Posted in Daily Prompt, Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose ~ Fearful Symmetry

I’ve not participated with Imperfect Prose in awhile  ~ I’ve missed it ~ so it here it goes along with a writing for “Fearful Symmetry” 


earfully and wonderfully made.gbaby5
First grandchild
Fifth child’s first baby.

Father God, I am in awe as I count her toes,
Fingers around mine, I kiss her button nose.
Feminine features … petite … so priceless.

Fondly and intently watching for,
Facial expressions that delights us each more.
Funny hiccups … yawns, sneezes and coos.

Fiercely in love, as with each of our children,
Fighting back tears of joy bubbling over again.
Full well do I know, Your works are wonderful.

Kept Signature

Elsie Jean 1

Posted in Imperfect Prose, Meme




eal life is looking forward to having just over two hours of quiet shopping with only one child who still loves to hold his mama’s hand and instead during half of the time sticking a hanger into the side of my van window to poke the unlock button.  Real Life is trying this for over 40 minutes in a Good Will parking lot in the near dark, with my almost 5 year old standing by my side and no one stops to offer help.  Yes, this happened last night.  

Real Life is a van about to die, along with the dryer too, and the mortgage due and the electric bill doubled while  the lack of snow has diminished my husband’s work of small engines, especially snow blowers right now. Real life is still  planning two weddings and a graduation party and remembering God will still supply all our needs and in awe of the gracious finds along the way.

Real Life is getting is offers from friends within 24 hours to help in wonderful ways with decorations for the wedding.  God supplies the wants too.

Real Life is weeping with a friend who does not know where her only child, a wayward son is, and her heart is breaking so.  (Keys locked in a car and things breaking seems so minor, doesn’t it?)    Real Life is my youngest little one telling me “Mama, guess what? I really love you“.  Real Life is my 22 year old son starting a Bible study group in a community college and knowing where he is and that he loves God.  Real Life is never knowing how long our children will be on loan to us.

Real Life is a widowed mother raising three young children and still going through the firsts, missing her husband.  Real Life is getting frustrated that my husband still hasn’t put up the light fixture that has been sitting on top of the fridge for over a year, and realizing it doesn’t really matter.  Real Life is he does dishes and helps often with kitchen clean-up without any asking. Real Life is hearing his snoring each night and his warm feet by mine.  Real Life is not taking for granted those we love before it’s too late.

Real Life is hard, yet remembering God is always good, never forgets us, never leaves us and walks beside us.  Real Life is the stumbles in the darkness, often forgetting to take God’s hand and later realizing we could have been picked up a lot sooner.

Real Life is the ending of one season and the beginning of another . . . and missing Imperfect Prose as mama Emily takes on two young boys to mother with her two boys, all under the age of 4 to grow them all in Real Life with God.

Yet, Real Life has not really begun . . .

“I assure you that whoever hears my word
and believes in the One who sent Me
has eternal life
and won’t come under judgment
but has passed from death into life.
John 5:24 (CEB)

Posted in Imperfect Prose, Meme

Imperfect Prose: Being content

I had too much to do,
school books all over the couch
figuring out what I should have several weeks ago
with starting back to homeschooling next week.

I really don’t have time for a trip to ER.
I should be making supper.
Laundry needs to come in.
I need to be home to answer phone calls while my husband
is gone with delivery a completed repaired lawnmower.

The doctor’s office could not see my daughter til next week.
She hurt a knee and cannot put pressure on it for several days
and her knee gives out.
I could just let her limp another day.
I don’t have time for ER.
Yes, I am complaining.

I huff and puff and we go.
I have been sitting in the ER waiting room for about 20 minutes.
Several are still ahead of me.
And I read on Facebook, and wonder why I was complaining.

I can be content.
I have so much to be thankful for, again.
I can even rejoice for what I have and don’t have.

About a 30 miles from here our former babysitter and friend,
was just released from the hospital.
She will be staying at the hospital with two of her children who
are in serious condition after an car accident.
One son just had another surgery today.
The other son is pushed around in a wheelchair.
He’s too weak to walk.
Her youngest daughter got released to go home,
probably with grandparents.

