Bears on the Mountain

20140319_180234-1My friend is going through a hard time right now.

A life or death kind of hard time.

And as much as I want to tell her everything’s going to be okay –

I can’t.

Because you know what? It might not be okay.

At least not the kind of okay we want it to be….

Or the kind of okay we hope it will be.

God never promised everything would be okay. But, HE did promise we would never have to go through it alone.

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Nick and I are reading a story about an 8 year old boy, Jonathan, who has to go over a mountain alone.

His mother tells him it will be okay because there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain. But, she was wrong.

There are bears on Hemlock Mountain.

At one point in the story, Jonathan feels very alone on that mountain.

Don’t panic. I’m with you.There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. – Isaiah 41:10

Part of Nick’s “dig deeper” assignments in his study guide for this book include looking up scripture and answering questions about it…and I love to hear his child-like faith responses.

God’s word assures us we are never alone – even when we find ourselves facing bears on the mountain.

And even when things are not the way we want them to be and all is not “okay”…we can trust His way is perfect.

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. – Psalm 18:30

Be a blessing, trust HIS perfect plan and live a moment at a time…

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Brothers posing on a mountain hike…Mommy in the background up the trail.

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Saving grace

My connection to God is my saving grace…

My quiet time with Him gives me strength to make it through another day. God wants to be a priority in our lives. How often do we say “I will have my quiet time later”…I know I have said it and I know when I ‘put it off’ by the way I feel.  I find myself looking to friends or family for comfort and support and still feel empty because only God can give me the support that fills the deep void in my life. If we don’t take the time, we will all find ourselves missing the blessing of His presence.

My friend Melanie and I had a nice chat yesterday. We were talking about how when people ask “how are you?” the typical response is “fine” mostly because most people don’t really want to know or have time to hear how you are really doing. It is so comforting to know that God really wants you to tell Him how you’re feeling. He already knows so you may as well pour out your heart. He is never too busy to listen. He is never distracted by texting on His iphone. He is always interested. Always present. “God is our refuge and strength…” ~Psalm 46:1.

Thanksgiving is approaching. I find myself thinking of holidays and all they represent and all that will be missing this year for our famly. Nevertheless, we are so very blessed and thankful we had our sweet Zack here on this Earth for over 12 years. How blessed we are that God chose us as his parents! We cherish every moment we had with Zack here and try hard to focus on that instead of the pit of despair – which by the way is very easy to fall into some days. The good news is that I have been to the bottom of that pit and discovered that the bottom is solid and God can pull me out.

I took a walk on the beach yesterday and found a beautiful heart shaped rock. It made me think of my sweet boy and how much better he made my life and how his death has changed me forever.  God has a plan for all of us. We have to trust that His plan is better than ours.

Nick is doing very well – thank you to all who message and email me to ask about him. He still grieves as a 7 year old – one minute sad, the next minute playing and laughing with his friends. We continue to pray for restful sleep for him as night time still is the most difficult time for him.  He loves going to Parsley Elementary (“Bubbies school”) and loves his teacher, Lisa Traflet! Yesterday they made a cool turkey in class. Last night he insisted on duplicating it because Zack needed one too. They are both proudly displayed now – see pic – with wings touching because they had to be “holding wings”….love that sweet boy!

Thank you for always praying and believing with us as we take each day a moment at a time…

Loneliness…

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.” ~ Psalm 68:5-6

A variety of emotions have overwhelmed me being back in our house in Wilmington this weekend. Nick is so excited to be home in the only house he has ever known as home. He loves being in his room, swimming in his pool, and playing with his and Zack’s friends. He is loving introducing his puppy “Miley” to all of his friends. Seeing Nick this happy (the happiest we have seen him in weeks) makes my heart happy.

But, being back in our house is bittersweet. I see Zack everywhere….at the top of the stairs yelling down Mommy where are my clean socks?, at the door of the pantry and the fridge seeing what we have to eat, in the pool playing, in the front yard running with friends, in my bathroom (which he always chose over his own), and in his empty bedroom – which is just the way he left it. And while I cherish all my memories of Zack in this house, it is a painful reminder all of that will never be again.

Tears still flow easily and I ache with loneliness in this new world I have come to know but still do not understand. Some days are tougher than others. God sends relatives, friends and even strangers to help lift the loneliness from me and bring me into the company and companionship of others. I never really understood what it was like to feel lonely in a crowd until now. Even though many people may surround me, I realize that not one of them truly understands what I am going through. But I do believe God understands my pain – all of our pains – and yearns for us to let Him fill that pain with His presence and the fullness of His compassion and care…if only we will let Him.

(God said) “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” ~ Hebrews 13:5

Today is another new day. I will face the day with hope and embrace the smiles, the tears and everything in between.

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott

Still praying and believing….learning to live life without Zack. A moment at a time…