Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
A digital slideshow by Smilebox

He Is Risen

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,  and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Did you know that Jesus wasn't crucified on Friday? I didn't know that until a few years ago, but I could never make sense of the fulfillment of the three days and three nights prophesy until I read Jack Kelley's explanation here. God's Word never contradicts itself. We just need to understand the context! In this case, church tradition supplanted Jewish tradition, and I think it's a stumbling block for many.

What would I be without the cross? I'd be condemned. I am a terrible sinner. I have violated God's law repeatedly - sometimes ignorantly and sometimes willfully. Without the cross, once it was time for me to leave the natural world upon my death, I'd be destined to an eternity separated from God.

But God always intended to reconcile us to Him. He did so through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. I will be eternally grateful. I am also grateful that He drew my precious husband to Himself. I have an indescribable sense of comfort in knowing that Michael was saved. I KNOW I will see him again. I know that because Jesus lives, Michael lives.

On the drive home yesterday, Michaela was babbling on about her papa (my dad). She would say his name, and then she'd say "hold you?" This is her way of saying that she wants Papa to hold her. After that she said, "Mark? Hold you?" This is her way of saying that she wants Mark (our friend from Massachusetts) to hold her. Then she said, "Daddy? Hold you?" Sigh... I told her that Daddy will hold her when we get Home to Heaven. I told her, as I have many times before, that Daddy lives in Heaven with Jesus, and that he loves us so much. While I am sad that Michael can't hold her now, I know a day is coming (and it's soon, my friends) when Jesus will return for His church. And on that day, Michaela will also meet her daddy. Somehow I think that will be eclipsed by seeing the face of God, but for now it's an wonderful expectation and comfort.

Oh, the wonderful cross. I'd be in a world of hurt without it. With it I have hope for today, and an assurity for eternity.

This Chris Tomlin song was one I had the band play at Michael's memorial service:

What does the cross mean to you, friend? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you know where you will spend eternity? I hope and pray that this Resurrection Sunday, you will reflect on the true meaning of the cross and the One who shed His blood upon it for us.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Michaela @ 22 Months

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
This free photo collage generated with Smilebox

Michaela had her monthly "birthday" on Monday this past week. Mommy was just too busy to take a picture and post about it, until now. I managed to get these sweet pictures of her while she was watching Thomas & Friends yesterday afternoon. She is so beautiful. She takes my breath away.

She is still in the same sizes as last month: 24 months or 2T clothing, size 4 diaper, 6.5 shoes.

Michaela delights Mommy with all the funny things she says:
"I miss you!"
"No problem"
"There he is!" (usually referring to Thomas)
"Oh, darn"
"Thomas and friends..."

She is obsessed with Thomas. You would think he was a member of our family the way he's always on her lips. I think she loves him. It looks like her second birthday party will have a Thomas theme. Not my idea of a girly birthday party, but I think she will love it.

I tried to ditch the bottle this past month, and instead gave her milk in sippy cups (and straw cups). It went over like a lead balloon. After two weeks of rejecting her milk, we went back to Babies R Us and purchased a new set of bottles. All is well now...

I am seeing more indications of the terrible twos - stubbornness, uncooperativeness, temper tantrums, etc. But I will have to say that her temperament is such that those things are very mild, so far. It's just that she is developing a mind of her own and asserting herself more now. I have implemented time out, but she seems to enjoy it. So I don't know how effective it really is.

Next Sunday night she will do something that I didn't do until I was fourteen years old - she will travel on an airplane. My first flight took me to San Francisco, but hers will take us all the way to the East Coast. I am hopeful that she will be a great traveler like her daddy. It will be an adventure for us both.

Just two more months until a real birthday!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One Word 2013 - March

"Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" is one of my favorite hymns. I had no idea until tonight, when I was looking for a video to imbed here, that it was written by a widow, Louisa Stead. Can you believe that? The video tells her story:

Made me tear up because a sister in sorrow wrote that sweet song. I have learned that there is no other way through this journey of widowhood than to trust in Jesus. I was not left destitute financially like the songwriter was, but my life seemed devastated in other ways. Three years out and I'm still trusting him with our lives, and He has provided in so many ways all along. I've been incredibly blessed despite the painful loss of Michael.

Have you ever felt like the Lord was leading you into something new and life changing? I feel like I've reached the end of one season of life, and that a new season of life is about to begin - kind of like the last few days of winter just now, and the beginning of spring next week. It's like He's making all things new in my life once again. An incredible turn of events that I did not expect. And while I am so hopeful and excited for what He is doing, I need to continue to trust Him with all the possible changes this new season may bring.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's All Good

Things are swell. Here's a little update:

We are healthy once again. Although I feel like every time I put Michaela in the nursery at church, I have just hung a big target on us both for some other set of germs to lay siege upon us. How's that for optimistic? Hopefully we have made it through the worst of flu and cold season. I have used enough sick days this year, thank you very much!