 Kristy will leave for a short time to bury her husband.
He died shortly after the accident on Saturday.
She still is in a lot of pain,
both physically and a long time emotionally
but will spend time being with her children,
and going to therapy.

And I was complaining.
We will leave the ER probably in a couple of hours.
I can go home to my children, running to me,
giving me hugs.
My husband will greet me,
and be interested to know how our daughter is.
We can share our concerns and plans together.

How easily I forget to be thankful for the blessings,
the small things,
even the inconveniences,
because it can all change so quickly.

And though it changes . . .  My Heavenly Father doesn’t.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Posted in Family, Imperfect Prose, Meme

Imperfect Prose: Wedding Dress


he tried on my wedding dress tonight.  It took my breath away.  Not that the dress was perfect on her, but the realization that my daughter is getting married.  It’s hard to believe  20 years ago at this time I was so anxious to have her and her twin sister, jumping down multiple stair steps,  taking long walks, anything to get labor going.  The doctor said I’d have the twins four to six weeks early.  They arrived the day before their due date – each just over seven pounds.  After three boys it was such joy to have two healthy baby girls. 

And now one of them pours over wedding catalogs and bridal shoppes on-line.  Tomorrow we go together to try on wedding dresses, meeting cousins, an aunt and grandma to share memory-making time.  She’s not going to wear my wedding dress, but she’s bringing along my veil which holds precious memories.  My mom-in-law bought it for me and it’s held it’s white sparkliness well.  Something old.

I took a deep breath as I saw her in my wedding dress, wondering where the time went and how we can still slow the time down.  But this is what it’s all about.  God blessed us with these treasured children, and they are finding godly mates, pursuing Him and wanting to start there own Christian homes.  What more can I really ask for?

I am a blessed mama, and thankful for this new normal sunset we are going towards ~ thankful for more joys than tears ~ more hope than darkness.  And looking forward even more for the Bridegroom to come  . . .

Posted in Faith, Imperfect Prose, Meme

In ‘Other’ Words: Finding Eucharisteo

“Non-eucharisteo, ingratitude,
was the fall–humanity’s discontent with all that God freely gives.
That is what has scraped me raw: ungratefulness.”
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voscamp


he word,  eucharisteo was not in my vocabulary until I read it on Ann’s blog, A Holy Experience and then again in her book, One Thousand Gifts.  She defines this Greek word simply as, grace, thanksgiving, joy and encourages her readers through her blog and book, to count their gifts, to look for them in every corner of our lives.  Right after she states the above quote in her book, she continues,

Then to find Eden, the abundance of Paradise, I’d need to forsake my non-eucharisteo, my bruised and bloodied ungrateful life, and grab hold to eucharisteo, a lifestyle of thanksgiving.  Might a life of eucharisteo really work the miracle of the God- communion?  

Michelle with her MIL, Linda

And so it’s looking throughout the day for the things, even in the midst of pain, that we we are thankful for.  I think of a gal I know named Michelle, who was the photographer for our son & daughter’s wedding,  who just lost her mom-in-law very unexpectedly in a car/deer accident.  She said on her Facebook, “she was more than my friend“.   Michelle is already showing gratefulness in the pain.  She probably did not think when she wrote that how many women desire such a relationship with a mom or mother-in-law. She did not take it for granted.  Throughout her Facebook posts, there’s deep pain, but she finds the joys in the sorrows, from a rainbow that someone took a picture of, which was the same one her mom had just seen before the accident, to praising God for the amazing Father He is, to inviting  family to share their food “we have plenty from loving people.”  

I know that unexpected, shocking, riveting, pain, along with the fog and finding a new normal towards healing as I see Michelle go through this. She will get through this grief walk, many times at a seemingly slow pace for her, though never getting over her mom, and still praising God through the tears.  She will come through it amazingly, shining for God in a new and radiant way that will show other’s Jesus.  Michelle and others through this will find and continue proclaiming eucharisteo.

Today Tami is hosting In ‘Other’ Words on her blog, The Next Step.  Join in and see how others are writing on this quote.  New quote will be here on my blog Friday or Saturday for next weeks’ new quote.  Join us!

