a story in HISstory.  Some of us have walked some really deep, dark valleys.   Others have never experienced much of a loss or trial.  But we all have a story.  We all hurt in different ways.  We must learn to not judge others and how they feel and process things.  We are all different.  YOU CANNOT PUT A TIMELINE ON GRIEF!

We cannot LET our circumstances dictate how we treat others.  We must still walk in grace and love toward others even if our life seems stinky and sad and hopeless at the moment.  I cannot sit here and use the loss of my precious son as a "freebie" to rip into people and tear them down.  That is not fair and it isn't godly.  I've had the experience in the past of being around others who had suffered a loss, and chose to be mean and use it as their excuse every single time they lashed out in anger.  Please don't do that.  Just lay those feelings at the Cross of Christ.  Lay it all down.  We need others more than ever when we walk through a loss.  It's not healthy to shove others out of our life with negative actions and attitudes.

We can, however choose thankfulness!  When we choose to thank Him for what we DO have, it sure changes those feeling from wanting to throw a dish to feelings of happiness and contentedness.

Some things that I have realized over the course of the past almost two years since Ethan met Jesus:

Beautiful Texas wildflowers in our countryside.
  • He is with Jesus, and in a far safer and better place than this scary world we live in.
  • Ethan didn't suffer.  Some poor children suffer from disease or illness.  He never did.
  • I had no eternal perspective.  Now it's all I think about.  Having a dear, loved one in heaven makes you realize this is NOT our home.  It's temporary.  I long for that day when this life will be gone and the new life in heaven will begin.  (No, I am not in a hurry to go Home, but I sure can't wait to meet Jesus and see Ethan again!)
  • I'm far better off than a lot of people in this world.  Going through this painful loss has given me a "thicker" skin so to speak.  I dare say that I can do anything on my own, but through Him I surely can.  
  • Fear is not of the Lord, it's from the enemy.  And the enemy (the devil) will creep into your life when you are weak and feed you lies.  Don't listen.  Instead pray to Jesus to removed the enemy completely.  Turn your thoughts on Him, and the fear will melt.
  • I'm tougher than I thought I was.  I can do HARD things.  Not of my own power, but with Him I certainly can.  
  • The loss of my son is the hardest goodbye I have ever had to say.  It's unlike any other loss there is.
  • No matter how hard I may try, I am forever changed and CANNOT be the same person I was before June 5, 2010.  Part of me has died, but there is a fighter within me that refuses to give up.  Therefore, I can choose to use my loss for His glory, or stay stuck in a rut and never move forward.  I want to use this for His glory.  But it takes a lot of TIME to mend, to heal, to process.  I'm not through this long process...not sure when I will be.
  • Some days there isn't much more I can do than just say a prayer and ask Jesus to hold me tight.  That's okay.
  • Grief is consuming and messes with your mind.  For example, I am way more forgetful and absent-minded that I can ever recollect.  I have to be extra careful and aware when driving.  Grief can "steal" your mind away--causing you to wandering off into other thoughts when you should be concentrating.  BE CAREFUL!
  • Trying to relive the night of the accident over in my mind hurts.  I think it is absolutely necessary to relive that moment a few times.  It helps to process and make it real.  But I do think there comes a point in time where it's unhealthy to relive that memory.  I try to focus on the memories that were wonderful. 
  • Crawling into my closet and shutting the door and sobbing on the ground like a baby is therapeutic, and I highly recommend it.  Those tears are a cleansing gift from God.  Use them!  Yes, it is very exhausting to cry, but it's necessary.
  • Keep all of the cards that thoughtful friends and family and neighbors (and even strangers) sent.  I get out the box of sympathy cards and re-read them about every six months.  Yes, I cry every time, but it's good for me, and though it may not be good for everyone, I would suggest holding onto those cards.  They are precious.
  • I've been blessed with two healthy and wonderful boys.  There are many happily married couple who cannot conceive.  They have never had the joy of bringing home a new baby.  For these two sons, I am blessed and thankful!  Thank you Lord!
  • Grief is harder on children than adults.  They do not understand their emotions to the extent that we do.  Much grace and patience is needed with a grieving child.  I have to be really careful to decipher between disobedience and grief hidden behind what might seem to be disobedience.  Grace.  Shower it upon them like Jesus.
  • We cannot move away from our problems or our grief.  Literally.  It follows you no matter what state, country, our continent you live in.  Grief is a must.  We cannot skip over it and pretend nothing happened.  
  • is a blessing.  I highly recommend connection with a group.  If one group doesn't work, there is perhaps another at a different church.  GriefShare groups are easy to find in larger metropolitan areas.  
  • Finding someone, or rather, letting the Holy Spirit provide friends that have been through similar circumstances, is one of the best blessings you could ever receive!  Sharing with someone who has walked down a similar path with you will help.  You will also gain a friend for life!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


With it now being almost Wednesday, I have totally neglected to write "Tuck His Word in Your Heart Tuesdays.  I'm having one of those wordless and emotional days of grief.  Almost all day, non-stop, I have thought of Ethan.  Several times today I have nearly broke down in tears, and perhaps I would have if Evan and I would have not been out on the road running errands.