Aside from waking up an hour earlier each day this week than I did last week, I am loving Daylight Savings Time. It's so nice to have that extra hour of sunshine after work. I think we'll have to take advantage of it and get to the park in the afternoon more often. I say that, but when we get home I usually just crash. I'm so tired at that point. It's hard being a working mom. Sigh...

Report cards are done. Parent conferences are next week. This is the time of the school year where we really seem to enter the home stretch. It will be June before we know it. Yea!

Spring break is just two more weeks away. Michaela and I will be spending it in Massachusetts with our new friend and his children. My sister will be traveling with us. Pretty exciting. Lots of really good things going on between us. I feel really blessed and hopeful about the future. I'm itching to blog about it, but I don't think my friend wants me to. That's okay. I'm not even sure where I'd begin.

My friend and I are reading a book together called War of Words, by Paul David Tripp. He came bearing books for Michaela and me when he visited last month. That was a good choice on his part. I love books! Anyway, it's a great look at communication from a biblical perspective. Very convicting content. I recommend it. I can see how, if taken to heart, it could really help to change the communication in a Christian home between spouses, and between parents and children.

Lastly, I heard this quote today on a Christian radio program and it seems apropos:

When we lose one blessing, 
another is often most unexpectedly given in its place. 
~ C.S. Lewis

So true!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Three Years Later

When March 7th comes around each year, I feel like I have nothing new to say when I post this memorial tribute to him.

I still love Michael.

I still miss him.

Sometimes I still can't believe that this happened to us.

But it did.

Before everything happened I really didn't think I could live without him. A future without Michael was unthinkable to me. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me otherwise. He has blessed me with Michaela, and while she is her own person, there is enough of Michael in her that I kind of feel like I see him every day. That is such a sweet gift.

Three years later, I have dealt with most of my grief issues, but I have not put away the pictures. They are there for me as much as they are there for Michaela. I want her to know what her daddy looks like - and she has from before she was even a year old. I stop and look at them frequently, remembering the things we did together, and enjoying his incredible smile. Sometimes I still cry a little bit, but usually I take comfort in knowing that I will see him again - and then we'll never have to say goodbye.

I'm very grateful for the part of my life that I shared with Michael, but I wish that it had been much, much longer.

There seems to be a song for almost everything, and this one is one that always comes to mind when I'm missing Michael:

Your smile lights up a room
Like a candle in the dark
It warms me through and through
And I guess that I had dreamed
We would never be apart
But that dream did not come true

Missing you is just a part of living
Missing you feels like a way of life
I'm living out the life that I've been given
But baby I still wish you were mine

And I cannot hear the telephone
Jangle on the wall
And not feel a hopefull thrill
And I cannot help but smile
At any news of you at all
And I guess I always will
{Missing You ~ Amy Grant}

I still love you, Honey.

I took Michaela by Michael's niche at the memorial park today. We didn't stay long. It's not really a place for little ones, and I don't get any comfort standing there looking at his urn. Michael isn't there. He's in Heaven. He's okay. He's more than okay. I'm okay. I'm really okay. I was disappointed that the red roses I ordered for the week turned out to be deep pink gerber daisies instead. Oh, well...

Tomorrow I have arranged to have a substitute so that I can take the day. We'll spend it with Michael's mom and his sisters. I'm sure it will be a good day in spite of the reason why we're getting together.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Currently {March}

Image credit:
Listening: once again to some of the music that carried me during the last days of Michael's life on Earth, and through the painful weeks and months that were to come. One of my favorites back then was this one:

Oh, how I took those lyrics to heart in my grief! I believed that I had to keep moving forward. Three years later, I can say that the Lord has been faithful to heal my broken heart and give me a hope for my future. He is so good.

Loving: the idea that next weekend begins Daylight Savings Time. Woohoo! Spring is almost here.

Thinking: about change. There may be big changes in my life sometime soon. Change is good, and I believe I'm ready to begin a new chapter in my life. 

Wanting: to get over this ridiculous cold and cough I've had for two weeks now. It's exhausting. I can't remember having such a bad cold for many, many years. I can tell that I'm better than I was, but I think this cough intends to hang around for a while.

Needing: to start report cards and prepare for parent conferences which start two weeks from Monday. I can't believe we are already at this point in the school year. It'll be June before I know it! Yea!!!