Posted in Faith, Imperfect Prose, Meme

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:31
Jesus immediately reached out his hand
and took hold of him, saying to him,
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”


wonder how often Jesus would say this to me.  How often I am surprised at God’s timing and we are in wonder that it happened the way it did, and then I think, of course, God could and would do this!  Why didn’t I expect it? Like a gift of  red mushrooms that was so unexpected.  I’ve seen it often with my daughter, Jessica, who has had three open heart surgeries, one being a total unexpected surgery, when we “just happened” to be at the hospital when she went into heart failure.  I’ve worried and panicked often in my heart over what our children have gone through with the death of two of their siblings, one being so traumatic for them and how this could “ruin” them, and God says to me “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?“.   Instead He shows me how He has  bestowed on our children

. . .  a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:3 

I’ve seen our children have sensitive hearts towards hurting friends, and reaching out to them when others would have turned away or given up quickly.  I’ve been in awe of their burdens for others and doing more than many adults would.  It’s not been because of our parenting.  It’s been because of our Heavenly Father’s parenting.  It’s been God using the painful times for His glory.

Yes, my faith lacks often, but

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Joining today with:

Posted in Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose: Mary

” . . . standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother . . . ”
John 19:25 


‘ve buried two children,  but I still cannot fathom what Mary went through when she saw her Son on the cross.  I would be a crazed woman for sure.  I cannot imagine seeing the son I birthed, hanging on a cross . . . but even moreso, for Mary.  She knew He was perfect, had never rebelled, never sassed her, never disrespected or dishonored her.  She knew of the miracles, His healings, His teachings.

How long did she linger at the cross?
Did she hear Him when He said,
“It is finished” and fall to the ground, not understanding what was finished.
What filled heart as the rocks shook and the rocks split?
Did she refuse when she was led away?
Did she sneak back later?

Did she watch from behind a bush as they took Him down from the cross?
Did she see them take the nails out of His hands and feet?
Were her sobs so deep she got sick?
How was she consoled?
Did people stay with her?

Did she also go to the tomb . . . alone . . . or with someone?
What did she do during the three days?
Did she  she share endless memories of Him as a little boy, a teenager, and young adult?
Did she laugh and cry?

Who did she hear from that He had risen?
Did she run to the tomb to see for herself?
Did she really believe He had risen?

And oh, how was the reunion when she saw her Son?
Did she weep as she touched the holes in His hands,
. . . the same hands that held hers when He was little?
Did she fall and worship her Son, her Savior?
Was she in awe?

What things did she treasure in her heart, again?

What do we treasure in our hearts this week,
as we think of what Jesus did for us?
Do we speak of Jesus in conversation of what He has done for us?
Do we still weep over His nail scared hands?
Are we in awe?
Do we fall and worship Him?
How do we praise Him?

Do we believe?

Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

Today’s post is in participation with:

Posted in Imperfect Prose

A Future with Hope


ne of my favorite hymns is Because He Lives.  It was my mom’s favorite song when growing up and I was disappointed it was not sung at her funeral service.  Then a few months later our son died, and it was one of the songs the pastor chose for the funeral service.  It gives such hope for the future:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

chorus of  Because He Lives by Bill & Gloria Gaither

I am thankful I don’t know the future on earth, except for the “planned” occasions.  I look forward to the future wedding of our oldest son and his bride to be this summer.  Though no other weddings are planned there will ultimately be more – possibly nine more!  I so look forward to grandchildren.  They can’t come quick enough!  I miss having a little baby here.  It’s the longest in our marriage we’ve not had a newborn baby.  And then there are things in the future I don’t look forward to . . . and know there will be more pains, sorrows and good-byes.  My hope for the future – eternity.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

To know I won’t have that deep gut wrenching pain anymore, no more good-byes, no more sickness, rejections, or misunderstandings or having to pretend everything is okay because it will be beyond wonderful!  There won’t be any more “what ifs” or the life struggles and strongholds.

There is hope for the future, and I am so thankful to look forward to eternity, safe and secure!

Writing with the “Future” Blog Carnival and . . .