So today is wordless.  Grief is all I can think of.  Sleep is what I need.  God can carry my burden.  I'm praying for a better day tomorrow.

I have so many pictures to post, but I have no energy at this point to post any.  Perhaps tomorrow?

Sending hugs and love out, especially to all of my new friends who share this challenging journey of grief.

You are so loved by our Father.

Until the next post...lean on Him.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One of the Best Things You Can Do for a Grieving Parent to mention their deceased child.  One of my biggest challenges since losing Ethan is keeping his memory alive.  I want others to mention him.  He's not some long lost forgotten part of our family.  I count Ethan just as much as a part of the family as I ever have in the past.  I do not have only one child.  In fact, I still have two
boys, two children who I still love with all of my heart.  When I am 80 (Lord-willing if I shall live that long), when people ask about my children, I will mention my Ethan.

Please don't worry about making me sad (or perhaps a friend of yours who has lost a child) by mentioning Ethan or their beloved child, because I will smile with gladness that you remembered and cared enough to mention him--and I am certain they will too.  Gone but not forgotten.

Miss you and love you Ethan!  Evan and Daddy miss you so much!

In Loving Memory of Ethan Joshua
November 29, 2002-June 5, 2010

Faith-Filled Fridays: Sowing Seeds

Okay, so I must confess it's actually Thursday evening.  I normally write my posts on the actual day they are published, but I will be super busy tomorrow, and a God moment just happened a bit ago, so I must share.

I want to first, preface this post by letting you know I am not the most godly parent in the world, nor do I do everything the way God would have me to do.  What happened today is NOT's Him!

Josh told Evan that he could watch a bit of Curious George on Netflix since he was well-behaved today.  Before turning on the TV, Evan opens up and hands me his Bible and says."Would you read to me from my Bible?  I want to be godly first, and then watch TV."  His book of choice from the Bible:  2 Samuel.  So instead of starting right in the middle of it, we started at the beginning of 1 Samuel.  A beautiful story that I can relate to when talking about Hannah, and her grief and agony of not being able to conceive.  However, big difference between she and I...I've been blessed with two wonderful boys, and she had never been pregnant.  Right now I am quite happy and content with my two, even if one is with Jesus.

Sometimes my child blows me away, and melts my heart and also helps me to be a better child of God.  It got me to thinking about how often do I get on the computer, and neglect His Word?  You see, we need our daily bread of Him, not tangible food, but more of Him!  We need less distractions in this world.  If we aren't doing something that glorifies the Lord, or that is bringing us in closer relationship with Him, then why do it at all?  Of course, we all have our hobbies, and those are good things.  But could we take our sewing and quilting (my hobby of choice) and use that skill for others?  We absolutely can!

Hubby, Evan and Peaty posing with Evan's Key Lime Tree.
As I close out this post, I am praying for all of my readers to hunger and thirst for Him, and to choose spending more time with Him.  If a child can, why can't we?  {Note:  this was written more for myself, but of course, I hope it has blessed you too!}

Let me leave you with a picture of hubby, Evan and Peaty with the newest member of our tree family:  Mr. Key Lime!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuck His Word in Your Heart Tuesdays

Happy Tuesday!

Today finds me busy, and motivated to get going and get moving!  :)  Today we completed our schoolwork (Evan did fabulous--was hesitant since his First Grade work is getting more challenging, but he did it!).  We sang the vowel song along to the tune of London Bridge, revisited our Proverb for the week which I will talk about in a minute, did fun things with the number of the day, which is 10, took a nice walk out in God's Creation and picked wildlflowers, etc. 

In between all of that, we managed to clean the bathrooms (Evan scrubbed toilets), unload and reload the dishwasher, water the plants (we have about 100 of them!), vacuumed and swept floors. 

But enough of that boring old stuff and onto God's Word.

Our Proverb is from Chapter 10 verse 5, and it says:  He that gathereth in the summer is a wise son:  but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. 

This verse has been one that both Evan and I have needed.  My motivation level, and the things that I accomplish in the day to day has been sadly diminished in the past almost two years.  Grief and fatigue overtakes my mind at times, and I simply do not want to do anything.  But I am finding as I meditate on God's Word that I am called to be productive.  God gave me the many blessings that I see, touch, smell, etc. on a daily basis.  If I neglect them, am I taking good care of what God has blessed me with?  No, I am not.  Therefore, I must heed God's instruction in His Word, and the book of Proverbs is a lovely place to gain so much insight into how He created us to be. 

In closing up this blog post for Tuesday, I pray that each of you will find your groove if you have lost it.  We all tend to loose our groove in the midst of just plain and simple life.  We live in a world that is over-stimulating with the internet, and all of the things it entails with Facebook, email, blogging, etc.  I am purposing to getting back to basics, just as I felt the Lord calling me to do the past few months. Won't you join me?  I am praying right now that all who read this will be filled with His love and fullness!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Faith-Filled Fridays: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Our Family God Blessed us with, 2008.
In a world such as we live in today, it's very easy to compare ourselves, our marriages, family, careers, method of homeschooling and raising children, etc. to others out there.  We now have a plethora of resources on the internet via blogs, forums (message boards), email, Facebook, etc.  What this leads to is major overload.  It also leads us, if we allow it, further away from our Father. 

It's a dangerous trap when we dare compare ourselves to others.  I know I have certainly done it, and I am sure there are a few readers out there that have too.  It starts innocently with reading a book or watching a show on a TV that inspires us.  There is certainly nothing wrong with being inspired.  But what is wrong is thinking we have to be exactly like this person or that person.  One size doesn't fit all for families!  Not one family dynamic is the same...not one!  Some families choose to homeschool.  Some choose for both parents to work.  Some people choose never to marry (or haven't found that special someone yet).  Some choose to have only two children while others may have none or have ten. 

We must remember to listen for His voice.  In the busyness of life, we get caught in the brambles, so to speak, because there is simply too much information overload.  Taking the time to stop and ask God what we are to do or what our purpose is at this moment in life is wise.  He will answer in His timing, not ours.  In the meantime, as we wait for His answer, it is wise to read His word in the Bible, pray, and seek Him throughout the day continually.  He will direct your step!

Don't be like others, be like the person He created you to be!  You will be much happier!

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time;  also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  Ecclesiates 3:11

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuck His Word in Your Heart Tuesdays

Evan is outside taking a quick break from schoolwork, and I felt the Lord place on my heart to write a really quick post on Tuesday to tuck His word in your heart.

As mothers, we are so very busy and often forget our First Love...Jesus!  And if you homeschool too like our family, well, you totally can forget to stop and tuck His word into your heart in the midst of days filled with chores, schoolwork, laundry, meals, emails, phone calls, extracurricular get the picture!

Today, I am tucking this into my heart:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  Proverbs 9:10

This is our memory verse this week for our My Father's World First Grade curriculum.

When we fear the Lord, we aren't to cower down in a corner and hide from Him.  No, what is meant, I think, is that we respect and want to honor Him.  When we honor Him, we are tucking His word into our heart.  And when we tuck His word into our heart, we become wiser.  And when we become wiser, we have more understanding of Him and how important He truly is in our lives.  And when we truly understand His word, we become less dependent on ourselves and learn to trust and obey and lean on Him.

Happy Tuesday...gotta run!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Faith-Filled Fridays: I'm Glad Wildflowers Don't Last Forever

Okay, so hear me out on this one! I promise it will make sense. As we were driving yesterday along the countryside back roads, I couldn't help but feel a bit sad that the Texas Bluebonnets are fading away and "going to seed" as we call it. Actually, the only wildflowers remaining with vibrancy are the Indian Paintbrush, which are a coral sea of flowing beauty.

Evan enjoying God's Creation.  March 2012

As I began to think about it, though, I am glad that we only see the beautiful wildflowers but for a season. Can you imagine if we saw beautiful wildflowers every single day of our life? It wouldn't be a special treat. We would take them for granted and not load up the family to take the ever-famous bluebonnet pictures that are taken around Easter time each year here in Texas. Quite frankly, I like to think that God gave us the gift of a freshly painted canvas of beautiful wildflowers in pastures, medians on the side of the road, and even in my own yard to show new life--Spring has sprung! After having a season of dreariness, tress with no leave, and little to no flowers, it's like a breath of fresh air to see such beauty bask the countryside!