Posted in Imperfect Prose, Meme

The Gift of Rest


ust over four years ago I failed bedrest. My doctor put me on bedrest when I was pregnant with our last one, being my blood pressure was so high and I was considered high risk. I could lay on the couch, but I really was not resting emotionally with all the activity around me and knowing all the things that had to be done.  When I’d go into the doctor’s office and he’d have me “rest” for awhile after taking a high blood pressure reading, and it would go down, he knew I was not getting the proper rest at home.  So he sent me to the hospital for bedrest for two weeks before our baby was born.  I did rest.

I am learning more about what a gift rest is from our Father that I’ve not accepted so often.  I can keep very busy from activities and school with the kids, to things around the house, crafts, sewing, coffee runs, church activities, blog writing, reading, making meals, many loads of wash and hanging it outside when I can . . .  and the list goes on.  I know this is just the beginning of many of my reader’s lists.  But I wonder, when do we stop, pause, and rest with God.  Not just on Saturday/Sunday/Sabbath but making the time to rest throughout the day than just a 2 minute prayer and we are on our way.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

We may need a rest from work, an atmosphere, school, project, craft, something that is consuming us or overtaking. etc.  Our pastor is taking a short sabbatical. He needs renewal and refreshment to be able to to teach and continue growing and learning.  With the time of lent coming up, we can take into mind a certain thing in our life we will give up for God – or put to rest for awhile so we can get rest and more time with God.

I wrote about resting on the Sabbath and some personal goals a few weeks ago.  I have recently been encouraged to take a “rest” from some personal things in my life specifically towards the goal of healing and encouragement for me.  Now that might sound selfish, but I am learning how important my relationship is with God very intimately and personally that has nothing to do with what my husband, children, family or friends – or not do with me.  It’s not an easy task in front of me to let go of some specific routines that are a part of my everyday life, but I believe as I work on it, it will help tremendously.  As time goes on, I may be be able to share with you, what this specific rest is.  I am wondering if my children will notice.  🙂

And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.
Job 11:18

I want my security to be resting in Him not the security of others or things are in my life.  No one or no thing will meet all my expectations.   How do you rest?

Writing with:


Posted in Family, Imperfect Prose, Meme, PostADay2011

Imperfect Prose: If I Could Have Any Job . . .

If I could have any job . . .
PostADay: Topic #33 


f I could have any job in the world . . .

might it be a midwife,
to rejoice as new life is brought into the world,
witnessing a miracle over and over again,
encouraging the mom as she works bringing forth life
just the beginning of the labor that she will toil through

as she brings up this child in the world.
To see the wonder as mom and baby meet eye to eye,
the pain suddenly dissipating
Eavesdropping on the closeness of husband and wife
delighting in what their love started
And watching as siblings sneak in to meet
this new
little wonder,

with more awe than Christmas morning.
To be a part of the first prayer over
little one’s first
moments in this world

Yet the job God entrusted to me was and is to be a mom
which continues to be hard labor,
sometimes wishing to turn in my resignation,
but it won’t be accepted (thankfully)
I’ve been blessed to birth a dozen into this world
two of which are safe in heaven
ten to still pray over, teach, encourage, cry and laugh with.
I treasure the first moments with them
and leading them to a saving knowledge of our Savior.
What treasures and memories I’ve been given!

I will keep this God-given job!  🙂

Writing Idea from PostADayTopic #33
joining Emily at Imperfect Prose,
sharing our imperfect lives, that will someday be made perfect .

Posted in Imperfect Prose, Meme, PostADay2011

Imperfect Prose: Sabbath Gift

What’s your idea for a perfect Sunday?
PostADay: Topic #26



everal years ago I read the book, Rest, Living in Sabbath SimplicityOne of the author’s questions pricked my heart and slowly I’m working on making our Sundays different and inviting it to be the  gift God wants us to have.

” . . . what if you took God up on His offer
to enjoy a day with Him?”

What is my idea of a perfect Sabbath Sunday?  It’s not the legalistic view I grew up with.  It’s a gift I am opening over time . . . a work in progress,  but working towards . . .

A stress-free, time with family,
worshiping at church,
lighting a candle on on the dining room table
only meant for the Sabbath Day,
spreading the tablecloth for this just day too . . .
to lay the meal on it, planned the day before,
the slow cooker takes over
or pre-made things heated up quickly

Paper plates and cups are used,
without apology

Memories made lingering around the table
with family and friends in fellowship ~
sharing, laughing, loving, praying, being concerned,
building up each other.

A quiet afternoon ~
staying home
no running errands or answering business calls.

Newspapers sprawled out
books being read
without guilt of things that need to be done.

No Wii games
no TV or loud music,

children reading, drawing,
or playing games quietly
(certainly not fighting),

coffee with whip cream piled high
with home-baked Biscotti’s
loving made by daughter
the night before

an uninterrupted nap

Sometimes returning to the evening service
sometimes close fellowship with family & friends
piano and guitars
blending with voices of our young adults
watching Extreme Home Makeover
kids peering at mom knowing she cries every time

It’s a day of rest
enjoying the gift God gave us
No excuses of being too busy
giving Him more of me
throughout the day

Ending the day without being tired,
being renewed by Him
to start another week.

Writing Idea from PostADay: Topic #26
joining Emily at Imperfect Prose,
our imperfect lives, that will someday be made perfect .

Posted in Family, Grief, Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose: Remembering Angela Hope


open the memory box, a yearly ritual, a few days earlier this year.  I know the children will be asking to get the box out too, to finger the little whiter-than-snow gown and bonnet, to ask for the memories to be told, again.  But I want some mommy moments alone, remembering the little girl we said hello and goodbye to, nearly 13 years ago.  I still miss . . . and I wonder about her life in heaven.

Soon the children will want the stories, to remember, even the ones born after her, who will also say they miss her.  We will look at the heart box with her feet prints with a few of the letter beads of her name missing. They will ask again if they can touch her soft hair saved in another little heart protecting box. I’ll whisper no, once again.  There’s too few hairs.  We want to keep them.

The children start reading through the hundreds of cards and we remember the many people who cared, loved us, and prayed for us.  They look at all the names signed in the funeral guest book.  So many came and remembered a little girl with us and helped us make memories of which there were to few of.  They ask if we can put in the cassette tape and listen to the service, of our friend Miss Gayle singing children’s melodies and a young pastor speaking his first baby’s funeral.  His theme was imagining her through Psalm 23, welcoming us someday to heaven, and taking us by the still waters and through the green pastures.  I still day dream of that.

They will ask about the little yellow hat that I yanked off of her in the recovery room after my emergency c-section to save my life . . . the placenta abruption quickly took hers.   They will listen intently as I tell them how daddy laid her bundled up in the soft flannel blanket with bunnies on it to me.  But right away I asked why they had the knit yellow hat on her head . . . she did not need to be kept warm.  Off it came.  I wanted to touch her head and feel her fuzzy hair.  I wanted to know the details of her little body I’d have to let go of too soon.

I actually did not remember taking off her hat .  When the funeral director brought us her things the hospital sent with her, I found it.  I called my husband’s mom.  She remembered.  We laughed . . . and I cried later.

They ask again to tell the story of the money in the mailbox . . . the manila envelope that had our name typed on it . . . no address and  no stamps.  Someone just put it in there.  We opened it up and there were ten $100 bills in it.  Our son Matthew, excitedly asked, “What are we going to do with that million dollars?”  Ohhh, it was like a million dollars and it remains a precious bittersweet memory of that son now with her. It allowed my husband to take another week off from work.

We smell the little bottle of make-up the funeral director gave me.  I did not remember how she smelled in the hospital, but after holding her at the funeral home, I smelled her make-up on me.  I cried when I could no longer smell it on that dress.  The kind hearted funeral director did not laugh at my request for a sample of it.  And so we smell her.  The scent triggers tears to come to my eyes.

We talk about her big brother, Matthew, with her and how they spend time together.  We laugh and wonder if he tells her stories of us.

And the children are done and ask if we can make her birthday angel food cake to have that night.  We will sing happy birthday and remember . . . and wonder . . . and laugh about the things she missed out on, from skinned knees to mama combing through her tangled hair or having to do chores.

They will leave the room, chattering with that child-like faith of a precious sister in heaven.   I linger behind putting the pieces of my daughter’s barely used earthly things away.