This got me to thinking that this is a lot like our spiritual walk with our Father in Heaven. Being a Christian is not happy-filled days day in and day out. Actually, it's quite the contrary. We battle spiritual warfare (I've blog on this in the past), death, disease, pain, depression, sadness, persecution, and fear. Can you imagine if every day were perfect? Would we take the time to depend on God? Would we still thank Him? I believe that the Lord gives us these seasons of lows to refine our character, and to create even more of a dependence on HIM, not on man or the things of this world. Just like the wildflowers that go away once the season wears on, God may seem to have gone away at times. He is still there. But we must learn to stop, listen, and be still and know that HE is our Father. He is our only hope. We should be thankful that just like the wildflowers who seed is hidden beneath the ground waiting on Spring, our Father sometimes "hides" himself for a season so that we must learn to be more dependent on Him, and therefore we will seek Him just like we seek those first blooms of the season.  Now hear me out...I didn't say He leaves us.  No, He never does.  We choose in our human nature to not listen to and follow Him at times.  Sometimes people never choose to follow Him.  I want you to choose Christ!  Give Him a chance if you haven't.  He is so amazing and loving and faithful!

Blessings for a harmonious and restful Easter Weekend and Resurrection Sunday!

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye:  for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;  and, behold, he goeth before you in Galilee;  there shall ye see him;  lo, I have told you.  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre (the place of burial) with fear and great joy;  and did run to bring his disciples word.  And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying,  All Hail.  And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.  Matthew 28:5-9 (KJV)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our New School Year

Evan forming his clay pot.
Yes!!!  April 2, 2012 marked the start of a new school year for us.  We school year around, and so that is why Evan is advancing on to First Grade!

We have made some changes in curriculum.  For Kindergarten, we used Heart of Dakota's guide Little Hearts for His Glory.  We had fun, and Evan grew academically by leaps and bounds, but the Lord lead us back to My Father's World First Grade.  Ethan's first year of homeschool was first grade, and we used My Father's World. 

As I glance through the teacher's manual and Evan's workbooks and the storybooks we read with Ethan, it brings back fond memories of 2009-2010 when we were blessed by using My Father's World.  Ethan learned how to read so well with the solid phonics and reading program that is integrated within this beautiful program!

Day 1 MFW:  Excellent!  Evan didn't complain about the review (writing upper and lower case letters).  The day went smoothly and quickly.  We had so much time to go outside and explore and do some P.E. too!  Evan decided to make a house out of the pattern blocks. 

Day 2:  Interesting, to say the least!  We became totally distracted by a rattlesnake prowling in the pomegranate tree that literally touches our house!  Anyway, we would have been doing our MFW at around 0830, however, little man and I got into a discussion about trees and had a little debate about two of them in our backyard.  Of course, this caused us to go out back and look at the trees (little man totally outsmarted momma on both of the trees indeed being Southern Hackberry even though they look nothing alike--he was correct!).  While out there, Evan yells, "Mommy, there's a rattlesnake in the tree!"  Of course, I run away from the direction he is pointing at and scream.  For the life of me I cannot see that slithery sucker anywhere, and Evan keeps saying THERE, RIGHT THERE!  Well this not so keen eye- sighted momma can't see it RIGHT THERE!!! We go inside and Evan has an idea:  we should go to his bedroom and look out his window that is right by the pomegranate tree in which he spotted the snake.  We go to his room and I keep looking and looking and...oh yeah, right there wrapped around a branch is what looks to be a baby Western Diamondback!  YIKES!!!

Daddy comes home to the rescue to rid us of the crazy thing, but he slithered off somewhere and couldn't be found.  Hence, we are on "alert" around here.  There is hope that perhaps it was just a Kingsnake and not a rattler...hope!

Anyway, after Daddy left, we were on to our second day of MFW.  Another smooth day, and then we got to make our clay pots for our scrolls!  This brought back fond memories of making them back in 2009. 

You will see that I included pictures of yesterday and today, and pictures back from August of 2009. 
Ethan forming his clay pot back in 2009.  I miss you!

UPDATE:  We took off a lot more of the summer than we had anticipated due to a really awesome road trip we took up north to the Dakotas.  We started back a couple of weeks ago, and have slowly gotten into a pretty solid routine.  We are getting ready to plant a fall garden with seed from Baker Creek.  Fall gardening will be a huge part of our science this year, and will our Spring garden.

We are still using My Father's World first grade, and I will be adding in some extra projects.  One book we will be adding is The Young Man's HandyBook--Preparing Your Son on the Homefront by Mrs. Gail Kappenman and Mrs. Martha Greene.  This book is super neat, and truly is a book I think all mommas should complete with their sons (some project do require daddy's help).  I'm really excited to share the experiences with Evan.

Our extracurricular activities are still undecided.  We are going to continue with swim lessons, and perhaps do homeschool soccer or Cub scouts.  But I think with church and swim and school and gardening and field trips and chores...we will keep busy!  Happy school year to all out there, whether you homeschool or your children go to public or private school!

The boys working hard on their clay pots--2009.

Evan, only 3.5 at the time!  He has grown so much!
Evan today, growing so fast!