On Saturday we will celebrate the birth of our precious 13 year old baby, Angela Hope.  We are thankful to have had her, than to not have had her at all on this side of heaven. It’s a bittersweetness, yet have witnessed and know the joy that has come in the morning and He continually reminds,

My grace is sufficient for you,

for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Remembering Angela Hope’s completed life . . .

Remembering with Emily at Imperfect Prose, our imperfect lives, that will someday be made perfect .

Posted in Imperfect Prose, PostADay2011

Imperfect Prose ~ Am I stressed?

Are You Stressed Out?
Topic #6 (just 359 to go)



hree older children are 16 hours away in Atlanta, out of my reach and knowing what’s going on.

  • 17 year old son has nuclear scan for a suspicious bone lump.
  • a few days later he is so sick, laying in the bathroom for hours because he could not leave it for long.  was it because of the dyes from the scan?
  • we take him to ER to have fluid IV’s. We are told it’s the flu.  he rebounds quickly.
  • a few days later daughter who had three open heart surgeries has chest pains, throws up, has more intense chest pains.
  • we take her into ER.  It was bad heart burn along with panic attacks she deals with relating to her heart. she kept thanking us for taking her and caring for her.  it gave her peace of mind
  • while in ER I get a text.  a younger daughter has thrown up all over her bedroom floor. thankful for older two boys who take care of everything and encourage her.
  • home at 3 am. younger daughter still throwing up.  older sister gets up and helps, lovingly.
  • in the meantime, the youngest is crying. it’s almost 4 am.  he throws up.  older brother gets him, changes his pj’s and comforts him.
  • and he keeps throwing up til almost 7 am.  he never cries and just keeps asking for cuddles.
  • starting to fall asleep, I’m praying for a friend who is having a serious heart catherization to fix an arrhythmic heart.  It was successful
  • up 3 hours later to get an anti-nausea prescription filled.  It gives relief.
  • home again ~ another daughter is sick, the one who helped her younger sister.  Youngest brother tells her she will be okay and prays for her.
  • I wonder if another will start to get sick yet I go to bed early Tuesday night. the older kids will be home in the early morning hours from Atlanta.  I pray for them, as I fall asleep. I sleep soundly, in perfect peace.
  • They get home at 6 am. the neighbor calls because the dogs are barking. They are home safe with excitement in their eyes and stories to tell.  They’ve seen God work in so many neat ways. The dogs are happy to see them!
  • One son returns home with an earring in his ear.  Sighhhh . . .   My husband reminds me there could be worse things. He’s home.  He’s talking of what God did in his heart.
  • Another doctor appointment has been made with a surgeon for our son who has the lump in his chest.  I was stressing over this.  But the surgeon’s nurse looked over the scans and we have reassured that it does not seem serious – maybe a clogged pore or fatty tissue? Our kids who were in Atlanta said many had been praying for him.

Am I stressed? God has amazingly given me great peace this past week. I did get to a point of stress regarding my son’s chest lump.  When I told him what the nurse said, he told me with a big smile, “see mom, there’s nothing to worry about”.  I don’t know all the outcomes and I won’t be thrilled with all the decisions my kids make, but I know HE is so much more in control than I am!

He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm,trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid . . .

Psalm 112:7, 8

Sharing with Emily at Imperfect Prose my imperfect days that God always shows His glory through and in participation with Post A Day.

Posted in Family, Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose: Comfort, Joy & a Soft Touch


hat brings great comfort, joy or a soft touch into your life?

~ Breakfast in bed?
~ A child’s sweet homemade card with spelling errors?  
~ Your toddler whispering, “I wuv you mommy” while giving you a slobbery kiss?
~ A handwritten letter coming snail mail flood your heart with comfort and joy?
~ Might it be a hug and shared tears with a close friend?
~ Flowers from your husband for no particular reason other than his love?
~ Answered prayer?

How do you count your joys and blessings?

The calendar has been changed to bare a new month, the month with the most celebrations and remembering our Savior’s birthday that brings us such comfort and joy.  December is also a month that holds bittersweet memories as we remember how friends and family have enveloped us in great comfort, sharing our sorrows and our joys.

December 11th will be six years since our sixteen year old son, Matthew, unexpectedly left us for heaven.  That sting of death was such gripping pain, leaving us in a stumbling fog for quite sometime.  As I reflect back I think of the many who helped carry us through . . .
~ who were there for us . . .
~sometimes just sitting in silence as we looked through pictures
~ or cried with us
~ who came over to have devotions with us
~ and sat with our children, putting their arms around them, when we could not possibly comfort all nine of them at the same time.

Our family and friends were our extended arms, comforting them, bringing a soft touch in their lives.  This continued for many months as people continued to encourage us, and help us find our new normal.

Jessica & Dr. Bove

Then our hearts were gripped in fear again, just two years ago on December  19th, when our then 12 year old daughter, Jessica, suddenly went into heart failure while in the hospital for an unrelated check-up and was rushed away for emergency open heart surgery. (She had two open heart surgeries as a baby.)   She came through miraculously and was called the “Christmas Miracle” in the pediatric ICU. Again, family and friends helped us with our children at home, including them in Christmas celebrations as we spent Christmas in the hospital. We were blessed by those reaching out to us,  helping us have such peace, comfort and joy while we celebrated Jessica’s life along with Jesus’ birthday in the hospital.  What hope was renewed!

I often wonder if Matthew was a part of the cloud of witnesses that day . . .

In the past year my life has been greatly touched with the death of a dear friend’s two day old baby
~ being able to hold him
~ and say good-bye to him
~ and then, nine months later be in awe as they were blessed with a living, healthy, thriving baby boy.   I’ve been thankful to be able to grab the tissue (Softness Worth Sharing) as our eyes have flooded with  tears of sorrow and tears of joy, and most of all,  shared tears of hope.  (Click the link to send a free pack of Kleenex tissue to someone special!)

A Scripture verse that comes to mind is in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” which so many have done in our lives and we can do so in others.   And we know that  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (II Corinthians 1:3) who graciously put  so many people in our lives through the deep sorrows, the fears and great rejoicing times, bringing comfort, joy and a soft touch into our lives.

We will forever be grateful.


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kleenex blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Also sharing with Emily and my blogging friends at Imperfect Prose.

Posted in Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose: Praising God in Changed Times


hanksgiving for the past six years

has been bittersweet. Holding on to the past . . looking for the new normal.  Searching . . . jotting down gratitudes with an aching heart. Thankful still, for a decision made six years ago.

2004 was our first Thanksgiving in our home, just with our children instead of going to grandparents. We began  our own traditions which our children can come home to some day. The good China and silverware were put out.

Family 2004 ~ Matthew, standing, on right

The kids questioned why they had to dress nice even though we had no guests. A family picture was taken forced before the kids could eat!  A few weeks later that picture would be treasured and wept over as our second oldest son met His Savior.

We went around the table with our thankfulness praise and  encouraged the children to uplift each other. Homeschool papers were read by some of their gratitudes, treasured keepsakes tucked away in my dresser drawer.

I am so thankful for the gentle whisper encouraging us to stop, and pause for a moment.

Precious memories were imprinted on our hearts before the sting of death came.

”   . . . The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.  ”
Job 1:21

2010 Thanksgiving has come with a special newness ~ new unexperienced joys! Our family is growing in a new way of blessings.  Our oldest son is engaged to a lovely, vibrant girl.  Our twin daughters each have handsome, caring boyfriends. Our son and his fiancée are open to missions and recently made a public dedication to do so.  Our next son is starting an internship at our church working under the pastors as he seriously considers a pastoral ministry.  There’s lots of music in our home ~  kids often singing, playing the piano and guitars.  Praise flows more.

There’s new joys ~ new wonders to celebrate!

I am very blessed . . . I miss . . . I wish . . .there’s still stumbling . . . but ohhh, there is new joy and God has used the hard times to grow and stretch our entire family! I look forward to sharing a new picture here soon . . . of our growing family!

If you are reading this with a changed Thanksgiving, looking for your new normal, I encourage you to read this, “When Thanksgiving isn’t the Same“.

I am joining Emily at Imperfect Prose



” You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone “